According to About.com, computer networking is the practice of connecting two or more computers or computing devices to share data and resources. Networks are created with a combination of computer hardware and software.
A computer network is built upon essential pillars, such as a network card, router and protocols. In any network, users share resources from one device to another, create and store files in one computer and access them from other computers connected to the network. A connected network also allows for the connection of printers, fax machines and scanners to one computer in the network, so that other computers within the network are allowed to use the devices available as well.
There are three main types of networks: local area network/LAN, wide area network/WAN, and wireless local area network/WLAN.
LAN serves a small group of people in a small area such as a single home, small office building or school. Client server or peer-to-peer networking methods may be employed. WAN covers huge geographical areas, such as across states, cities and even across the world, employing leased communication lines. The world’s largest WAN is the Internet.
A WLAN does not use physical media or wires to connect the server with hosts. It transfers data over radio transceivers.
The increasing reach of communication has contributed to advancements in the field of networking as well as in its related industries like software, hardware, manufacturing and integration. Therefore, most households can access one or more computer networks.