As Aristotle once said (among loads of other people apparently) – “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” – do you think he was talking about computer networking, because if he wasn’t he surely could have been?
Computer networking is simply the connection of two or more computers which means that they can share the same resources, and the benefits of this have been phenomenal, at home but particularly in the business world.
There are three basic types of computer networking:
- Local Area Network (LAN) which is confined to a relatively small area (local!). This is great for home use and also smaller offices where a small number of people need access to the same information and resources. It allows people to inter-change work stations as necessary. The computers are generally connected by ethernet cables, power lines such as telephone lines, or in some cases are wireless network
- Wide Area Network (WAN) these networks use a wide variety of different resources and can reach out across the entire world – the most important and famous example of WAN is the internet – the greatest WAN on earth. Some telephone networks which use internet technologies are also catching on fast!
- Wireless Networks (WLAN, WWAN) wireless networks use radio receivers for their data transmission, and although they work on similar principles to LAN and WAN they don’t use any wires. This is brilliant for areas where the use of wires would either be too expensive (I can’t find a power point on this mountain side) or just downright inconvenient. Satellite communications can be used for transmitting long distances or types of cellular radio are also utilized. The speed and quality of wireless network transmissions can vary, depending on the means of communication which are in use.
Computer networking, and in particular wireless networks have really opened up the world for businesses to operate “on the run”. It has made it much simpler for people to take their work home with them and still be able to access the corporate network, or even to park up in a “WiFi Hotspot” and set to work on their laptops. Many companies find that by maximizing the use of their networks to full capability means that they can quickly gather, analyze and then distribute any critical marketing information which puts them one step ahead of many of their competitors.
Work smarter, not harder – that’s what computer networking is all about.
It’s bad enough just trying to maintain these highly sophisticated tecnological computer networks, but there is another potential problem which could bring the whole business crashing to its knees. Security problems can be a real headache for the computer techies employed by the company, a breach in computer security can bring the whole business down almost instantaneously. Computer networking is at constant risk against damaging software, worms, viruses and spyware. It’s a full time job just trying to keep one step ahead of the game when it comes to this ever growing list of security risks.
It’s important that all of the systems have the very highest levels of security not only in data security but also for data backup and disaster recovery – it would be a real catastrophe if all of these linked computers were wiped out in one fell swoop, wouldn’t it?