In information technology, a computer network, also called a data network, is a series of points, or nodes, interconnected by communication paths for the purpose of transmitting, receiving and exchanging data, voice and video traffic.
Network devices including switches and routersuse a variety of protocols and algorithms to exchange information and to transport data to its intended endpoint. Every endpoint (sometimes called a host) in a network has a unique identifier, often an IP address or a Media Access Control address, that is used to indicate the source or destination of the transmission. Endpoints can include servers, personal computers, phones and many types of network hardware.
Wired and wireless technologies
Networks may use a mix of wired and wireless technologies. Network devices communicate through a wired or wireless transmission medium. In wired networks, this may consist of optical fiber, coaxial cable or copper wires in the form of a twisted pair. Wireless network pathways include computer networks that use wireless data connections for connecting endpoints. These endpoints include broadcast radio, cellular radio, microwave and satellite.
Networks can be private or public. Private networks require the user to obtain permission to gain access. Typically, this is granted either manually by a network administrator or obtained directly by the user via a password or with other credentials. Public networks like the internet do not restrict access. (http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/network)
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