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What is a Network? – Definition, Types, Topology and More

Network Definition

The generic term network refers to a set of entities (objects, people, etc.) connected to each other. Therefore, a network allows material or immaterial elements to circulate between these entities, according to well-defined rules:

Network: a set of computers and peripheral devices connected to each other. It should be noted that the smallest possible network is made up of two connected computers.

Networking: implementation of tools and tasks to connect computers so that they can share resources on the network.

Depending on the type of entity involved, the term used has different meanings:

  • Transport Networks: A set of infrastructures and vehicles used to transport people and goods between different geographic areas.
  • Telephone Networks: Infrastructure used to transport voice signals from one telephone station to another.
  • Neural Networks: A set of neurons connected to each other.
  • Criminal Networks: a set of plotted scammers (where there is one scammer, there is usually another).
  • Computer Networks: A set of equipment connected to each other by physical lines that exchange information in the form of digital data (binary values, that is, values encoded as a signal that can represent 0 or 1).

Network Types

Networks are classified according to their dimensions in:

LAN [Local Area Network]

They are the smallest networks, like the ones we can install in our department.

MAN [Metropolitan Area Network]

These are medium-sized networks, optimal for a college campus or multi-story library or business building, even for a portion of a city.

WAN [Wide Area Network]

This is where the largest and most extensive networks come in, such as global networks or the Internet.

Networks can also be classified according to the physical method they use for the connection, as follows:

Guided Media

Networks that link machines using physical cable systems: twisted pair, coaxial, or fiber optics. It has the advantage of being faster, not having as much noise, but being less comfortable and practical.

Unguided Media Networks

Networks that establish the connection through dispersed and area-range systems: radio waves, infrared or microwave signals, such as satellite systems and Wi-Fi. They are a little slower but much more comfortable and practical.

Network Topology

There are three topology or ordering models of a network:

Bus networks: Also linear calls, they have a server at the head of a successive line of clients, and they have a single communication channel called bus or backbone.

Star networks: Each computer has a direct connection to the server, which is in the middle of all. Any communication between clients must first go through the server.

In-ring: Also circular calls, connect the clients and the server in a circular circuit, although the server maintains its hierarchy over the system.


It requires the following elements to install a computer network:

  • Hardware: Devices and machines that allow the establishment of communication, such as network cards, modems, and routers, or repeater antennas if they are wireless.
  • Software: Programs required to manage communications hardware, such as the Network Operating System (NOS: Network Operating System), and communication protocols such as TCP / IP.
  • Servers and clients: The servers process the data flow of the network, attending to the requests of the other computers on the network called clients or workstations. These allow users to access information individually, sharing the resources managed by the server.
  • Transmission media: This refers to the wiring or electromagnetic waves that, as the case may be, serve as a means of communicating the message.

Also Read: Sites Like PrimeWire, PrimeWire Proxy, and Mirror Sites – Is PrimeWire Back?

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