Main Page | Recent changes | View source | Page history

Printable version | Disclaimers | Privacy policy

Not logged in
Log in | Help


From OCAU Wiki

A computer network is a system for communication among two or more computers. These networks may be fixed (cabled, permanent) or temporary ( via modems or other devices, e.g. pigeons). The Internet is perhaps the most famous of the Wide-Area Networks in existence today, but there are many other networks that are better, faster, larger, smaller and more diverse, most of which are completely unrelated to the Internet.

There are many types of computer networks, most are either defined as:

  • local-area networks (LANs) : The computers are geographically close together (that is, in the same building).
  • wide-area networks (WANs) : The computers are farther apart and are connected by telephone lines or radio waves.

There are also some other network types that are named for their use(s). although they don't get the same kind of recognition, are equally used in conjunction with LAN/WAN network types:

  • campus-area networks (CANs): The computers are within a limited geographic area, such as a campus, office or military base.
  • metropolitan-area networks (MANs): A data network designed for a town or city.
  • home-area networks (HANs): A network contained within a user's home that connects a person's digital devices.

Becoming more common these days is the VPN or Virtual Private Network. VPNs can be used to provide a secure connection across an unsecure network such as the Internet. A set of standards, referred to wholly as IPSec (RFCs 2401-2412), allows network devices from different vendors to interoperate. There are two main types of VPN connections:

  • Remote access
  • LAN to LAN

In addition to these types, the following characteristics are also used to categorize different types of networks:

Computers and devices on a network are sometimes called nodes. Computers and devices that allocate or provide resources for a network are called servers.


Note: Courtesy of User:stmok's forum sig

Also see Networking & Comms form the OCAU Content Archive.


More Links

[Main Page]
OCAU Forums
PC Database

Main Page
Recent changes
Random page
All pages

View source
Discuss this page
Page history
What links here
Related changes

Special pages