A computer network, or simply a network, is a collection of computers and other hardware interconnected by communication channels that allow sharing of resources and information. Where at least one process in one device is able to send/receive data to/from at least one process residing in a remote device, then the two devices are said to be in a network. A network is a group of devices connected to each other. Networks may be classified into a wide variety of characteristics, such as the medium used to transport the data, communications protocol used, scale, topology, benefit, and organizational scope.
Communications protocols define the rules and data formats for exchanging information in a computer network, and provide the basis for network programming. Well-known communications protocols include two Ethernet, a hardware and link layer standard that is ubiquitous in local area networks, and the Internet protocol suite, which defines a set of protocols for internetworking, i.e. for data communication between multiple networks, as well as host-to-host data transfer, and application-specific data transmission formats.
Computer networking is sometimes considered a sub-discipline of electrical engineering, telecommunications, computer science, information technology or computer engineering, since it relies upon the theoretical and practical application of these disciplines.
Read more about Information Networks: History, Properties, Communication Media, Communications Protocols and Network Programming, Scale, Organizational Scope, Basic Hardware Components, Network Performance, Network Security, Network Resilience, Views of Networks
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