Table of Contents Show
- What is a Computer Network?
- Advantages of a Computer Network
- Disadvantages of a Computer Network
What is a Computer Network?
A computer network is a system of sharing information wirelessly using a single common network. In the world of today where everything is getting digitalised, computer networks play a very important role.
Every small and large businesses are dependent on computer networks nowadays because of its convenience. Sharing information has become so much easier now.
A computer network is a system that consists of nodes like computers, networking hardware, servers, and other connectivities.
Few examples of computer networking are information services, e-messaging, e-data exchange, and etc.
Businesses are using computer networking as a marketing source which is proving to be very successful especially post covid.
Business networking has been very popular on social media nowadays.
Some of the most common computer networks are:
- Wide Area Network (WAN): This network can cover 100,000km of area and even more.
- Local Area Network (LAN): This network is used by small places like schools, offices, gated apartments; as it covers from 1km to 5km of area.
- Personal Area Network (PAN): This network lets people communicate with each other in a radius of 10 meters.
- Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN): This is a network that has a range of 150 meters and can transfer data of up to 54Mbps.
- Metropolitan Area Network (MAN): This network covers about 50-60km of an area. Fibre optic cables and twisted pair cables are used in the installation of this network.
Advantages of a Computer Network
1. Storage Capacity
A computer network has a series of computers connected to it which is why the storage capacity is not a problem here. All the computers are connected to a common business network which makes storing of data easy.
In an organisation, the employees will find it easier to have access of the data. It saves them time, resources, and makes it convenient for them to gain access at anytime they want.
2. Sharing of Files
One of the main advantages of a computer network is that it permits sharing of files. In an organisation with a large network, one worker sitting on his desk can easily view the files shared by the manager from his office.
This system saves time and resources, also makes it flexible for the worker to access the file when needed, provided that he is authorised to do so.
It also eliminates the need of carrying storage devices here and there.
Moreover, a central database is there to create a network of people who can access the files as well as edit them.
3. Resource Sharing
With the help of a computer network, you will be able to save a lot of resources. Here’s how; when in a company you have 10 employees working on individual computers. They will need to have 10 different modems and 10 different printers.
So, if you have a computer network then you will be at a benefit. Through a computer network, you can make the 10 employees share resources and hence, no need to get 10 different modems or printers for them.
Interconnecting the 10 computers through a network will allow you to have a single modem and a single printer. You work will be done efficiently and quality will not be compromised at all.
Additionally, the sharing of hardware through networking reduces the requirement of equipment thus reducing the impact on environment.
4. Cost Effective Process
Installing computer networks is cost effective because you save a lot of costs on resources.
The example discussed above shows us that when a business buys one modem and one printer for a computer network of 10 computers, it saves cost.
Instead of buying 10 modems and 10 printers, 1 modem and 1 printer did the job well and benefited the company.
A company saves on hardware costs like this. In a computer network, files are also shared which means that a lot of memory is also not needed to store the files. This way, a company saves on storage costs as well.
Software installing expenses are also saved because due to a computer network, a single software can be installed which can be used by all the computers in the network.
5. Flexible in Use
An authorised user of the network is allowed to access the files whenever he wants to. No matter where he is sitting, with an internet connection he will be able to log in the network and access the files.
This gives flexibility to the user. In the covid phase when people were working from home, computer networks really made things easier for businesses.
In a network, one can also set limitations for the users. Allow certain people to authorise specific files and restrict others from doing so.
Some administrators also put the files on the ‘view only’ mode so that nobody can modify them. This also makes it easier for the user to receive the correct information.
The administrator is also able to keep the files safe from the users who he does not want to share with.
Disadvantages of a Computer Network
1. Security Issues
The problem with computer networks is that there are network security concerns with them. Data theft is very common among computer networks.
Moreover, hackers can easily hack the network and gain access of the authorised documents and files. Hackers are professionals skilled in using different tools for hacking into computer systems.
However, there are security softwares that can be installed in order to protect the networks from theft. Mostly only big companies are able to afford these softwares in order to safeguard their confidential and classified data.
They tend to have network traffic too which is why they have to take steps to save their information.
2. Risk of Viruses
One of the major disadvantages of a computer network is that even if a single computer in the network gets affected by a virus, all the computers in the network can get affected.
Due to the fact that the computers are inter-connected, the virus can spread a lot faster easily.
Viruses multiply a lot faster too because there are various computer networks using common resources. Likewise, all the connected users on a network can get affected if malware gets inside the central server.
3. Lack of Robustness
Connecting to the central server has drawbacks of its own. If the main central server of a computer network faces issues like a breakdown, then the whole system suffers.
The whole network becomes useless to the company and it takes a lot of time to come up with a new one or repair the one that broke down.
If you do not have a backup of your files, your business will suffer severely. Most large businesses spend a heavy amount to set up and maintain the system in order to prevent these issues.
4. Computer Networks need Efficient Administrators
In order to properly build and maintain a network, companies need technical administrators who have the relevant expertise.
Anyone who has basic computer skills can not handle a computer network. A network manager must have all the required technical skills as well as the enthusiasm to work effectively and efficiently.
A computer network administrator must be a reliable and a trustworthy person because he has a lot of responsibility. Duties like setting username and passwords for the users of the network and giving them access comes with a lot of responsibility.
If anything goes wrong, the administrator is the one who is answerable.
The administrator has to be a proper computer wiz who is able to deal with all the hassle that comes in between the process.
5. There is No Independence
There is no freedom in a computer network. As mentioned many times, all the computers in the network are joined with a single central server. This is why there is no freedom for the user.
Centralised decision making takes place, hence, the user is not able to use the computer the way he wants to. He has to follow orders and do what all the others in the network are doing.
Moreover, many businesses like the fact that all relevant employees in a department are working on the same page and nobody has to be given individual tasks to perform.
Computers are a vital part of our lives. With the existence of internet, life has become easier and busy.
Computer networks have become a common thing in the organisations of today because of their flexibility, reliability, and convenience.
This article mentions the advantages and disadvantages of computer networking which will help you design your network carefully and to prevent the problems that may arise.
A computer network is a facility that one should really be proud of and it will always be preferred in organisations despite of having drawbacks.