Networked computers are all around you, and if you're reading this online, you're using one right now. That's because one example of a networked computer is one that's connected to the Internet. Networks aren't always as big as the worldwide web, though. Networks can be set up within a home, within an office, or to connect a single company's workers in offices all around the world. A networked computer is one that's connected to others so the devices can communicate and share files, and it's a powerful tool in today's business world.
What Makes Up a Computer Network?
While there are many intricate details, there are three basic parts of a computer network. The three parts are the hardware, the software, and the protocols that make everything work together properly. The hardware is made up of physical components, like the series of computers, routers, and mode of connecting to the Internet. The software is the programming within the computers, and the protocols are the set of rules that define how the computers that are networked are permitted to communicate.
Types of Computer Networks
There are two main types of networks that are commonly discussed, LAN and WAN. Other types of networks you may come across are variations of these two main network types. An LAN is a local area network with a single owner, and this is the network configuration typically established within a home, office, or building where everyone uses one main hub. WAN means wide area network with collective management or ownership, and a WAN connects LANs that are spread out over a wide distance.
Computer Networking Info
There are a number of ways to learn about computer networking, and your current level of knowledge can offer some guidance. If you're completely new to the field, you may want to begin with learning the basics in a course like Intro to Computer Science, in which you learn about Python and the TCP/IP protocol used in networking. If you already have some experience in the field, you may find the intermediate level Computer Networking course of interest. When you're ready to jump into it all the way and make computer networking a career, Udacity has a Nanodegree program called Full-Stack Web Developer that'll help you get there.
As a career, computer networking offers higher than average pay of around $81,100 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While most network administrators have a bachelor's degree, it is possible to learn the skills necessary to excel in the field with Udacity's Full-Stack Web Developer Nanodegree program. Or, if you just need a course or two to brush up on the latest networking techniques, consider choosing a computer networking course from the Udacity Catalog.