Computer Networking - Computer Fundamentals

What is computer Networking? What are its characteristics?

A computer network is a system in which many computers are connected to each other to share some information and resources.


Characteristics of a Computer Network

  • To Share resources from one computer to another.
  • To create files and store them in one computer. These files are accessed from the other computer(s) connected over the network.
  • Connect a printer, scanner, or a fax machine to one computer within the network and network of other computers use the machines available over the network.

Following is the list of hardware's required to set up a computer network.

  • Network Cables
  • Distributors
  • Routers
  • Internal Network Cards
  • External Network Cards

Network Cables

Network cables are used to connect computers. The most commonly used cable is Category 5 cable RJ-45.



A computer can be connected to another one called a serial port but if we want to connect many computers to produce a network, this serial connection will not work.


So to find out the solution use a central body to which other computers, printers, scanners, etc. can be connected and then this body will help in distributing network traffic.


A router is a type of device which acts as the central point among computers and other devices that are a part of the network. It contains holes called ports. Router is connected to the Computers and other devices using network cables. Now-a-days router exists in wireless modes using which computers can be connected without any physical cable.


Network Card

Network card is an important component of a computer where computer cannot be connected without this card. It is also known as the network adapter or Network Interface Card (NIC). Most branded computers have network card pre-installed. Network cards are divided in two types: Internal and External Network Cards.

Internal Network Cards

Internal network card is inserted to the Motherboard slot. Internal network cards are of two types in which the first type uses Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) connection, while the second type uses Industry Standard Architecture (ISA). Network cables are required to provide network access.


External Network Cards

External network cards are of two types: Wireless and USB based. Wireless network card is to be inserted into the motherboard , however network cable is not required to connect to the network.


Universal Serial Bus (USB)

USB card is easy to use and connects via USB port. Computers automatically detect USB card and can install the drivers required to support the USB network card automatically.


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