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A computer network or data network is a telecommunications network which allows computers to exchange data. In computer networks, networked computing devices exchange data with each other using a data link. The connections between nodes are established using either cable media or wireless media. The best-known computer network is the Internet.

Network computer devices that originate, route and terminate the data are called network nodes. Nodes can include hosts such as personal computers, phones, servers as well as networking hardware. Two such devices can be said to be networked together when one device is able to exchange information with the other device, whether or not they have a direct connection to each other.

Computer networks differ in the transmission medium used to carry their signals, the communications protocols to organize network traffic, the network's size, topology and organizational intent.

Computer networks support an enormous number of applications such as access to the World Wide Web, video, digital audio, shared use of application and storage servers, printers, and fax machines, and use of email and instant messaging applications as well as many others. In most cases, application-specific communications protocols are layered (i.e. carried as payload) over other more general communications protocols.[2]

Big ideas in networking[edit]

Looking for a basic introduction to networking?[edit]

Do you understand this?[edit]

  1. What is a network?
    1. What are three different types of networks?
  2. What is a packet?
    1. Explain how data is transmitted by packet switching
  3. What is a port?
    1. What are some common ports?
  4. What is a protocol?
    1. What are two different very common protocols?
  5. How do networks work?


a group or system of interconnected people or things.

a group or system of interconnected people or things.

a group or system of interconnected people or things.

a group or system of interconnected people or things.

A unit of abstract mathematical system subject to the laws of arithmetic.

Give a detailed account including reasons or causes.