What is a Network – Definition and Uses

A school with twenty or more computers is probably interested in adding a file sharing program and network them together. Think about four possible benefits from doing so. In this article we will look at how they work, the definition of a network, and some considerations you should think about before trying to set up a network in your school.

– If you have more than twenty computers, it may seem like a good idea to set up a file sharing program and network them together. Let’s say you are in administration and you have ten departments, three of which are departments that are not on the LAN. Each department has one workstation with three or four computers. Now, you could connect all these departments to each other via a file server (a computer network that acts as a central location for files, documents and communication) and configure a policy where all of the departments have their own file servers.

This sounds great. But what if you don’t have twenty computers? You’ve probably got some fast network printer sharing machines and/or network scanners now that only work with one computer per printer or scanner. If those won’t work without other computers, does setting up the whole bunch as a network may be a bad idea? Consider the four advantages:

– LANs are used almost everywhere by many people. A LAN covers a very large geographical area. An office building can have a LAN, a residential neighborhood can have a LAN, and a large city can even have a LAN. All these places are part of a large geographical area network, even though they are located within a different city, state or country. Setting up a LAN in each of these areas would probably be cost prohibitive.

– A WAN is often used as an alternative to LANs. A WAN connects to a few local area networks and one larger metropolitan area network. Often, a single company connects to several WANs via a WAN, but when the company wants to set up its own secure local area network, it doesn’t need to use a LAN at all. Instead, the company can simply configure one of its internal WANs.

– Data transmission needs to occur at high speed to keep up with technological improvements. A point-to-point connection using copper wiring between various computers can be very slow. To transmit large amounts of data at a fast speed, a wireless router or wireless card is the best option. With this set-up, the company can configure settings so that all computers within a certain distance from the router will share the connection. This is also beneficial because it reduces the number of dead zones (zones where a computer cannot communicate with others) and improves time-sharing in some businesses.