When standalone computers are connected together, using some media, it forms a Computer Network. When computers at small distances, preferably in a building, are connected together, it is called a local Area Network (LAN). If the distances are ore, then it may be a wide Area Network (WAN). The computers are connected through variety of cables e.g UTP, Coaxial Cables, Fibrotic Cable and Network Interface Card (NIC) also called Ethernet card. Appropriate Software is also needed for operating the network.

LAN may be considered analogous to a town. A computers connection to a LAN is like connecting a house to a local street. Thus, all the houses connected through small streets form a town. As a town can be connected to another town through roads, similarly one LAN can be connected another, As each town has a name for identification, each LAN network has a specific address. All the towns can be connected to a highway which connects regions, state and so on. This is reason that the networks are called as Highway of Information.

Advantages of Networking:

1. E-mail:

Data, information message can be sent from one machine in the network to another. One access the information from any of the computers in the network.

2. Share Resources:

Same resources can be shared by all the computers in the network. This results in cost reduction. Suppose one has five PC’s. Each PC user wants a laser printer. One can not afford to have five laser printers. If a LAN is formed, all the five can use a single laser printer. Similarly hard disk space, modem, FAX, etc. can also be shared by all the PC’s in the network.

3. Better Management of Information:

Information can be managed in a better way with less memory requirements, at a lesser expenditure and quick in time. Expenditure is also reduced due to paperless office. A flatter organization with fewer personnel can manage the intime manufacturing process, reduced inventory, quick responses to market demands etc.

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