What is computer networking?

Computer networking refers to interconnected computing devices that can exchange data and share resources with each other. These networked devices use a system of rules, called communications protocols, to transmit information over physical or wireless technologies.

Let’s answer some common computer networking FAQs.

How does a computer network work?

Nodes and links are the basic building blocks in computer networking. A network node may be data communication equipment (DCE) such as a modem, hub or, switch, or data terminal equipment (DTE) such as two or more computers and printers. A link refers to the transmission media connecting two nodes. Links may be physical, like cable wires or optical fibers, or free space used by wireless networks.

In a working computer network, nodes follow a set of rules or protocols that define how to send and receive electronic data via the links. The computer network architecture defines the design of these physical and logical components. It provides the specifications for the network’s physical components, functional organization, protocols, and procedures.

What do computer networks do?

Computer networks were first created in the late 1950s for use in the military and defense. They were initially used to transmit data over telephone lines and had limited commercial and scientific applications. With the advent of internet technologies, a computer network has become indispensable for enterprises.

Modern-day network solutions deliver more than connectivity. They are critical for the digital transformation and success of businesses today. Underlying network capabilities have become more programmable, automated, and secure.

Modern computer networks can:

Operate virtually

The underlying physical network infrastructure can be logically partitioned to create multiple “overlay” networks. In an overlay computer network, the nodes are virtually linked, and data can be transmitted between them through multiple physical paths. For example, many enterprise networks are overlaid on the internet.

Integrate on a large scale

Modern networking services connect physically distributed computer networks. These services can optimize network functions through automation and monitoring to create one large-scale, high-performance network. Network services can be scaled up or down based on demand.

Respond quickly to changing conditions

Many computer networks are software-defined. Traffic can be routed and controlled centrally using a digital interface. These computer networks support virtual traffic management.

Provide data security

All networking solutions come with in-built security features like encryption and access control. Third-party solutions like antivirus software, firewalls, and antimalware can be integrated to make the network more secure.


The following are computer networking terms


A router is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks. Routers operate at Layer 3 of the OSI model and perform traffic-directing functions between subnets within organizations and on the internet.

  • IP address

An IP Address is a number or combination of letters and numbers used to label devices connected to a network on which the Internet Protocol is used as the medium for communication. IP addresses give devices on IP networks their own identities so they can find each other.

  • Network access control (NAC)

Network access control is an approach to computer security that attempts to unify endpoint-security technology, user or system authentication, and network security enforcement.

Network switch

A NETWORK SWITCH is a device that operates at the Data Link layer of the Os model — Layer 2. It takes in packets being sent by devices that are connected to its physical ports and sends them out again, but only through the ports that lead to the devices the packets are intended to reach. They can also operate at the network layer — Layer 3 where routing occurs.


It stands for Wide Area Network and covers a wide area such as a city.


It stands for Local Area Network and covers a small area such as a small office or home. It physically connects all the computers located in the premises.


It is a computer network system that connects the computers of the world. It is normally connecting through WAN and LAN.


It is a close room computer network system, as it covers a small area and only authorized people can access it.


It is also a sort of Internet the access to which is granted only to a few.

World Wide Web (WWW)

It is the service that is used on Internet to view and search contents (in the form of web-pages).

Instant messaging (IM)

It is an online facility that facilitates us to chat or talk. Such service is provided by Skype, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, etc.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

It is a Protocol, which is used especially for voice transfer over IP network. Likewise, it facilitates users to make phone-calls by using internet.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

It is a technique, which is used for the dissemination of information, articles, etc. Users normally subscribe to the RSS channel in order to receive news. After subscription, users do not need to visit the respective website rather they receive emails regarding the same.

Web log

It is a sort of online inventory (normally on a specialized topics) that consists of a series of entries. These entries are arranged in opposite chronological order. The person who maintains the weblog regularly update it with a new information.


It is a digital file that normally contains audio or video record and is available on the Internet as well.

Social networking websites

It refers to the websites that facilitate users with a common platform where they can share their message (in text, audio, or even video form), images, videos, etc. For example, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.

Chat Rooms

It is a dedicated area on the Internet that facilitates users to communicate.

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

It is a technical expression for public telephone system.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

It is a set of communication standards that transmits voice, video, data, and other network services simultaneously.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)

It is a sort of digital subscriber line (DSL) technology that facilitates faster data transmission.


It is a process that saves data from Internet onto a personal computer.


It is a process that transfers the saved data from a personal computer to Internet server.


It is a technique in which a phone line is used in order to connect to the Internet.


It is a wide bandwidth data transmission that transports multiple signals and traffic types swiftly.

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Author: refuge_2020

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