What Computer Network Is: Types, Goals, and Applications

what computer network is

Computer Network is one of the hottest topics of the 21st century. It offers excellent career opportunities to the students. The average salary of a computer network architect in the U.S. is around  $109020 per annum. Therefore, many students want to pursue their degrees with the Computer Networks. However, most of them don’t know what Computer network is and why it is so important. So, here we are to provide you every bit of information about what computer network is, what its types and applications are.  

What Computer Networks is

In simple words, a computer network is a set of two or more connected computers. It helps devices to communicate with one another. For this purpose, a data link is used to exchange data between networked computing devices. Here, the links between the nodes are made using either wireless media or cable.  The Internet is the best example of a computer network. No one can imagine a world without email, blogs, chat, online newspapers, and other internet-based services in today’s world. Moreover, computer networks are the foundation of IT communication. They can be used in several ways and can involve a variety of network types.

Types of Computer Networks

There are several types of Computer Networks. They can be classified on the basis of their size as well as their intended use. The geographic area and number of computers that make up a network can be used to determine the size of the network. It can range from a single computer in a single room to millions of devices distributed across the globe.

There are mainly three types of computer networks

  1. Local Area Network
  2. Metropolitan Area Network
  3. Wide Area Network

Local Area Network

A local area network (LAN) is a set of computers linked together in a small area such as a hospital, school, or apartment. Since there is no external link to the local area network, the transmitted data is secure and cannot be accessed from the outside. Due to the small size, LANs are much faster, with speeds ranging from 100 to 100Mbps. Moreover, they are no longer limited to wired links as there is a new advancement in LANs that enables them to operate over a wireless link.

Metropolitan Area Network

Metropolitan Area Network(MAN) covers larger areas than LANs. Various LANs are linked to each other through telephone lines in the Metropolitan area network. A metropolitan area network (MAN) is larger than a local area network (LAN) but smaller than a wide area network (WAN). For example, Network in a city or town.

Wide Area Network

Another powerful computer network that allows for long-distance data transmission is the WAN (Wide Area Network). It covers more areas than the LAN and the MAN. A WAN can span a nation, continent, or even the entire globe. The best example of WAN is an Internet connection.

Goals of Computer Networks

There are three major goals of computer networks that are given below-

Information Sharing

Computer networks enable linked computers to access data from databases located in various locations. The user’s data can be stored on a variety of machines at different locations. It will take a long time to pick and transport the necessary data from the database to the required users without a computer network. But with the computer network, anyone can easily access databases and retrieve data from anywhere in the world.

Reducing Geographic Separation

Computer networks can reduce the geographical separation of the various cities or countries. Computers that are located miles away from each other and want to communicate need a computer network to transmit their data over long distances.

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Allow Distributed Processing

Distributed processing in various locations is possible with computer networks. These various places could be physically close together within a single computer room or thousands of miles apart across mountains and oceans. It is inefficient to move the intermediately processed data physically. As a result, a computer network is needed for distributed processing. It enables the timely transfer of semi-processed data between computers in different locations.

Applications of Computer Networks

There are many applications of computer networks that are useful for a company, an organization, or a person for various reasons. These advantages include:

File sharing

Computer networks allow users to share data files among themselves.

User communication

It enables users to connect via email, newsgroups, voice calls, and video calls, among other methods.

Application sharing

Client/server applications can be implemented since applications can be shared over the network.

Hardware sharing

Users can share printers, processors, scanners, CD-ROM drives, hard drives, and other devices. Device sharing is impossible without computer networks.

Multiplayer Gaming

There are numerous network games available that allow multiple players to play from different locations. 


This blog has provided detailed information about what computer network is and what its applications are. Moreover, information about the types of computer networks is also provided. Computer networks are an essential part of today’s world. We cannot expect our lives without the internet, phone calls, messaging, or several other technologies that are strongly based on computer networks. In recent years, there have been so many advancements in computer networks, and we will definitely see many more in the future. Hopefully, now you know what computer networks are and why they are so important. In case, you are still confused or need Computer Network Assignment Help, Computer Science Assignment Help, then you can talk to our experts anytime.