Different Types of Traditional Computer Networks
So far, you have seen only one simple network with just a few computers. Of course, networks come in many
Big Company, Multiple Sites: An Enterprise WAN
Imagine that you work at a company that has multiple physical sites with locations in separate states. As a
Figure 1-6. A Larger Network: An Enterprise WAN
In Figure 1-6, you can see three remote branch offices, each with a couple of PCs and a printer. The headquarters site has more users (hence, more PCs), as well as several servers. Each remote site has a LAN, much like the LAN shown earlier in this chapter. However, now the network includes a cloud labeled WAN. The WAN is simply a part of the network over which the computers at each site can send and receive data from computers connected to the LANs at other remote sites.
Most people call the network shown in Figure 1-6 an
because the network is owned by and created by one company, and a company can be
Just You and Me and the Whole WorldThe Internet
The Internet and yes, that's a capital "I" in "Internet"has significantly changed the way people live. It has flattened the earth and allowed the free exchange of ideas worldwideamong billions of people.
The Internet is yet another computer network, but it is unique. The uniqueness comes in that almost all enterprise networks connect to the Internet. Also, individual users can connect to the Internet. To make it all work, companies called Internet service providers (ISPs) provide service to companies and individuals to connect them to the Internet. The result? Almost all computers on the planet can communicate with each other. The cultural implications of the Internet far outweigh the coolness of the technology, and the technology is pretty cool! Figure 1-7 shows the basic idea of the Internet.
Figure 1-7. The Internet, with Enterprises and Individuals Connected to It
Once again, clouds show that
With this chapter, you've taken your first steps toward a clear vision of networking. A computer network might consist of a couple of PCs, some cables, and a little hardware and software, typically called a LAN. Alternatively, a network might comprise hundreds or thousands of computers in a large company, along with multiple and various cables and networking devices and
A network is a combination of hardware, software, and cabling, which together allow multiple computing devices to communicate with each other. Regardless of