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Defining networking (Computer Networking)

Updated on 12 September 2022
Srishti Singh
12 min read 15 views
Updated on 12 September 2022

Networking, also known as networking, is the act of transferring and exchanging data between nodes over shared systems and information systems. Networking includes not only the design, construction and use of networks, but also the management, maintenance, and operation of network equipment, software, and policies.

Networking allows devices and nodes to be connected to each other through a local area network (LAN) or in a wider network, such as the Internet or a private area network (WAN). It is an important activity for service providers, businesses and consumers around the world to share resources, use or provide services and communicate. Networking makes everything easier from phone calls to text messaging to video streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT).


The level of expertise required to operate a network is related to the complexity of a given network. For example, a large company may have thousands of nodes and strong security features, such as end-to-end encryption, that require specialized network administrators to manage the network.


Types of networking 

There are two main types of computer networks: wired networks and wireless networks. Wired networks require the use of physical systems for transmission between nodes. Copper-based Ethernet cable, popular for its low cost and durability, is widely used for digital communications in businesses and homes. On the other hand, optical fiber is used to transmit data over long distances and at high speed, but it has many disadvantages, including high cost and fragile materials.


Wireless networks use radio waves to carry data over the air, allowing devices to be connected to the network without any wires. Wireless LAN is the most popular and widely deployed form of wireless networking. Options include microwave, satellite, telephone, and Bluetooth, among others. In general, wired networks offer higher speed, reliability, and security compared to wireless networks; Wireless networks often offer flexibility, mobility and scalability.


It should be noted that these types of networks are connected to the physical layer of the network. Networking can be classified by how it is built and configured, including systems that include SDN or overlay networks. Networks can be organized by environment and scale, such as LAN, campus, WAN, data center network, or security network.

Part of networking 

Networking requires the use of physical network equipment - including switches, routers, and wireless access points - and the underlying hardware to perform this function. Other components include the software required to monitor, manage and secure the network. In addition, networks rely on the use of standard protocols to always perform different tasks or communicate different types of data, regardless of the underlying hardware.


For example, Voice over IP (VoIP) can carry IP telephony traffic to any station that supports the protocol. HTTP provides browsers with a way to display web pages. The Internet Protocol Suite, also known as TCP/IP, is a family of protocols for transferring data and services over IP networks.

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