Networks allow computer users to connect computers together and share resources such as files and printers. Networking also allows better management of data, security, and resources in large companies where hundreds of employees work on computers. In this section, we will cover some basic fundamentals of computer networks, installation of networks, and common troubleshooting methods.

Networking Fundamentals

A computer network refers to two or more computers linked together to share files, printers, and other resources. The network may be as small as just two or more computers linked together at home or in an office, or as big as a corporate network at multiple locations spanned across the globe.


Chapter 8 covers a detailed study of computer networks.

Types of networks

The following are main categories of computer networks:

Local area network (LAN)

A LAN is a network of computers joined together in a local area such as a small office, home, or building. The area covered by a LAN is usually restricted to a single location. The function of a LAN is to provide high-speed connectivity to all computers and network devices.

Wide area network (WAN)

A WAN is a network that connects two or more local area networks. A WAN typically connects separate LANs at different geographic locations. A third-party such as an Internet service provider or a local telephone company is responsible for providing the required dedicated hardware and/or connectivity lines to implement a WAN. These hardware ...

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