Computer Networks and its uses


It is said that the world has come closer and all credit goes to networking. In this article one would get knowledge about what is networking and a brief on the various uses of the same. One would also get idea regarding the widely discussed client-server model of networking.

During the 20th century, the computer industry has seen a massive boom straight from room size computers to personal ones. It is evident that earlier the computing networks were centralised which resulted in a huge pile of extra work but with decentralisation, the workload has reduced exponentially. Earlier it was common for large firms to have at most 1 dozen computers but these days the number has run into lakhs and they all are interconnected. These systems are called computer networks which refer to a collection of autonomous systems connected by a single technology. The medium of connection can be fibre optics, microwaves or even satellites.

NOTE: The Internet basically is not a single network but a collection of networks and the web is a completely distributed system that functions on the top of Internet. WWW is thus an example of distributed system in which a set of independent computers appear to its users as a single coherent system. They have a single model that is presented to all its users and there exists a software layer over OS that implements this model. This model is absent in network system where each user gets to see other systems as they are. The primary difference thus lies in the software.

Uses of Networking


  • Business Application: E-commerce, teleconferencing are some of the most popular examples of networking in business. Resource sharing takes place between the connected networks so that they all have access to common data needed to make some unified program. It happens irrespective of the physical distance of the resource from the user. The data is usually stored in a powerful computer known as the server and the systems requesting data from it are called the clients as shown below.


client-server

The representation above reflects the fact that there are multiple clients who access the server through a common network to obtain desired data. The model works using request and response. The client computer sends a request to the server and waits till the server sends back a response. Both the interactions take place via the network.

  • Home Application: In the earlier days, usage was mainly limited to gaming and word processing, but after the internet boom people got interested in searching information. Thus from a centralised system, it turned into a client-server model where the user accessed data from a common database. Later the concept of person to person communication was introduced in the form of chat rooms and so on. This also led to restrictions to avoid cyber crime. With changing times entertainment has also turned into a growing industry.

  • Mobile Users: Much description is not needed in this field since it can be considered the biggest application of networking these days. It has given the facility of portable office and has grossly affected the household activities as well. Wireless Application Protocol aims at uniting mobile networks with PDA to form tiny wireless computers, though the first version failed due to different screen size, bandwidth and other reasons, the later version has improved drastically.

  • Social Issues: The introduction of networking has led to widespread discussions on many social, ethical and political issues. Thus it can be stated that networking has turned out to be a highly used medium for whistle blowing for all sectors of the society. In turn, it has even led to security issues with the higher authority demanding access to all the official interaction among its employee. The same has also taken place between Government and citizen to detect any suspicious activity. As it suggests these have lead to some of the most controversial debates of all time.

With advancement in technology, each of the above-mentioned sectors is adding in more and more facilities for its betterment and easier functioning.


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Comments

Author: umesh01 Jun 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

The computer networking has been explained in a very simple language. This is a very useful article for beginners who want to understand what networking does. Today computer networking has evolved as a very big field where lot of software engineers are engaged. There are many important considerations in designing a network. How many clients it will be able to handle at a time? What is the rate of data transmission through the network? Whether the server computer is able to process and handle that data? These any many other aspects which are designed and engineered in creating a network.

Once the hardware part is installed and tested with the networking software and connected to the client, then comes the important part of maintaining it. There are many bugs in the software which require to be corrected in the software from time to time. Hardware faults are more fatal as they will make the system come to a standstill. So big companies keep a back up system for emergencies.

Networking has emerged as the biggest activity in the world of internet and mobile technology and people, groups and companies are connected to each other in uninterrupted ways.



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