Computer Network

Definition of Computer Network

A computer network refers to a collection of interconnected devices that facilitate communication and data exchange between them. These devices, such as computers, servers, and routers, are connected using wired or wireless connections as networking mediums. The primary purpose of a computer network is to share resources, access information, and enable collaboration between users.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Computer Network” is: kəmˈpyo͞otər ˈnetˌwərk

Key Takeaways

  1. Computer networks enable the sharing of data, resources, and services among interconnected devices.
  2. There are various types of networks, such as LAN, WAN, and MAN, which differ in size, speed, and geographical coverage.
  3. Network security is crucial to protect sensitive information and maintain the reliability and performance of the network.

Importance of Computer Network

The term “computer network” is important because it signifies the way computers share resources, communicate, and collaborate efficiently.

Modern societies rely heavily on these interconnected systems, demonstrating their invaluable role in enhancing productivity, streamlining businesses, enabling global communication, and fostering technological advancements.

In addition, computer networks have been pivotal in supporting data-driven industries, harnessing cloud computing, and powering Internet services, thereby making them a critical component in both individual and global socioeconomic development.


A computer network serves the purpose of connecting multiple computing devices, be it computers, servers, or smart devices, in order to facilitate the sharing of resources, data, and information among the devices in that network. This connection enables faster communication and collaboration between users within an organization or even across different geographic locations. Computer networks have proved instrumental in numerous industries, ranging from businesses and educational institutions to military and government sectors.

Their use has greatly improved the efficiency, accuracy, and speed at which data is transferred, resulting in increased productivity and reduced operational costs. Computer networks are specifically used for a variety of applications, such as sharing files, documents, and media among connected devices, as well as sharing hardware resources like printers and scanners. They also play a crucial role in providing access to remote databases and servers, which allows users to collaborate effectively in real-time.

Another essential application of computer networks is facilitating communication through email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. This has significantly eased global communication by enabling people across the world to interact and collaborate without any geographical barriers, subsequently fostering innovation and the exchange of ideas within and between organizations. Ultimately, computer networks have revolutionized the way we work, learn, and communicate by simplifying the exchange of information and supporting efficient use of shared resources.

Examples of Computer Network

The Internet: The most prominent example of a computer network is the Internet, a global network infrastructure that connects billions of devices worldwide. It enables communication and data transfer between various devices, such as computers, smartphones, and servers, using standardized protocols like TCP/IP. The Internet allows users to access services like email, web browsing, video streaming, online gaming, and more.

Local Area Network (LAN) in Offices: In most offices and organizations, computers are connected through a Local Area Network (LAN) to facilitate communication and resource sharing between employees. LANs typically connect devices in close proximity, such as within a single building or office space, using wired or wireless technology. Devices on a LAN can share files, printers, and other network services and may also be connected to the Internet through a router or gateway.

Cellular Networks: Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, use a wireless computer network known as the cellular network. This type of network relies on a series of interconnected cell towers to provide connectivity and communication services over a geographical area. Cellular networks enable users to access the Internet, send text messages, and make voice calls while on the go. Major cellular network technologies include 3G, 4G, and the latest 5G technology, which offers faster data transfer speeds and reduced latency compared to its predecessors.

Computer Network FAQ

What is a computer network?

A computer network is a group of interconnected devices, such as computers, laptops, printers, and servers that communicate with one another to exchange resources, data, and files. The connections can be established through wired or wireless mediums.

What are the different types of computer networks?

There are several types of computer networks including Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs), Personal Area Networks (PANs), and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

What are the components of a computer network?

A computer network consists of various components, including devices, communication channels, network protocols, and network infrastructure such as switches, routers, hubs, and gateways.

What is the purpose of computer networks?

Computer networks facilitate efficient communication and resource sharing among interconnected devices. They enable file sharing, data transfer, shared access to applications and databases, and collaboration among users within a network.

What are network protocols?

Network protocols are a set of rules that govern how data is transmitted and received across a network. They define the format and sequence of messages exchanged between devices, ensuring effective and reliable communication. Examples of network protocols include TCP/IP, HTTP, FTP, and SMTP.

Related Technology Terms

  • Local Area Network (LAN)
  • Wide Area Network (WAN)
  • Network Topology
  • Internet Protocol (IP)
  • Network Security

Sources for More Information


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