Computer NetworksA computer network, often simply referred to as a network, is a groupof computers and devices interconnected by communications channels that facilitatecommunications among users and allows users to share resources. Networks may beclassified according to a wide variety of characteristics.CommunicationsCommunication is a process whereby information is enclosed in a package and ischanneled and imparted by a sender to a receiver via some medium. The receiver thendecodes the message and gives the sender a feedback. All forms of communicationrequire a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, however the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication in order for the act of communication to occur. Communicationrequires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality. Thereare auditory means, such as speech, song, and tone of voice, and thereare nonverbal means, such as body language,sign language, paralanguage, touch, eyecontact, through media, i.e., pictures, graphics and sound, and writing.Computer Networks and CommunicationsThe purpose of a computer communications network is to allow moving informationfrom one point to another inside the network. The information could be stored on adevice, such as a personal computer in the network, it could be generated live outsidethe network, such as speech, or could be generated by a process on another piece of information, such as automatic sales transactions at the end of a business day. Thedevice does not necessarily have to be a computer; it could be a hard disk, a camera or even a printer on the network. Due to a large variety of information to be moved, anddue to the fact that each type of information has its own conditions for intelligibility,the computer network has evolved into a highly complex system. Specializedknowledge from many areas of science and engineering goes into the design of networks. It is practically impossible for a single area of science or engineering to beentirely responsible for the design of all the components. Therefore, a study of computer networks branches into many areas as we go up from fundamentals to theadvanced levels.