Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope
Computer network

A network is a collection of computers, servers, mainframes, network devices, peripherals, or other devices connected to one another to allow the sharing of data. An excellent example of a network is the Internet, which connects millions of people all over the world. To the right is an example image of a home network with multiple computers and other network devices all connected.

Examples of network devices

Network topologies and types of networks

The term network topology describes the relationship of connected devices in terms of a geometric graph. Devices are represented as vertices, and their connections are represented as edges on the graph. It describes how many connections each device has, in what order, and it what sort of hierarchy.

Typical network configurations include the bus topology, mesh topology, ring topology, star topology, tree topology and hybrid topology.

Examples of common network topologies

Most home networks are configured in a tree topology that is connected to the Internet. Corporate networks often use tree topologies, but they also often incorporate star topologies, and an Intranet.

What was the first computer network?

One of the first computer networks to use packet switching, ARPANET was developed in the mid-1960s and is considered to be the direct predecessor of the modern Internet. The first ARPANET message was sent on October 29, 1969.

Internet, Network terms