What is a network?
You are having a conversation with a group of computer professionals. The conversation is about a recent event where a popular company’s website was not accessible from anyone’s internet for two days. People debate the cause and reasons for this event and what could have been done to prevent or at least reduce the chances of this event happening.
Then, in one second, confusion takes over. What was easy to understand is now confusing.
You will hear the word ‘network,’ but what does that mean? Furthermore, how is this used in the discussion above? Have no fear, for we will cover this and make it easy to understand.
The short answer is this: A network is a group of items that have a link or connection. THAT’S IT.
Let’s place a real-life example here to demonstrate this.
Think about the group of people who call you the most. If you have an Andriod operating system on your cell phone, you can open the phone app and see which contacts are listed under “Frequently Contacted.” These are the people the phone has recognized as those you contact the most overall. They are the people with who you have the most — at least on that phone — conversations.
It is these people that you have a connection, a link, with. You shared ideas and concepts on a regular basis with these people. In many cases, your thoughts have impacted them in some ways, and the same is vice versa for you.
You and these people have formed a network.
In the same way, information is shared with members in this Frequently Contacted list; devices that share data in a similar way are part of a network. If you can group devices that communicate with each other (share data) — they are a network.
There can be many examples of networks in a company’s computer setup.
Network of computers,
Network of routers,
Network of switches,
Network of mainframes,
First-floor network of computers, second-floor network of computers … the list can go on for a long time …
So, in short, a network is a group that shares data (linked/connected).