Computer networks are becoming an important tool that organizations are relying on to facilitate the execution of organizational processes. Company networks serve to facilitate communication processes in the company and facilitate management processes through the use frameworks such as the company intranet. In addition, connectivity to the internet comes with added advantages through which the company can communicate with the outside world. This implies that the implementation and the configuration of a computer network depend on the needs of that particular organization (Bates 78). For example, desktop layout is primarily determined by the office arrangement and the need to host a web site warrants the use of a web server in the overall network infrastructure of the company. The significant challenge is that few people have adequate knowledge concerning the functionality of information technology systems, especially computer networks. This paper identifies at least five most important things associated with computer networks that have to be understood by individuals who make use of computer networks.
The foremost important thing concerning computer networks that should be known to everyone using it is that computer networks are simply a group of autonomous computers that have been interconnected using equipments that can facilitate the process of data transfer. This helps in appreciating the fact that computers in a network function independently and they have the capability of exchanging information. A simple approach of teaching people to get know this is through using the printer and file sharing capabilities of a simple computer network that has a number of workstations (Bansal 74).
The second aspect about computer networks that people should know is that devices in a network have their own identities that are not similar in any way. This is usually facilitated by use of Internet Protocol addresses. People should know that communication via different computers is achieved using an IP address. For instance if one cannot access the internet, there is a likely problem with the IP address configuration. This can be effectively taught by informing the users the significance having their IP addresses configured correctly in order to have connectivity with other computers, the internet and any other network devices (Bansal 79).
Another important aspect of computer networks that its users have to know is that computer networks are always insecure, and that information exchange via a computer network has to be transferred carefully in order to avoid security vulnerabilities. In addition, it is also important to understand that hackers and malicious computer users deploy the computer network to transmit their virus and run malicious code (Bansal 78). As a result, users should always be aware of any potential malicious activity in the computer network. This can be effectively by informing the various methods that hackers can deploy to gain unauthorized access. In addition, users can be taught of the significance of deploying computer security strategies when using the computer network and its associated services such as web applications (Bates 45).
The fourth aspect of computer networks that users should know is that the local area network is usually part of a larger network in cases where there is internet connectivity. It is important to note that the internet gateway serves to link the local area network to a larger network of interconnected computers (Bates 78). As a result of this, it is vital to take into consideration the fact that an increase in the size of the network increases the security vulnerability of the network. Therefore, users should use the internet with utmost care when using the computer network. For example, users should be informed of the phishing scams on the internet, malware and spyware that may be available by having internet connectivity. In addition users should also be cautioned against downloading and installing applications whose certificates are not valid.
The fifth aspect of computer networks that users must know is that computer networks solely function because of connectivity via a medium, which may either be a wired or a wireless connection. This is important in troubleshooting problems that users may experience when they are using the internet. In addition, having knowledge of the connectivity by the users helps them to configure their computer systems with minimal assistance from the IT support personnel.
The users must also have knowledge of the physical layout of the network. The physical layout normally involves knowing the positional arrangement of the network devices such as switches, routers, workstations, they type of connection used and the network topology that has been deployed. The physical and the logical layout structure of the network have to match the design and the business needs in that particular context (Bansal 145). The main objective behind the design of the computer network is to enhance the sharing of resources and provide access to the internet. Having a clearly stated objective plays a significant role in determining the strategy to that is during network design. Evaluation of the business requirements, goals and objectives forms the preliminary stage in network planning, design and implementation. The design requirements are also important during planning and design (Bagad 100).
Bagad, Dhotre. Computer Networks. New York: Technical Publications, 2009.
Bansal, Kennedy. A Text Book Of Information Technology. New York: APH Publishing, 2004.
Bates, Donald. Voice & data communications handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2007.