What is a computer network?

A computer network is a group of interconnected computers. A network is a collection of computers and devices connected to each other. The network allows computers to communicate with each other and share resources and information.

The advantages of networking:

  • Computers can communicate and share data and files.
  • Storage facilities, Hardware peripherals such as printers can be shared.
  • Data from all the computers can easily be backed up centrally.

The disadvantages of networking:

  • One of the major reasons behind the spread of computer viruses.
  • As data is shared there is a greater need for security. Users of the network have to have user ids and passwords.
  • If the server fails, all the workstations are affected. Work stored on shared hard disk drives will not be accessible and it will not be possible to use network printers either.
  • Installing a network is expensive as it involves purchasing of networking hardware such as Hubs, cables, network cards, bridges, routers etc.
  • Large networks require specialist to maintain them, which again involves time and money.