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  Computer Dictionary : network
 

Welcome to the eComputer Bay's Computer Dictionary - the free online dictionary of computer and technology terms. The goal of the Computer Dictionary is to not just define computer terms, but explain them as well.

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Computer Term

1. Network

When you have two or more computers connected to each other, you have a network. The purpose of a network is to enable the sharing of files and information between mulitple systems. The Internet could be described as a global network of networks. Computer networks can be connected through cables, such as Ethernet cables or phone lines, or wirelessly, using wireless networking cards that send and receive data through the air.

2. Network Topology

A network topology describes the arrangement of systems on a computer network. It defines how the computers, or nodes, within the network are arranged and connected to each other. Some common network topologies include star, ring, line, bus, and tree configurations. These topologies are defined below:

  1. Star - One central note is connected to each of the other nodes on a network. Similar to a hub connected to the spokes in a wheel.

  2. Ring - Each node is connected to exactly two other nodes, forming a ring. Can be visualized as a circular configuration. Requires at least three nodes.

  3. Line - Nodes are arranged in a line, where most nodes are connected to two other nodes. However, the first and last node are not connected like they are in a ring.

  4. Bus - Each node is connected to a central bus that runs along the entire network. All information transmitted across the bus can be received by any system in the network.

  5. Tree - One "root" node connects to other nodes, which in turn connect to other nodes, forming a tree structure. Information from the root node may have to pass through other nodes to reach the end nodes.
It is helpful for a network administrator to know the pros and cons of different network topologies when putting together a network. By weighing the benefits of each type, the administrator can choose the configuration that is most efficient for the network's intended purpose.



 
 



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