In the business world the term “networking” usually refers to the process of establishing relationships with people who can help grow or expand your business. In a social sense, the term “networking” may refer to the process of making contact with like-minded individuals who share your interests. Facebook and Twitter, for example, are two sites that make social networking possible. But in the computer world, or more specifically the world of Information Technology, the term “networking” has an entirely different meaning. In this article we will take a look at computer networking in a bit more detail, including some examples of networking with which you may already be familiar.
What Is Networking?
In computer-speak, the term “networking,” also known as data communication, is a discipline within the field of computer engineering which is primarily concerned with the communication between computer systems. Thus, a computer network refers to any computers – or related devices – which are connected to one another for the primary purpose of exchanging data.
So what are some examples of computer networking?
Computer networks are very common in businesses and other organizations, allowing multiple users to share and manipulate the same data and communicate with each other securely at any number of independent workstations. In office settings, for example, networking enables every employee to work from the same collection of data (such as a large database) without having to make changes to each computer every time the data is updated or modified.
Networking has also become increasingly popular for home users. Perhaps the best example of this is when laptops and other devices are networked to a desktop computer wirelessly through a network router. Other devices can also be networked. Printers, for example, can be included in the home network so that each computer can give the print command to a single printer.
Networking has completely revolutionized the way people conduct business, both at work and at home, and although setting up simple networks – such as the wireless home network described above – typically require no formal training, establishing complex business networks requires the skills of a person specifically trained in that field. As a result, networking professionals are in extremely high demand and are usually paid very well for the responsibilities they undertake.
James Copper writes on various computer related topics for Computeach such as programming and networking courses