A computer network, normally referred to as a network, consists of a group of computers and other computing devices like printers, modems, scanners, etc. that are interconnected to each other to facilitate the sharing of information and resources among them.
All the devices on a network are known as nodes. They are connected to each other through cables (wired network) or radio waves (wireless network).
Computer networks have made life easier and portable for people across the world. Now, people can make the best use of the available time through multi-tasking made possible due to the networks. For instance, by using an Internet connection, an individual can work from home and simultaneously take care of his sick child.
While discussing computer networks, we mainly focus on its benefits to people at large. We generally tend to ignore its loopholes. Here, we are going to discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of computer networks.
Advantages of a Computer Network
Computer networks have made communication as fast as a blink of an eye. People can talk and send messages within a few seconds, irrespective of their physical distance. Today, it has become a building block of all organizational activities. An organization comes to a halt if its network collapses. Even, in personal life, people can remain connected to their beloved ones all the time through mobiles and emails.
Earlier, computer networks were stand-alone in nature. Any data developed and stored on a computer cannot be shared on another computer. It had to be first copied on a storage device like floppy and then transferred to another computer. Due to the time and effort involved, the use of computers was restricted for business purposes. However, with the popularity of computer networks, data sharing became very easy and cheap. More and more organizations started setting up networks to facilitate their working.
Networking enables the sharing of resources at the same time among different people thereby reducing the cost of providing personal resources to everyone. For example, in an organization, a department can have a common printer and a single internet connection for all its members. Moreover, software available in the market is generally costly. It is practically not viable to buy separate software for every machine. However, through computer networks, one can store or install software on a computer or a server and that can be used by different workstations.
Increased Storage Capacity
A standalone computer cannot store the entire data of an organization or department. Through computer networking, the storage capacity of different computers can be effectively used to store the entire data.
Disadvantages of a Computer Network
One of the major challenges of using computer networks in organizations is to ensure the security of data and other resources available on the network. As a large number of people, irrespective of their physical proximity towards each other, are interconnected within a network, data is highly vulnerable to be stolen under any condition. A computer hacker, a person who gains access to your website through illegal or unauthorized means, can steal the data and misuse it for his own benefit. Therefore, securing confidential data or data of national importance is a daunting task. However, many network security software is available that provide maximum reliability in securing computer systems from hackers.
In a computer network, if any computer gets affected by a virus, there is a strong possibility of the virus spreading to other systems and corrupting the data stored on all the systems. Such a widespread corruption can lead to the loss of important databases created from many man-hours of work. Alternatively, in a standalone computer, the only chance of a virus attack spreading to another machine is when the data is copied on an external storage device from the affected machine and transferred to the other machine. Therefore, it is very important for the network administrator of an organization to install virus detection software on all the machines, keep updated about new viruses, and inform about them to the users. The administrator should also secure the network from any possible virus attack.
Extreme dependency on a server
The Main File Server is the hub of the network. It is a powerful computer on which the entire network runs. In case it breaks down, the entire network comes to a halt thereby disrupting the work.
High set-up cost
The initial cost of setting up a computer network is usually very high. It requires the purchase of costly hardware like routers, hubs, switches, etc. depending upon the number of workstations to be interconnected. Software like virus detection software, multimedia tools, etc. also needs to be purchased depending upon the requirement. In addition to this, every network requires to purchase Network Interface Cards (NICs) for each of the workstations in case they are not already installed in the workstation.
However, the disadvantages cannot be ignored but there are ways to reduce the negative impact of network connection. When you connect your system to a VPN (Virtual Private Network), you safely enable file sharing, encrypt all your sensitive information, unblock all streaming services, and go at ease with a high level of security on public networks.
Some of the most common VPNs used in the present day are TurboVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost VPN, and Nord VPN. All these VPNs are android based applications but can be easily downloaded and installed on your PC. For more info on how to download TurboVPN or any other VPN on your PC, go through the steps below
- Download any android emulator like Bluestacks or Nox
- Then launch the .exe file
- Follow the instruction displayed on the screen to complete installation
- Sign in using your Google account
- In the dialogue box search for the VPN, you aspire to download on your PC
- Click the install button and wait for the installation to complete
- Now you can use the VPN on your PC with increased security
To conclude, all disadvantages can also be transferred to the minimum risks associated. However, to a certain extent, no network connection can be 100% safe. All you have to do is stay alert and stay attuned with all security measures.
Originally posted 2020-04-27 18:54:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter