Concepts that Computer Network Users Should Understand

Conceptsthat Computer Network Users Should Understand

Conceptsthat Computer Network Users Should Understand

Thecomputer network is currently a basic necessity in nearly allbusiness operations. The rapid increase in the popularity of theconcept of globalization calls for effective and efficient networkingbetween people who are located in different parts of the worldwithout the need for physical movement. The computer network is themost viable solution to this challenge. Janssen (2014) definedcomputer network as a group of computer systems and hardware devicesthat are connected through certain communication channels with theobjective of facilitating resource sharing and efficientcommunication. This implies that computer network allows theorganization to enhance communication and sharing of resourcesbetween its own departments and with external stakeholders. Althoughcomputer network is associated with a larger number of benefits toorganizations and individual users, there are still many users whoare ignorant of the basic concepts used in the network arena. Thispaper will evaluate the most important things that all computernetwork users should understand.

Althoughthere are many terms and concepts that the computer network usersshould understand, there are five of them that are more basic. First,all users of a computer network should know switches and theirfunctions. Switches are devices that connect and control computersand other devices connected to computers and they function byfiltering and forwarding OSI layer datagrams. This is accomplished byallowing electronic devices in a given network to share informationand communicate with each other (Janssen, 2014). In addition, thenetwork users should differentiate between unmanaged switch (cannotbe configured) and managed switch (can be configured). Some of thekey benefits associated with switch include an increase inproductivity and saving on money (Janssen, 2014). Understanding thebenefits of switches in a network can help the users appreciate theirrole and make the best use of them. Users can be taught aboutswitches through demonstration and giving them an opportunity to fixthem into the network to help them gain a firsthand experience.

Secondly,network users should understand the importance routers. A router is adevice that establishes connection between multiple networks(Janssen, 2014). The routers function of forwarding packets betweenseveral networks, which is achieved by processing the informationthat is required for routing. The router determines the place toforward the routing information suing the routing tables. In essencerouter serves as an information dispatching and analyzing device.Most importantly, router protects the information from differentsecurity threats, which enhances users’ privacy andconfidentiality. Moreover, routers allow different computers to shareone internet connection, which is a money saving strategy. Users canbe trained on the use and the significance of routers in a networkthrough theoretical explanations and demonstration of how they areconnected. It is important for users to know the role of routers inthe network in order to help them understand the benefits of routers,including the financial savings.

Third,network users should understand the role of network interfaces andhow they operate. Network interface refers to computer hardware withthe capacity to process low-level data and information and accesstransmission media (Rouse, 2005). In other words, the networkinterface interconnects the computer and a public or a privatenetwork. The interface can either be in the physical form orsoftware. It allows a connected computer to network with an outsidecomputer network or to communicate with other computers. The networkinterface allows computers that operate in different protocols tocommunicate with each other by supplying them with a common protocol(Rouse, 2005). This is an important piece of information that canhelp the network users to understand how their personal computers ordesktops are able to communicate with other computers. Users can betaught about the software interface theoretically while the hardwareenabled interface can be demonstrated.

Fourth,the network users should understand the significance of integratingnetwork bridges in a computer system. The primary role of networkbridges is to filter and connect traffic between different networksegments at layer 2 of the data link (Mitchell, 2014). Bridges dividethe local area network into two segments, which helps in reducing theamount of traffic on the LAN. Bridges play the same role as theswitches, but they support a single network boundary while switchessupport four or more of them. The network users can be taught aboutthe functions of bridges using a content-based approach, which shouldinvolve the theoretical explanation of the functions and the benefitsof bridges in a computer network.

Lastly,internet users should be taught about the firewall in order to givethem an insight into the security issues that they are likely to facewhen using computer networks. Firewall refers to a program or ahardware that screens out viruses, hackers, and worms that attempt toreach an internet connected computer (Microsoft Corporation, 2014).Users can be given a task-based training about firewalls, whichshould involve theoretical teaching and practicing the installationof firewall programs.

Inconclusion, a computer network is not a new phenomenon, but it isstill a useful technology concept in the contemporary businessenvironment. Despite the significant role that computer networkplayers in many organizations, there is a larger number of networkusers who are ignorant of its operation and different concepts usedin computer networks. Some of the key concepts that users shouldunderstand include switches, bridges, routers, interface, andfirewalls.


Janssen,C. (2014). Computer network. Technopedi.Retrieved August 27, 2014, from

Mitchell,B. (2014). Bridge: Network Bridge. AboutTechnology.Retrieved August 27, 2014, from

MicrosoftCorporation (2014). What is a firewall? MicrosoftCorporation.Retrieved August 27, 2014, from

Rouse,M. (2005, September 25). Network interface unit. TechTarget.Retrieved August 27, 2014, from