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The Benefits of Computer Networks

Computer networks enable the sharing and central management of resources, information and applications across multiple devices in a scalable and secure fashion. They are an integral part of modern life and offer benefits like improved collaboration and communication, less expenses, enhanced security and greater accessibility to information and resources.

Networks are built from two essential elements, links and nodes. Nodes are devices connected to networks such as printers, computers and file servers. They can communicate with each other using a set of rules referred to as communication protocol. Links connect these nodes with optical or wired connections. A laptop that connects to a local network via Wi-Fi is both a node (DTE) and a link (DCE). Switches and routers are like traffic cops, directing data packets in the most efficient way to get them to their destination.

A wide-area network (WAN) utilizes gateways and bridges to connect several local area networks. In contrast to a LAN it is connected to the Internet and other networks for global communication. For example, students in Florida can conference with friends in Tokyo using their computers thanks to a WAN and a bridge that connects them.

Computer networks aid in streamlining processes and create a more interactive and productive workplace. For instance employees can save documents to a server that is regularly backed up on a daily basis, rather than emailing documents back and forth, which can result in the loss of files. It is also possible to access standard versions of customer or employee manuals on the network, which will ensure consistency and accuracy.