Attached Resource Computer Network

Definition of Attached Resource Computer Network

Attached Resource Computer Network, often shortened as ARCNet, is an early Local Area Network (LAN) architecture developed in the 1970s. It facilitates communication among multiple computing devices by using a token-passing protocol and a star or bus topology. Although it was widely adopted in the 1980s, the emergence of Ethernet and other advanced networking technologies led to its decline in usage.


The phonetic transcription of “Attached Resource Computer Network” is:əˈtæʧt rɪˈsɔrs kəmˈpjutər ˈnɛtˌwɜrk (IPA notation)It can be broken down as follows:Attached: /əˈtæʧt/Resource: /rɪˈsɔrs/Computer: /kəmˈpjutər/Network: /ˈnɛtˌwɜrk/

Key Takeaways

  1. Attached Resource Computer Network (ARCNET) is one of the oldest and most efficient token-passing Local Area Network (LAN) protocols, which ensures reliable communication between different devices in a network.
  2. ARCNET offers a simple and cost-effective networking solution, with a built-in error checking mechanism that reduces data transmission errors, making it suitable for various industrial and commercial applications.
  3. Despite being an older technology, ARCNET has maintained its relevance in the networking landscape due to its ability to adapt and integrate with modern networking systems, besides offering excellent network stability in less technologically demanding environments.

Importance of Attached Resource Computer Network

The term Attached Resource Computer Network (ARCNET) is important because it represents one of the earliest and pioneering local area network (LAN) technologies that revolutionized the digital communication landscape.

Developed by Datapoint Corporation in the late 1970s, ARCNET enabled multiple computer systems to connect and efficiently share resources such as data storage, software applications, and peripheral devices within a limited area.

Its robust, simple design and fault-tolerant token-passing method facilitated efficient data transmission while minimizing risks of packet collision.

By promoting resource-sharing and networking, ARCNET laid the groundwork for the advanced computer communication infrastructures we rely on today, significantly influencing modern LAN technologies like Ethernet, ultimately boosting productivity and interconnectivity.


Attached Resource Computer Network (ARCNET) is primarily utilized for its ability to facilitate communication and data exchange between various devices within a local area, enhancing overall connectivity and efficiency in a computing environment. Its primary purpose is to allow seamless sharing of resources, such as peripherals, software applications, and data storage, across multiple devices and users.

By creating a unified network of interconnected devices, ARCNET simplifies collaborative efforts and enables better resource management within an organization. This technology has been widely adopted across multiple industries, from small businesses to large-scale operations, as it creates a more streamlined and unified workspace for individuals and teams to work efficiently.

Beyond its resource-sharing capabilities, the ARCNET technology plays a crucial role in improving the reliability and security of data communication within a local network. It employs a token-passing system to facilitate organized and predictable data management, allowing only one device to transmit data at any given moment.

This not only minimizes the risk of network congestion and data collision but also ensures a higher level of data security and integrity. Moreover, as ARCNET networks can span a large physical distance while maintaining excellent performance, it has found widespread use in larger building complexes and industrial facilities where reliable communication and resource sharing is vital for smooth and efficient operations.

Examples of Attached Resource Computer Network

Attached Resource Computer Network (ARCnet) is a legacy local area network (LAN) technology that was introduced in the late 1970s by Datapoint Corporation. It provided high-speed communication and easy expandability at a low cost. Although it is not widely used today, it played a significant role in the early development of computer networking. Here are three real-world examples of ARCnet’s applications:

Office Networking Infrastructure: In the early 1980s, ARCnet was commonly used in office settings to connect multiple computers, printers, and other peripherals over a single network. It provided a cost-effective way to share resources and increase productivity. Large organizations with multiple departments benefited from the easy expandability of ARCnet, where additional devices could be added to the network without significant costs.

Industrial Automation: ARCnet was also utilized in industrial automation systems that required real-time communication between computers and machinery. The robustness and resilience of ARCnet made it suitable for harsh industrial environments where network reliability was critical. For example, manufacturing facilities and chemical plants were among the businesses that adopted ARCnet to improve their operations.

Point of Sale (POS) Systems: In the 1980s and 1990s, ARCnet was used in point-of-sale (POS) systems to connect the central processing unit, cash registers, payment terminals, and inventory management devices. This allowed businesses, such as retailers and restaurants, to run their operations efficiently and perform secure transactions. ARCnet provided a reliable and easily expandable network infrastructure for these businesses.Though ARCnet has mostly been replaced by more modern networking technologies like Ethernet and Wi-Fi, it played a pivotal role in early computer networking and set the stage for the advancement of LAN technology.

FAQ: Attached Resource Computer Network

What is an Attached Resource Computer (ARC) Network?

An Attached Resource Computer (ARC) Network is a type of computer network where resources such as storage, processing power, and applications are directly attached to the network. This network configuration allows users to easily access and share resources, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.

What are the key components of an ARC Network?

The key components of an ARC Network include the connected devices or nodes, the communication medium (such as Ethernet, WiFi, or fiber optic cables), and network protocols that enable smooth communication between devices. Additionally, resources such as servers, storage, and applications are directly attached to the network, allowing users to access shared resources.

What are the advantages of using an ARC Network?

An ARC Network offers various benefits such as improved resource sharing, centralized data storage, better scalability, and easier network management. By having resources directly attached to the network, users can access and share resources more efficiently. Centralized data storage improves data backup and recovery, while the ease of scalability allows businesses to grow without significant changes to their network infrastructure.

What are the common use cases of an ARC Network?

Some common use cases of an ARC Network include businesses that require resource sharing among employees, organizations that use centralized data storage, educational institutions that provide shared access to applications and resources, and industries that rely on efficient collaboration among users.

How do I set up an Attached Resource Computer Network?

To set up an ARC Network, you’ll need to connect nodes (computers, servers, storage devices) to the communication medium using suitable network devices (such as switches or routers). Then, configure the network according to the appropriate protocols, set up resource access permissions, and ensure the security of the network using firewalls or other security measures.

Related Technology Terms

  • Network Topology
  • Packet Switching
  • Resource Sharing
  • Network Protocols
  • Node Connection

Sources for More Information


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