The Benefits of Computer Networks

Computer networks facilitate sharing and central management of applications, resources and data across multiple devices, in a safe and scalable way. They are an integral part of modern life and provide benefits such as improved communication and collaboration, reduced expenses, enhanced security and increased accessibility to data and resources.

Networks are built from two fundamental elements: nodes and links. Nodes are network devices like printers, computers, and file servers that communicate with each other using a set of standards known as communication protocols. Links connect these nodes with each other through wireless, optical, or wired connections. A laptop that is connected to a local network via Wi-Fi can be described as a node and is a link. Network switches and routers work as traffic cops, directing data packets to their intended destination efficiently.

A wide-area network (WAN) utilizes gateways and bridges to connect a variety of local area networks. In contrast to a LAN it is connected to the Internet and other global networks of communication. Students in Florida, for example can join teleconferences on their workstations to peers in Tokyo because of a WAN.

Computer networks can streamline workflows and encourage collaboration and engagement in the workplace. Employees can save their documents to a server that is regularly backed up instead of sending documents back and forth and resulting in losing files. They can also access standard versions of employee and customer manuals via the network. This ensures accuracy and consistency.