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Networking basics

What are the potential benefits of networking? Are there any drawbacks that need to be investigated before making a decision? What is meant by the topology of a network?
In information technology, networking is the construction, design, and use of a network, including the physical elements (cabling, hub, bridge, switch, router, and so forth), the selection and use of telecommunication protocol and computer software for using and managing the network, and the establishment of operation policies and procedures related to the network.

The main benefit of networking businesses computers and information is that business processes are speeded up and inefficiencies are squeezed out. This is because information flows more freely.

Communication between employees, customers and suppliers can be improved. Everything happens much faster. All kinds of documents -- from e-mails to spreadsheets and product specs -- can be exchanged rapidly between networked users.

A topology is a description of any kind of locality in terms of its physical layout, like a map. In the context of communication networks, a topology describes pictorially the configuration or arrangement of a (usually conceptual) network, including its nodes and connecting lines.

This Web site offers some pretty basic articles on networking:

This was last published in September 2002

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