Hey guys! Do you want to learn Networking, but unable to find the right resources? Then you have come to the right place. So let’s Learn Networking for Beginners: From Basics to Advance!

What is a Network?

In simple language, Network is nothing but two or more computers connected either by wires or cables (for ex: Ethernet) or wirelessly through radio signals so that they can exchange information.
Yes, yes I know what you are thinking! Where are our goddamn PEN-DRIVES and HARD – DISKS? We can exchange information through them also. So why to need Network?

You don’t have to be a “Computer-Geek” to understand the usage of networking.
You learned everything you need to know when you were kids: Networks are all about “Sharing”. Specifically, networks are about sharing three things: files, resources, and programs.

Here’s what a basic computer network look like.

Now there are 4 computers which belong to Ward, June, Wally, Beaver and all of the computers are connected by Switch (we’ll talk about switches later on). Ward has his own Laser printer, through network June, Wally and Beaver can also use it. So there is no need for 4 printers.

Networking Terminology

Now network has it’s own terminology, and it’s huge. So here’s some basic terminology for you:

  1. On the network: It basically means when a computer is connected to a network and when it is connected, then the computer is called a node.
  2. Internet: It is a huge net that has been spread around the globe, made of nodes inter-connected to each other.
  3. LAN: LAN stands for Local Area Network. As the name suggests, LAN is a network of computers that are present locally such as in schools, hospitals, offices, etc.
  4. Local, remote: If a resource such as a disk drive is local if it present on your computer. If it resides in another computer somewhere else on your network then, it’s remote.
  5. Packet: A packet is just like a mail that has been sent from one computer to another on a network. A packet contains content that has to be sent, sender’s address, and receiver’s address.

There’s are lot more terms in networks, that we’ll learn later on!

Servers and Clients

A typical network consist of two or more clients connected with a server.

A server is basically a computer that has resources, devices, hard drives, printers, and all the other things that have to be or need to be shared with others. Servers are usually powerful and expensive computers that have higher specifications than those of clients.

On the other hand, a computer that is not a server is a client that utilizes the resources, media, and devices provided by a server. Clients are cheap and less-powerful computers and have low specifications.

A basic example of server and client can be seen when we connect to Internet.

Whenever we connect to internet, we all act as clients that send requests to server for resources or media.

Network Topology

There are numerous ways to design or to setup a network as there are no. of ways in which they can be setup. To understand all of them we have to study network topology.

Bus Topology

Bus topology refers to a network in which all the computers are connected with a single wire.

In a bus topology, if one computer sends a packet for another computer then all other computers will also get that message.

If the cable in a bus network breaks, the entire network is effectively disabled.

Star topology

Star topology is generally used in LANs. In this topology, computers are connected with a central device such as a hub or a switch.

If a cable in star topology breaks down, then only one computer will get disconnected from the network and the network will remain fully functional.

Ring topology

The third topology is ring topology in which computers are connected with each other like a ring.

Ring topology was used back in time in LANs. The two most popular technologies that used ring topology were the Token ring and ARCNET.

Mesh topology

The fourth type of network topology is known as mesh topology. It has multiple computers connected to each other on the network.

The advantage of a mesh topology is that if one cable breaks, the network can use an alternative the route to deliver its packets.

For more articles on Networking for Noobs, stay tuned to MathCompt!