A computer network is a digital telecommunication network used by nodes to share data and resources. The connections among different nodes are created by using cable or wireless media.
Network nodes are all the computer devices that originate, transmit and terminate the data such as personal computers, phones, servers and hardware.
Computer networks support different numbers of applications and services such as the access to the World Wide Web, digital audio and videos, as well as the use of email and instant messaging applications.
Computer networks differ from each other in the type of transmission medium used, communications protocols, their typology, and organizational intent. The best-known computer network is the Internet.
Furthermore, computer networking can be considered as a branch of different disciplines: electrical engineering, electronic engineering, computer science, telecommunication, information technology and computer engineering.
Normally, computer networks are managed by the organisation that owns them. Some networks can be accessed only by people who are in a specific organisation, others instead can be accessed by individuals who do not belong to the enterprise. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between intranets and extranets.
An intranet is a set of networks that belong to a company and its use is limited to authorised individuals. Instead, an extranet is a network that is under the control of an organisation but can be accessed by individuals who works outside the company (e.g. partners or customers).
Communication is defined as a process through which data and information are exchanged. This transmission happens between individuals, who use symbols, signs or behaviours to express this information.
With the technological development, the term information and communication technology (ICT) has been developed. ICT is defined as a set of programs which are used to process and communicate information. This discipline focuses primarily on communications technologies such as the Internet, wireless networks, smartphones and other media.
Over the years, ICTs have provided society with a wide range of communications medium, allowing people to communicate in real time across the world.
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