Computer Networking, LAN, WAN Network, History


Computer networkingor Data communications(Datacom) is the engineering discipline concerned with the communication between computer systems or devices. A computer network is any set of computers or devices connected to each other with the ability to exchange data. Computer networking is sometimes considered a sub-Discipline, of Telecommunications computer scienceinformation technology and or computer engineering since it relies heavily upon the theoretical and practical application of these scientific and engineering disciplines.

Computer networks, and the technologies needed to connect and communicate through and between them, continue to drive computer hardware, software, and peripherals industries. This expansion is mirrored by growth in the numbers and types of users of networks from the researcher to the home user.

The three types of networks are: - The Internet, The intranet, and The extranet.

Networking Method:-

Different network methods are: -

Local area network(LAN): -Which is usually a small network constrained to a small geographic area. An example of a LAN would be a computer network within a building.

Metropolitan area network(MAN): -Which is used for medium size area. examples for a city or a state.

ide area network(WAN): -That is usually a larger network that covers a large geographic area.

Wireless LANs and WANs(WLAN & WWAN) are the wireless equivalent of the LAN and WAN.

Local area network (LAN)

A local area network is a network that spans a relatively small space and provides services to a small number of people. A peer-to-peer or client-server method of networking may be used. A peer-to-peer network is where each client shares their resources with other workstations in the network. Examples of peer-to-peer networks are: Small office networks where resource use is minimal and a home network. A client-server network is where every client is connected to the server and each other. Client-server networks use servers in different capacities. These can be classified into two types:

1. Single-service servers

2. Print servers

The server performs one task such as file server, while other servers can not only perform in the capacity of file servers and print servers, but also can conduct calculations and use them to provide information to clients (Web/Intranet Server). Computers may be connected in many different ways, including Ethernet cables, Wireless networks, or other types of wires such as power lines or phone lines.

Wide area network (WAN)

A wide area network is a network where a wide variety of resources are deployed across a large domestic area or internationally. An example of this is a multinational business that uses a WAN to interconnect their offices in different countries. The largest and best example of a WAN is theInternet, which is a network composed of many smaller networks. The Internet is considered the largest network in the world.The PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) also is an extremely large network that is converging to use Internet technologies, although not necessarily through the public Internet. 

A Wide Area Network involves communication through the use of a wide range of different technologies. These technologies include Point-to-Point WANs such as Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) and High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC),Frame Relay,ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)and Sonnet(Synchronous Optical Network). The difference between the WAN technologies is based on the switching capabilities they perform and the speed at which sending and receiving bits of information (data) occur.

Wireless networks (WLAN, WWAN)

A wireless network is basically the same as a LAN or a WAN but there are no wires between hosts and servers. The data is transferred over sets of radio transceivers. These types of networks are beneficial when it is too costly or inconvenient to run the necessary cables. For more information, see Wireless LANand Wireless. The media access protocols for LANs come from the IEEE.


In September 1940 George Stibitz used a teletype machine to send instructions for a problem set from his Model at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire to his Complex Number Calculator in New York and received results back by the same means. Linking output systems like teletypes to computers was an interest at the Advanced (ARPA) when, in 1962, J.C.R. Lick lider was hired and developed a working group he called the "Intergalactic Network", a precursor to the ARPA Net.

  • In 1964, researchers at Dartmouth developed the Dartmouth Time Sharing System for distributed users of large computer systems. The same year, at MIT, a research group supported by General Electric and Bell labs used a computer DEC's to route and manage telephone connections. Throughout the 1960s Leonard Klein rock, Paul Baran and Donald Davies independently conceptualized and developed network systems which used datagram’s or packets that could be used in a network between computer systems. 1965 Thomas Merrill and Lawrence G. Roberts created the first wide area network(WAN). The first widely used PSTN switch that used true computer control was the Western Electric introduced in 1965.
  • In 1969 theUniversity of California at Los Angeles,SRI(inStanford),University of California at Santa Barbara, and theUniversity of Utahwere connected as the beginning of theARPANETnetwork using 50 Kbit/s circuits. Commercial services usingX.25were deployed in 1972, and later used as an underlying infrastructure for expanding TCP/IPnetworks.