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Essential Guide to Computing: The Story of Information Technology, The by E. Garrison Walters

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Conclusion

This chapter has covered the fundamental aspects of networks. We've seen that the use of packets is at the core of computer networking. Packet switching, because it allows for more flexible use of bandwidth, provides for greater efficiency than the old style circuit switching. Packets also enable error detection and correction, something that is essential for computer links. Packet systems do add complexity, however. One reason is that layers (stacks) of software, known as protocols, are needed to manage such important aspects as addressing, error detection and correction, flow control, and so forth. Protocols might be fairly straightforward were it not for the fact that there are a number of incompatible stacks in use today. Even ...

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