One of the most important qualities of modern personal computers is their ability to communicate among them. Hardware manufacturers and Software developers have worked preparing standards which allow such communication through Networks, which in turn has allowed that the exchange of information can be done quickly and in real time.
At the same time, the existence of networks facilitates doing working groups that have access to the same information simultaneously, major progress in their shared management can be.
In essence, the types of networks can be divided into two:
They are networks in which all computers connected to this network receive, process, store and send information in the same way. Such networks are normally used to “domestic” level.
From the point of view of the required Software, the Windows platform in all versions, from Windows 98, allows to establish a domestic network with shared resources.
They are networks in which all kinds of interrelation between the equipment of users is done through a master computer called server from the network. Usually, the server sets the priority for communications between computers and tends to be used to store the information that you want to share.
In small networks, the server can be one of the active computers as a user. When many users or much information or both are managed, is usually allocate a computer of higher performance and capacity for server function. For the management of this type of network, is often used on the server, an operating system specific to the management of networks. The best known is Windows NT (for Network).
A component called Hub or switch, where computers among them are physically linked is used in both types of networks, user-user or the server with all equipment.
Communication between computers on a network can be made by one of the following means:
- UFTP Copper Wire for Networks.
It uses a physical wiring from each computer to the Hub or switch. It allows very high speeds of communication and flow of information, and is relatively inexpensive. Since the connections are physical and ‘solid’ these networks are very reliable and secure.
- Optical Fiber.
It is the most expensive means of communication, but the greater transmission capacity and with he obtained higher speeds of transmission of information. Like UFTP copper cable, it is very reliable and extremely secure. Their cost is high due to the sophisticated technology used.
Wireless communication networks operate on the basis of signals of radio frequency between the computers that make up it and a special device that fulfills the function of encoder, decoder, receiver and the signal transmitter. This device receives the name of Access Point and usually carries a wired connection from the hub or network switch. There are commercial equipment that make both functions (access point and switch), although the most common is used two separate components.
This communication system is very versatile in terms of location and mobility, but does not offer the speed or reliability and security of wired networks. Is widely used in domestic networks and local networks of open access to public places and some shops and popularly is given the name of Wi-Fi (in its origin, for Wireless Fidelity).
Complementing the information concerning networks, we want to identify various commonly used terms that the reader will find if decide to delve into the topic.
- LAN: Local Área Network.
- WAN: Wide Área Network.
- WLAN: Wireless Local Área Network.