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Computer networks


A computer network is a system for communication among two or more computers.

Computer networks may be categorized with respect to range:

  • personal area network (PAN)

    • wireless PAN

  • local area network (LAN)

    • wireless LAN

  • metropolitan area network (MAN)

  • wide area network (WAN)

  • (Tiny area network (TAN)

Computer network applications may be categorized with respect to the functional relationships between components:

  • client-server

  • multitier architecture

  • peer-to-peer

Computer networks may be categorized with respect to network topologies:

  • star network

  • grid network

  • toroidal networks and hypercubes

  • tree and hypertree networks

Computer networks may be categorized with respect to specialised functions

  • Storage Area Networks

  • Server farms

Computer networks may be implemented using a variety of protocol stack architectures, computer buses or combinations of media and protocol layers, incorporating one or more of:


  • DECnet

  • Ethernet

  • IP

  • TCP

  • UDP

  • AppleTalk

  • Token Ring

  • IPX

  • FDDI


  • Myrinet

  • ATM

  • RS-232

  • IEEE-488

  • USB

  • IEEE 1394 aka Firewire, iLink

  • X.25

  • Frame relay

  • Bluetooth

  • IEEE 802.11

  • System Network Architecture


Andrew S. Tanenbaum, “Computer Networks” (ISBN 0133499456).

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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