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If you think about it, we are surrounded by networks. For example, when you step off the curb and onto the street, you’re suddenly connected to a huge network that goes almost everywhere.
Of course, roads are only one example. Behind the walls of our homes, there are wires and that connect and give our home electricity And a type of network we rely on more each year is the computer network. Let’s take a closer look.
We’ll start small. If you use a wireless Internet connection in your home. It’s a kind of network.
But the real power of networks comes when multiple computers connect and communicate.
Think about a small office. Everyone has a computer with information on it. Alone, a computer is powerful, but as part of a network in an office, it can share information with all the other computers. This is called a Local Area Network or LAN.
Here each computer or device is a “node” and the links between them are the “connections” and every network is different. Some computers on the network may connect to a single cable. Others connect to each other to share information.
But the most common network these days uses a single resources as the hub for all the connections.
And for these nodes and connections to work, they need rules. Consider our street example. To keep traffic moving, everyone needs to obey the speed limit and go at green lights.
In computer networks, the rules that help computers talk to each other are called “protocols” and they also allow networks to connect to other networks, even over phone or cable lines that cover huge areas.
For example, multiple business or university networks can connect and communicate just like office computers. Extend this further and the network becomes the Internet – a worldwide resource with nodes, connections and protocols that keep traffic moving.
This means when you connect to the Internet, your computer becomes a node on the network and has access to millions of other nodes around the world.
Each new web page you visit comes from a specific node on the network that’s designed to communicate with your computer - and every other computer on the network. It’s a network of networks!
So, you can see that networks are everywhere - and they all have a lot in common.
These days, whether you’re on the road or online… The question is – where is your next destination?
What it teaches
This video focuses on the basics of computer networks, and how data and information are shared. It teaches:
- The basic idea of a network, online and off
- Why computer networks matter in organizations
- How to think about “nodes” and “connections”
- How protocols let networks communicate
- Why the Internet is a “network of networks”