3.1.13 Networking

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1 Networking


Learn It

  • When two or more computers are connected together through a communication medium, allowing them to exchange data and share resources, we have a computer network.
  • Often a computer network conforms to the server / client model.
  • Let's define some of those terms:
    • Communication Media refers to the connection between computers. This could be standard copper cable (normally Cat5 or 6), Fibre Optic cable or Wireless Radio.
    • Resources are devices such as printers or storage devices, that computers on the network have shared access to.
    • Servers are just another computer. They may sometimes be very high-powered if the service they are providing is computationally hard (such as serving millions of web-pages or performing advanced modelling) or they can be tiny devices such as a Raspberry Pi (serving media over a home network).
    • Clients are computers that use the services provided by the server.

Try It

Use each of the keywords shown below to write sentences describing the advantages and disadvantages of networking computers

  • Advantages of Networks.
    1. Files
    2. Communication
    3. Resources
    4. Distance
    5. Software, server
    6. Security
    7. Licensing, money
    8. Backups
  • Disadvantages of Networks
    1. Malware
    2. Single point of failure
    3. Infrastructure cost
    4. Administrative cost
    5. Hackers

Learn It

  • There are many different ways of configuring a computer network. The three main topologies are
    • Bus


  • Ring


  • Star


Try It

  • For each type of network topology, write a short sentence describing the layout of the clients/servers.
  • Find out a few of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of topology.

Learn It

  • When computers communicate with each other, they must be able to understand each other.
  • For this reason, specific rules have been developed for how computers should communicate in different circumstances.
  • These rules are called protocols, and different protocols are used in different situations.
  • You'll learn more about this when we talk about the client-server model