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 to each other and the Internet.
Examples of network devices
- Desktop computers, laptops, mainframes, and servers.
- Consoles and thin clients.
- Network Interface cards
- Switches, hubs, modems, and routers.
- Smartphones and tablets.
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.
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.