Computer Networking and Telecommunications

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The rapid expansion in the usage of information technology, as well as technological innovation, have continued to simplify data communication. When a result, as technology advances, data communication improves correspondingly. Computer networks and telephony improve data communication efficiency. A network, then, is a collection of computers that are linked together in order to share data. A network can also be defined as the connection of a computer to other devices for the purpose of data communication. Networking is crucial in all business activities since it allows for vast amounts of data to be distributed and acquired across the corporate unit (Information Resources Management Association p.352). Networks are everywhere as you can hardly perform duties efficiently without involving a network. The future of digital age is that networking will be more relied on as even the moderate developing countries are investing heavily in computer networks and telecommunication. The increased use and reliance on networks will leave those who do not appreciate this advancement disadvantaged (Meyers p.1). Therefore, networks and telecommunication are vital to human activities and thus a critical concept to consider. This paper, therefore, will focus on the computer networks and telecommunication concepts as well as the advancement in response to improving technology.

Computer Networks

A computer network is realized when a series of computers is connected to each other for communication purposes. This connection allows the sharing of information within the connected perimeters or the connected units. A suitable computer network, therefore, must facilitate communications, permit file and data sharing as well as have the ability to share network and computing resources. Computer networks also are classified according to the function of the geographical area they cover. They therefore include the LAN, the MAN, and the WAN. The LAN refers to the local area network that the connection reaches up to ten kilometers apart. Local area networks technology includes the Ethernet, token ring, and the fiber distribution data interconnect. The Ethernet LANs are based on broadcast communication and a bus topology. The token ring is based on the ring topology while the fiber distribution data interconnect uses fibber optical together with an improvement of the ring token. The MAN refers to the metropolitan area network that interconnects devices up to a few 100 kilometers apart. The wide area network interconnects hosts located anywhere on the earth (Boniventure p.6).


Topology is the way in which units are connected physically and more specifically the way in which nodes are geometrically arranged and connected to each other (Bagad and Dhotre p.5).there are four commonly used topologies and they include mesh topology, star topology, bus topology and ring topology. Each node in mesh topology has a dedicated point-to-point link to all the nodes within the network. The link segments traffic between 2 nodes only. Point-to-point link denotes a dedicated link between two computer devices or nodes. The limitation of mesh topology is that a large amount of input/output ports and cabling is required. Also, it is difficult to reconfigure and in installation.

In the star topology devices are connected to a central hub by point-to-point links. In star topology devices does not have a direct link to each other and therefore does not allow straight traffic between two devices (Bagad and Dhotre p.6). Therefore only the hub or the controller can permit the sharing of information from one device to another. If one device in the network wants to send data to others, it must send the data to the controller which then relays the information to other connected devices. The advantage of this topology is that the cost of I/O ports is reduced as devices need to be connected only to the hub. For this factor, it makes star not difficult to configure and install. However, this topology is prone to the stoppage when the hub is faulty. This is because the communication relies entirely on a single hub.

Bus topologies use multipoint link or cabling whereby devices are connected by connectors or drop cables. Nodes in this topology are connected to the bus cable by the drop lines as well as the taps. The drop lines are connections between the computer device and the main cable. All devices are connected to one cable that acts as the backbone for the entire connection. Some of the energy is changed to heat as signals travel along this backbone. For this reason, therefore, the efficiency is decreased as the signal travels farther and farther. To increase efficiency the number of connected devices or the distance ought to be controlled or be limited numbers.

In the ring topology, each computer device is connected to adjacent devices in dedicated point-to-point connection forming a ring-like structure. In this topology, the signal moves in one direction following the ring until it reaches the intended device in that network. Devices in the ring uses repeaters to regenerates the bits and passing the along until they reach their destination. The merit of ring topology is that it is easier to reconfigure and install the ring system.

The sharing of information is referred to as data communication and occurs locally when the communicating devices are closely connected or remote when the communicating devices are much separated by distance (FitzGerald and Dennis p.11). Data communication is found to contain five basic components that allow for its efficiency. These components are the message, sender, receiver, transmission medium and the protocol. The message is the data or information to be transmitted and occur in several forms such as text, numbers and codes pictures, audio and video. Sender denotes the device that directs the message, and it can be a computer, workstation, and telephone. The transmission medium is the path by which data or information voyages from the sender to the receiver or the receiver to the sender. Transmission media includes fiber optics, radio waves, coaxial cable and twisted-pair wire.

In data communication, information flow in designated direction and therefore communication between receiver and sender can either be simplex half-duplex or full-duplex. In the simplex mode of data communication, information flow only in one direction. One device, therefore, is designated to receive data and the other to send the data. An ideal example of such communication is the flow of data from the CPU to monitor or from the keyboard to monitor. Half-duplex is designed in such a way that each unit can transmit or receive data. An example of this communication is the flow of data between two workstations. The distinguishing factor between half-duplex and full-duplex is that the later can send and receive data simultaneously. The telephone network is an example of the full-duplex mode of communication (Bagad and Dhotre p.3).

Protocol refers to rules that manage data communication. Protocol dictates the portability of two or more devices connected (Mitchell). Protocol, therefore, is vital as two devices might be connected but fail to communicate. The roles protocols are to address and formulate the routing of the massage. Also, protocols help in error detection and recovery as well as sequence and flow control. The protocol contains syntax which delineates the kinds and formats of the information exchanged and the semantic that stipulates the action taken by each unit when specific occurrence occurs. HTTP is an example of a protocol for communication between servers and the web browsers. Like the operating system interconnection protocols are designed based on a layered architecture.

Data communication standards are another critical aspect of computer networking. This is because standards give guidelines to vendors and service provider. The importance of these guidelines is to certify the interconnectivity and compatibility of computer devices. Standards are in two forms: the de facto which means by convention and presents those standards used widely but not approved by any organization. De jure is another category of data communication standards which means by law or by regulations. Unlike the former category these standards are recognized by the organization (Bagad and Dhotre p.12).

The complexity and confidential of data in given network drive the need to formulate the control of the system together with the access. The operating system (OS) used on the network, therefore, is designed to control how user and programs get access to the resources on a network each is designed or configured to use either of the two models in connecting to network resources. These models are the peer-to-peer model and the client-to-server model.

In the peer-to-peer network model, the operating system of each device on the network is liable for monitoring access to its resources without centralized control. Therefore the computers called hosts in the network form a group of computers or devices and users that share resources. In this case, therefore, resources, security, and administration on a computer are governed by that computer (West, Dean and Andrews p.7). This model is ideal when a network involved contains less than fifteen computers. Peer-to-peer are simple to configure and therefore ideal for those organization experiencing scarcity in expertise and time. Also, they are less expensive to maintain and set up. On the other hand, client-server network model uses the network operating system through centralized index database in resource management. Database with similar network operating system installed can be managed by one or more servers.

Open System Interconnection (OSI) Model

The OSI reference model is the most widely used prototypical in networking tasks and was developed by the international organization for standardization. This model helps in designing and understanding the network architecture. The OSI model is a seven layered standard that includes; application layer, presentation layer, session layer, transport layer, network layer, data link layer and physical layer (Bagad and Dhotre p.12).

The physical layer is designated to coordinate the functions required to transmit a bit flow over a communication stream. Physical layer deals with the mechanical specifications and electrical interface and broadcast media. Also, this layer deals with the functions and procedures required for transmission. The physical layer defines data rate together with the representation of bits as well as the synchronization of bits. Data link transmits frames from one node or unit to the next. Also, it is responsible for transforming the physical layer to a reliable link which makes it an error free link. The major role of this layer is to frame data, physical addressing, flow control and error control (Bagad and Dhotre p.13).

Network layer delivers data from the source to destination. It is, therefore, responsible for local addressing and routing of packets from one point to their destination. Like the network layer, the transport layer is responsible for delivery of the message from one course to another. Also, the transport layer is majorly concerned with segmentation and reassembly. Error control and flow control. The session layer is a point of dialogue and therefore establishes the interaction between the communication system as well as synchronizing the interaction.

The presentation layer is involved with the syntax and semantics of the data being exchanged. Therefore the major functions of this layer are to translate, encrypt, and compression of data. On the other hand, the application layer allows for the accessing of the network by the user. This layer is majorly involved in the virtual network terminal, file transfer, mail services and directory services (Bagad and Dhotre p.18).


Computer networking has evolved over time and continued to evolve due to improvement in the technology sector. For this reason, therefore, computer networks and application will always be subject to scholarly research. The broadness of this aspect is key to increased and continued interest in making it an area of study.

Works Cited

Bagad, V and I Dhotre. Data Communication. India: Technical Publications Pune, 2008.

Boniventure, Olivier. "Computer Networking : Principles, Protocols and Practice." 30 October 2011. Saylor. 17 March 2017.

FitzGerald, Jerry and Alan Dennis. Business data communications and networking. Hoboken: John Wily, 2009.

Information Resources Management Association. Networking and telecommunications : concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. Hershey: nformation Science Reference, 2010.

Meyers, Mike. "Introducing Basic Network Concepts." n.d. edu. 17 March 2017.

Mitchell, Bradley. "protocol (network) ." 24 February 2017. lifewire. 18 March 2017.

West, Jill, Tamara Dean and Jean Andrews. Network+ Guide to Networks. United States: Cengage Learning, 2016.

May 10, 2023
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