Computer Hardware & Networking: research reports
There are a number of types of networks. Local Area Networks (LAN) are small networks usually in a single building or home. Wide area networks (WAN) would be considered larger networks spread across a large geographic area. Computer networks often differ in their design. The two types of network design are called peer-to-peer and client-server. On a peer-to-peer network, all computers support the same functions. This type of network is more common in the home. Client-server networks have centralized server computers that store information. This information can be email, Web pages, files and or applications. Client-server networks are much more common in business and peer-to-peer networks much more common in homes. Networks may be classified according to a wide variety of characteristics such as topology, connection method and scale.
The devices that make up a computer network can be separated by a few meters (e.g. via Bluetooth) or nearly unlimited distances (e.g. via the interconnections of the Internet). Networks with Ethernet cables predominated in businesses, schools, and homes for several decades. Recently, however, wireless networking alternatives have emerged as the premier technology for building new computer networks. Many of the same network protocols, like TCP/IP, work in both wired and wireless networks.