Computer networks allow people to share resources and communicate effectively. They enable users and programs to access internal databases and other resources, and they can provide firewalls and other safeguards to keep computers from being subjected to viruses and malware.
Computer networks allow companies to store information on databases that employees can access. Employees working on documents can store them on centralized databases because they're easier to back up than individual workstations. Internal cloud solutions can also aid in collaboration by allowing multiple employees to work on the same items in real time. Networks also make sharing hardware simpler. Most printers and scanners, for example, can be connected to a network that enables companies to avoid having to buy more printers than necessary.
Networks also allow employees to communicate with each other. Internal email and instant messaging have become popular means of communication. Voice-over-Internet-protocol (VOIP) solutions allow companies to use their existing networking equipment to provide internal phone service.
Networks can be configured to implement various safeguards. Internal spam filters can save employees time, and virus scanners can check emails for viruses and other malware. A network can also block certain websites; schools often use this capability to keep students from accessing inappropriate material when using the school's network.