Saturday, November 18, 2006

What is a Wide Area Network?


A set of computers and peripherals connected together by a medium is called a network. All these devices on the netwok communicate with each other through a protocol. All these devices on a netwok can be in the same room or scattered through a building or scattered in different buildings or different cities. All these devices can be separated by many miles by the use of dedicated telephone lines or microwave etc.

Peripherals are nothing but Printers,Scanners,Modems,Plotters etc.
Protocol is a predefined set of rules.

Wide area network:

If these devices on a network are scattered in different buildings,or different cities and these devices setup into several LAN's that are joined together into a larger structure called a Wide area network(WAN).

A Wan is composed of two or more Lan's. All these Lan's joined by a telephone line or dedicated cable. One or more machines act as the link between each Lan and Wan. These linking machines are called gateways. Depending on tasks perfomed by these linking machines,they are also called as Router and Bridge.

We all know Internet is not a single network. Internet is a collection of networks that communicate with each other through gateways.Gateways act as a relay between networks. It passes data from network to network searching for a destination address. Networks talk to each other through gateways. Gateways perform protocol translation from one network to another.

Bridge connects two or more networks that use the same protocol.

Router forwards datagrams around the network.

Note: Articles on Windows NT,Windows 2000 Server,Windows 2003 Server will come soon on my blog under the same NETWORKING section.

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