The history of computer networks

Before the computer was created, we used to communicate through word of mouth, pieces of writing, telegram and then the telephone. When the first computers were finally created, they were known as mainframe computers and were produced by many different companies. The trouble was, every connector and cable was unique from each manufacturer and very few components were compatible with one another.

Soon after, we tried to figure a way to let these computers talk to one another and the LAN was born. LAN(s) or Local Area Networks, are essentially a group of computers wired together with one acting as a central computer. This central computer ran a Network Operating System (NOS) which acts as a server for the others.

On the other hand, WAN(s) or Wide Area Networks, began only emerging in the 1960s and were originally designed for governments to connect their central command to military computers that were located in different parts of the country.

4 types of networks that you are using right now:

LAN – Local Area Network: A computer network that links devices within a building or group of adjacent buildings, especially one with a radius of less than 1 km.

WAN – Wide Area Network: A computer network in which the computers connected may be far apart, generally having a radius of more than 1 km.

WLAN – Wireless Local Area Network: A wireless local area network (WLAN) is a wireless computer network that links two or more devices using a wireless distribution method (often spread-spectrum or OFDM radio) within a limited area such as a home, school, computer laboratory, or office building.

WWAN – Wireless Wide Area Network: A wireless wide area network (WWAN), is a form of wireless network. The larger size of a wide area network compared to a local area network requires differences in technology. Wireless networks of all sizes deliver data in the form of telephone calls, web pages, and streaming video.

The Internet we know today is basically a network of multiple WANs and LANs connected to one another. It is no doubt that networks are very important for us today. We rely on it so much that without these networks, there is no way we can exchange data with one another, use our computers or even contact each other on our mobile devices.

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