Computer Networks - Types & Functions

A computer network is a group of computers that use a set of common communication protocols over digital interconnections for the purpose of sharing resources located on or provided by the network nodes.

With respect to the Computer Knowledge section in the major Government exams conducted, the Computer Networking forms an extremely important topic and questions are frequently asked from this concept. 

In this article, we bring to you the detailed information about the different types of Computer networks, their definition and functions along with the different types of node devices.

Looking for more topics to prepare the Computer Awareness section for the upcoming competitive exams??

Refer to the links below:

Candidates can also take the reference as to what this concept is all about through the video given below. This will enable candidates to get a more interactive interface to understand the topic and get a better analysis of the concept.

What is a Computer Network?

Before moving forward with the article and learning more about the types of computer networks, it is important for candidates to understand what is a network and how it affects the functioning of one or more computers connected with each other. 

Definition – A group of computers which are connected to each other and follow similar usage protocols for the purpose of sharing information and having communications provided by the networking nodes is called a Computer Network. 

A network may be small where it may include just one system or maybe as large as what one may want. The nodes may further be classified into various types. These include:

  • Personal Computers
  • Servers
  • Networking Hardware
  • General Hosts

Networking can be classified into three types:

  1. Types of Computer Networks
  2. Topology
  3. Interpreters

We shall discuss about all three in detail further below in this article. 

Types of Computer Networks

There are five main types of Computer  Networks:

  1. LAN (Local Area Network) – 
    • Systems connected in a small network like in a building or a small office
    • It is inexpensive
    • It uses Ethernet or Token-ring technology
    • Two or more personal computers can be connected through wires or cables acting as nodes
    • Transfer of data is fast and is highly score
  2. PAN (Personal Area Network) – 
    • The smallest computer network
    • Devices may be connected through Bluetooth or other infra-red enables devices
    • It has a connectivity range of upto 10 metres
    • It covers an area of upto 30 feet
    • Personal devices belonging to a single person can be connected to each other using PAN
  3. MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) – 
    • A network that can be connected within a city, for example, cable TV Connection
    • It can be in the form of Ethernet, ATM, Token-ring and FDDI
    • It has a higher range
    • This type of network can be used to connect citizens with the various Organisations
  4. WAN (Wide Area Network) – 
    • A network which covers over a country or a larger range of people
    • Telephonic lines are also connected through WAN
    • Internet is the biggest WAN in the world
    • Mostly used by Government Organisations to manage data and information
  5. VPN (Virtual Private Network): – 
    • A network which is constructed by using public wires to connect to a private network
    • There are a number of systems which enable you to create networks using the Internet as a medium for transporting data
    • These systems use encryptions and other security mechanisms to ensure only authorised users can access

For a few candidates understanding the different computer networking terms may be a bit tough and the same applies to other computer-related terminology, applications and software. So, to upgrade your Computer Awareness, refer to the difference between articles given below:

Bank Exams 2020

Network Topologies

Given below are the eight types of Network Topologies:

  1. Point to Point Topology – Point to Point topology is the simplest topology that connects two nodes directly together with a common link.
  2. Bus Topology – A bus topology is such that there is a single line to which all nodes are connected and the nodes connect only to the bus
  3. Mesh Topology – This type of topology contains at least two nodes with two or more paths between them
  4. Ring Topology – In this topology every node has exactly two branches connected to it. The ring is broken and cannot work if one of the nodes on the ring fails
  5. Star Topology – In this network topology, the peripheral nodes are connected to a central node, which rebroadcasts all the transmissions received from any peripheral node to all peripheral nodes on the network, including the originating node
  6. Tree Topology – In this type of topology nodes are connected in the form of a tree. The function of the central node in this topology may be distributed
  7. Line Topology – in this topology all the nodes are connected in a straight line
  8. Hybrid Topology – When two more types of topologies combine together, they form a Hybrid topology

Network Devices

Discussed below are a few important network devices from the exam point of view:

  • Network Repeater – Used to generate incoming electrical, wireless or optical signals
  • Network Hub – It is a small network device. It joins multiple computers together to form a single network segment. On this segment, all computers can interact with each other
  • Network Switch – It is a small hardware device which joins multiple computers together with a single LAN
  • Network Router – This device interfaces in multiple networks whose task is to copy packages from one network to another. It provides connectivity inside enterprises, between Enterprises and the Internet and within an ISP
  • Network Bridge – It reads the outermost section of the data packet to tell where the message is going. It reduces the traffic on other network segments. 
  • Modem – This device converts digital signals into analog signals. It is always placed between a telephone and a computer system

All the information given above will help candidates prepare themselves for the Computer Knowledge section in the upcoming Government exams and ace it. 

Sample Questions – Computer Networks

It is also important to go through the topic of Computer Networks from the examination point of view. Computer Knowledge is included in the syllabus for all major competitive exams and can be one of the most scoring subjects as the questions asked are very basic and not much complex.

Thus, to assist candidates and help them understand the type of questions which may be asked from this concept, discussed below are a few question and answers based on Computer Network. Candidates can refer to these and start their preparation.

Q 1. Which of the following is not a type of network topology?

  1. Ring
  2. Star
  3. Circle
  4. Bus
  5. All of the above are a type of network topology

Answer: (2) Circle

Q 2. The network device converts digital signals into analog signals and can be connected through a telephone is called _____

  1. Modem
  2. Hotspot
  3. Router
  4. Bridge
  5. Switch

Answer: (1) Modem

Q 3. Which of the following terms is related to sending data to a satellite?

  1. Uplink
  2. Modem
  3. Switch
  4. Modular
  5. Downlink

Answer: (1) Uplink

Q 4. ______ topology is the simplest topology that connects two nodes directly together with a common link.

  1. Point to Point
  2. Line
  3. Ring
  4. Star
  5. None of the above

Answer: (1) Point to Point

Q 5. Which is the shortest network covering network?

  1. LAN
  2. MAN
  3. WAN
  4. PAN
  5. VPN

Answer: (1) Local Area Network (LAN)

Q 6. When two or more topologies connect together, they are called ______

  1. Tree Topology
  2. Cluster Topology
  3. Hybrid Topology
  4. Mesh Topology
  5. Line Topology

Answer: (3) Hybrid Topology

Q 7. ATM is a form of _____

  1. Local Area Network
  2. Wide Area Network
  3. Metropolitan Area Network
  4. Personal Area Network
  5. Virtual Private Network

Answer: (3) Metropolitan Area Network

Q 8. _______ is a small hardware device which joins multiple computers together with a single LAN.

  1. Modem
  2. Switch
  3. Modular
  4. Router
  5. Bridge

Answer: (2) Switch

Q 9. A collection of various computers into a single coherent system, provided to a client, is called _______.

  1. Distributed System
  2. Computer Network
  3. Systematic Network
  4. Collective Network
  5. None of the above

Answer: (1) Distributed System

Q 10. A network which is constructed by using public wires to connect to a private network is called ______

  1. Local Area Network
  2. Wide Area Network
  3. Metropolitan Area Network
  4. Personal Area Network
  5. Virtual Private Network

Answer: (5) Virtual Private Network

All the questions given above are of a similar pattern followed in the competitive exams. Computer Network forms an important part from which questions may be asked in the final exam. Thus, preparing it well is extremely important.

Aspirants can also check the detailed Strategy for Competitive Exam Preparation at the linked article and start their preparation accordingly. 

Also, for any further update, candidates can visit BYJU’S and get the latest information, study material and tips to prepare. 

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