Workgroup, Computer Network and Components of Network

A group of individuals working together on a given project, sharing information through computer networks is known as workgroup. Workgroup are used for small Local Area Networking in homes, schools, small offices. With the growing of number of computers in a group, LAN becomes more difficult for administrator. As they share work together by means of linking a number of computers, the term is also called “workgroup computing. Workgroup computing occurs when linked computers share data files and mails to one another. The availability of global computer networks and computer communications has made it possible for people to work together as a group, even when they are thousands of miles apart from each other. This concept of working in groups is called “Workgroups”. The members of the workgroup may be located in different cities or even countries. They share and discuss their ideas and experiences over the computer networks. They can exchange texts, sounds, images and videos. They even see and can talk to each other over the network. This term of sharing information among different members of workgroup by using computer network is called workgroup computing.


Computer Network

When a large number of computers interconnected together for the purpose of sharing resources through a communication medium and can communicate to each other freely and quickly is known as Computer Network. The computers are connected in a network to exchange information and data. The computers connected in a network can also use resources of other computers.

(1) Communication method

All networks need some system for interconnection. In some networks, a shared network cable connects the nodes. Low-cost networks are connected with twisted wire pairs, but many networks use coaxial cable or fiber optic able, which are both more expensive and faster. Some networks are wireless, using infrared or radio wave transmissions instead of cables. Wireless networks are easy to set up and reconfigure. In wireless networks, there are no cables to connect the devices, but they have slower transmission rates and limit the distance between nodes.

(2) Network Interface Card or Network Interface Controller (NIC)

NIC is a hard component that helps to connect each computer to other computer in the network. NIC is a circuit board that fits in one of the computer’s internal expansion slots. Network Interface Card also known as LAN Adapter, Physical Network Interface, Network Interface Controller or Network Adapter. Modern NIC have advance features. A network interface card (NIC) allows a network-capable device to access that network. The NIC has a ROM chip that contains a unique number, the media access control (MAC) Address burned into it.


(3) Bridge

A network bridge is a device which connects two parts of a network together at the data link layer (layer 2 of the OSI model). Bridges are known as Layer 2 switches. Media Access Control (MAC) is maintained by bridges. Similar networks can be connected by a bridge, which recognizes the messages on a network and passes to nodes in other network, for example, connecting IEEE with IEEE.


(4) Router

Router consists of a combination of hardware and software. A router is a device that connects two or more different networks and forwards the data packets between a computer networks. The hardware can be a network server, a separate computer, or a special black box device. These interfaces can be token Ring, Ethernet etc. The two main pieces of software in a router are the operating system and the routing protocol. Management software can be another software component of a router.


The routers exchange information about target system addresses, so that each router can build up a table showing the preferred paths between any two systems on the interconnected networks. e.g. connecting IEEE with ISO. A router is a device that interconnects two or more different computer networks, and selectively interchanges packets of data between them. Each data packet contains address information that a router can use to determine if the source and destination are on the same network, or if the data packet must be transferred from one network to another. Where multiple routers are used in a large collection of interconnected networks.

A router is a networking device whose software and hardware are customized to the tasks of routing and forwarding information. A router has two or more network interfaces, which may be to different physical types of network (such as copper cables, fiber, or wireless) or different network standards. Each network interface is a small computer specialized to convert electric signals from one form to another.

(5) Gateway

A gateway is a data communication device that provides communication to a remote network. A gateway is an autonomous system and the entry and exit point of a network. A gateway is a collection of hardware and software resources that lets a node communicate with a computer on another entirely different network. It is a computer or a network that allows or controls access to another computer or network.


In a communications network, a network node equipped for interfacing with another network that uses different protocols. A gateway may contain devices such as protocol translators, rate converters, or signal translators as necessary to provide system working.

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