Since the prehistoric times, mankind realized the need for communication as an essential element to live together in what we now cold society. As time passed, they started overcoming their barriers to communication and revolutionized the entire concept. Today communication is no longer heavily dependent on face to face interactions. In fact, the very nature of our communication methods switched to being comfortable with distant talks from our phones, internet etc. more than a social gathering for a lot of people. For the first time in human history, we started to realize how connected to each other we are.
Computer networks play an inherent role of our communications. It connects us with people from all parts of the world, and consequently promotes globalization. The global world cannot survive without this connection and as a result our reliance is increasing every day. The biggest network that mankind witnessed is the Internet.
The data in the network is sent in the form of packets (much like energy can be spread as quanta). The devices from which data is spread, received, route etc. is mainly called nodes. This discipline impacts a large range of discipline like biological sciences, natural sciences, engineering etc. Consider the story of Jack Andraka. Within his high school year he came up with a cheap early detector of pancreatic cancer. A large portion of his initial stage of research depended on Google search. All this was possible due to the advent networks.
Usually two types of data are sent via packets: control information and user data (also known as payload). The control information provides data required by the network to deliver the user data, like: source and destination network addresses, error detection codes, and sequencing information. Typically, control information is found in packet headers and trailers, with payload data in between. These headers are identifiers of the data and their types.
Networks can be structured in various ways. A number of common ways are:
1. A bus network: acts as a common medium in which all the other nodes are connected. Most common in the usage of Ethernet cables.
2. A star network: A special node acts a central node with which all the nodes are connected.
3. A fully connected network: all the nodes in the network are connected to one another.
4. A tree network: nodes are arranged hierarchically. Starting from a single point.
A basic understanding of network would reveal how much it changed our lives.
1. What is SONET?
2. What us a neural network?
3. How does VPN work?
4. The future of networking
5. How can security of network be used?