What is Networking Explained with Examples

This tutorial explains the definition, purpose and benefits of the computer networking in detail. Learn what the computer networking is and what the advantages of computer networking are in easy language with examples.

What is the Computer Networking?

Computer networking is the subject which explains how computers connect with each other for sharing resource and information and what technologies and devices they use for the connectivity.

Benefits of Networking

Computer networking provides the following benefits.

  • It allows us to share data and resources.
  • It helps us in reducing the required number of devices.
  • It provides us a platform to communicate with other users in network.
  • It allows multiple users to work on a single project.
  • It allows us to store data in a centralize location.
  • It allows us to implement the security policies.
  • It allows us to track and monitor the use of resources.

Purpose of Computer Networking

The main purpose of computer networking is the sharing. It allows us to share mainly three things; data, resources, and applications. Let’s understand each of these in detail.

Data sharing

Networking allows us to share data between connected devices. Let’s take a simple example. Suppose there are two computers which exchange data on regular basis. Without networking, the following steps are required to exchange data between them.

  • In sender PC, write data in an external device (such as CD, DVD and USB)
  • Move that external device to the receiver PC
  • In receiver PC, read or copy the data from that external device

If the data is exchanged 100 times a day, we have to follow these steps 100 times a day. In such a situation, where the data is often exchanged, this method is neither convenient nor appropriate.

computers without networking

In this case, networking is a better solution. Once networking is done, we can exchange any amount of data between connected devices at any time without using any external device.

computers with networking

Resources Sharing

Networking allows us to share devices among the computers. By sharing the devices, we can reduce the number of required components in the network. Let's understand this with a simple example.

Four computers are used in a small office. Computers are not connected with others. Each computer generates some print jobs daily.

To fulfill the print requirement of each computer, without networking, we have to buy the four printers; one for each.

sharing resources in network

By connecting these computers through networking, we can reduce the required number of printers up to one. Once networking is done, only one printer will be sufficient to meet the print requirement of all computers.

sharing printer in network

When we reduce the number of essential devices, the cost of the network is also reduced. In the preceding example, without networking, we require four printers, whereas with networking we only require one printer. Thus, through the networking we can save the cost of three printers.

There are two types of device: -

Shareable: - Devices which can be shared in the network such as hard disk, printer, modem, scanner, CD, DVD, USB etc.

Non-Shareable: - Devices which cannot be shared in the network such as CPU, RAM, Motherboard, Monitor, etc.

Although advance networking techniques, such as cloud computing, allow the sharing of any resource including the CPU and the RAM, but for the initial level, you should stick with the traditional types listed above; shareable and non-shareable. This will help in understanding the complex networking concepts in a simple way.

Application Sharing

Just like data and resource, through the networking we can also share an application. In Application sharing, an application is installed in two parts; server application and client application. Both parts are used to provide and request service or data respectively.

Let's take a simple example.

A user connects his system to the Internet and watches a video on YouTube. YouTube, which provides the requested video, is the example of a server application. And the browser or app, that the user uses to watch the video, is the example of a client application.

application sharing

Application sharing is mostly used in company environment. In companies, usually a project is assigned to several users or a team which have several members. Networking allows concerned users or members to work on assigned project simultaneously. Besides this, it is also used for the troubleshooting and accessing a networking device or a computer remotely.

Networking not necessary always

Networking is complex process. Adding devices in a network requires special networking devices such as cables, switches, routers, etc. In addition, to add a computer to the network, we also have to adjust or change its configuration settings.

Networking should be done only when it is really required. For example, for the data sharing it should be done only when the data that needs to be shared is in the large amount or it is often exchanged. For example if you only need to share a single file between two PCs, setting up networking in this situation is a completely worthless idea.

That’s all for this tutorial. If you like this tutorial, please don’t forget to share it with friends through your favorite social network.


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