What is a Network?
Simply, a network is a collection of computers,
printers, and other electronic devices, linked
by cables or wireless, allowing them to communicate
with each other. A network allows individuals
to share and exchange information (files and
programs), access common services (email and
applications), and shared hardware (printers,
servers, image scanners, and fax machines).
Benefits of a Network:
Increased Employee Productivity
When an office is connected, so are people.
Ideas are shared more quickly. More informed
decisions are made. Everyone moves faster. Being
connected saves time. Progress can happen with
fewer meetings. Data is conveniently shared
without trading floppy disks. Users have access
to better shared equipment. Collaboration happens.
The organization is more competitive.
Reduced Communication Costs
Network-based communication such as e-mail and
"instant messages" are cost-effective
alternatives to phoning and faxing, with the
potential to deliver significant savings in
long distance charges. The combination of the
public Internet with secure "virtual private
networking" VPN technology allows for office-to-office
networking without costly dedicated Wide Area
Network (WAN) connections, also realizing major
Networking allows equipment — mainly printers
and servers, to be shared with multiple users.
Shared resources are used more often and efficiently.
More users can be brought online without large
additional costs. Investments in equipment benefit
Access to Resources Anytime/Anywhere Networking
brings mobility. Key files, data, and services
can be accessed from any place on the network.
With remote access in place, one can travel
or work remotely and still be connected. Access
to files, data, and messages when away from
the office provides employee flexibility. Users
can respond to co-workers and customers quickly,