What is Computer Network?

  • Post last modified:13 December 2020
  • Reading time:9 mins read
  • Post category:Computer Network
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Computer Network Definition

A computer network is a digital telecommunications network which allows nodes to share resources. In computer networks, computing devices exchange data with each other using connections (data links) between nodes. These data links are established over cable media such as wires or optic cables, or wireless media such as Wi-Fi. According to Wikipedia

What is Computer Network?

A computer network is a set of devices (often referred to as nodes) connected by communication links. A node can be a computer, printer, or any other device capable of sending or receiving data from the other node/device through the network.

Read: Types of Network Topology

Computer Network Criteria

1. Performance
2. Reliability
3. Security


It can be measured in many ways and depends on the number of factors

  • No of users
  • Type of transmission medium
  • Response time
  • Transit time
  • Hardware
  • Software


This is measured by the following factors

  • Frequency of failure
  • The recovery time of a network after a failure.
  • Catastrophe


As data is being travelled from node to node through the network to reach its final destination, during that time it can be tampered or can be stolen so the security of information is the top priority.

Network security issues include protecting data from the following

  • Unauthorized access
  • Viruses

Read: Line Configuration in Computer Networks

Advantages of Computer Network

There are many advantages of computer network and benefits of computer networking, some of them are File sharing, Resource sharing, Better connectivity and communications is briefly explained below.

  • File sharing: Fundamental goals of a computer network is to allow file sharing and remote file access.

  • Server-Client model: Client-server model is a distributed application framework. The server is a master system which stores the data and provides the processing service. A client is a user system which accesses the data from the server and can perform processing in its system or in a server system.

  • Resource sharing: All the resources such as printers, modems, scanners and fax machines etc can be shared by all the system in a computer network.

  • Better connectivity and communications: A computer network allows all the user or computers at a different location to communicate easily, widely used example is email, video conference etc.

Read: Transmission Modes in Computer Networks

Need of computer network

Computer networks have become invaluable to organizations as well as individuals. Some of its main uses are Internet access, eCommerce, Entertainment, VoIP is briefly explained below.

  • Internet access: We can easily access information all because of the internet which provides a variety of information and communication facilities, using standardized communication protocols.

  • eCommerce: also known as electronic commerce, refers to buying or selling product, service etc through the internet. It has been one of the world most profitable business in the world which is only possible of a computer network.

  • Entertainment: It includes games, online video streaming and many other which is only possible because of the computer network.

  • VoIP: Through Voice over Internet protocol, telephone calls are made digitally using Internet Protocols instead of the regular analog phone lines.

Read: Transmission Mediums in Computer Networks

Disadvantages of Computer Network

There are many disadvantages of computer network of computer networking, some of them are Lack of data security and privacy, Independence, Robustness is briefly explained below.

  • Lack of data security and privacy due to the huge number of the user accessing the internet from every corner of the earth, handling data is a challenging task and data can be stolen which violate the privacy of the user.

  • Presence of computer viruses and the malware: A virus can easily spread through an interconnected workstation or over the internet which can damage or steal the data from the computer system in a computer network.

  • Lack of Independence: In most cases, the client is dependent on the centralized server and client user lack any freedom whatsoever. the centralized server can make hinder in the decision making of the user system.

  • Lack of Robustness: As a client is dependent on the centralized server, if the centralized server breaks down, the entire system of networks would be useless and also if any of the links between the end system fail then the network will standstill.

  • Need an efficient handler: As a computer network consisting of many devices and software, so to handle the smooth functioning of the transmission of information, it requires high technical skills and knows- how its administration and its operations.

Read: Guided/Bounded Transmission Media

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