Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer Networks

Definition of computer network

It is a structure that has a pattern that characterizes it. The notion of informatics, for its part, refers to the knowledge of science that enables data processing in an automated manner through computers (computers).

Evolution and Origin

In 1969, the first experimental ARPANET network emerged. To quickly exchange information and in some cases share a workload.

Main Components

Server: File servers make up the heart of most networks. These are computers with lots of RAM, a huge hard drive (or several) and a fast network card. The network operating system runs on top of these servers as well as shared applications.

Workstations: These are the computers connected to the server. The workstations do not have to be as powerful as the server, they simply need a network card, the appropriate cabling and the necessary software to communicate with the server. A workstation may not have a floppy drive or a hard drive and work directly on the server.

Network card: The network card (NIC) is the one that physically connects the computer to the network. They are cards that are punctured in the computer. Since all network access is made through them, fast cards must be used if we want fluid communications.

Repeaters: It is an electronic device that receives a weak signal or retransmits it at a higher level. When a signal travels along a cable, it loses “strength” as it goes along. This loss of strength can lead to a loss of information.

Network bridge or Bridges: Bridges are used to segment large networks into smaller networks. In this way, only traffic destined for a different small network will leave the small network, while all internal traffic will remain on the same network.

Hub: A hub or hub is an element that provides a central connection for all network cables. Hubs are “boxes” with a certain number of connectors.

Firewall or firewall: A firewall or firewall is a security element that filters the network traffic that reaches it. With a firewall we can isolate a computer from all the other computers on the network except for one or several that are the ones that we are interested in being able to communicate with.

Switch: A switch is a device used to connect various elements within a network. These can be a desktop PC, a printer, the same television, your PS3 or any device that has an Ethernet card.

A Router: (contraction of the English words bridge and router) is a computer networking device that works as a network bridge and as a router.

Cabling: The most popular types of network cabling are: twisted pair, coaxial cable and fiber optic, in addition connections can be made through radio or microwave, depending on the type of network and its requirements, speed and length. Consider the type of cable to use.

Advantages and disadvantages


Possibility of sharing hardware and software.
Files such as documents, images, audio-video, etc.
Within the hardware, the use of a shared printer which reduces spending on ink, paper and requires a smaller number of printers (one per network is enough).
Reduction of expenses in telephone line: it is enough just to hire an Internet service since we can distribute it through the network in a simple way, resulting in Internet in all its nodes.
A great possibility of connecting computers: from 2 to as many as the equipment through which we connect them. Eg: number of ports available in a switch.
Depending on the connection material used, we can speak of an advantage in the distance it can reach.


At the cost of UTP cable since it must travel from the switch/server/router to where the node is, producing a significant expense given the cost/meter ratio.

Exposure of files to the rest of the nodes, whether completely or not managed by the server or node to connect.

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