Applications and Implications of Networking


  • Internal Communication
    • Networks allow individuals to share data and services without having to be physically in the same location
    • They allow people to transfer information without actually going to the other person and meeting them
    • The most common way of communication is E-mail, E-mail allows you to transfer files and messages to a person or a group of people very fast and efficiently
  • External communications
    • External communication happens what a computer connects to a WAN (mostly the internet) and then communicates the information over to anyone anywhere
    • This allows friends, families and companies to stay in touch with each other without suffering from any geographical limitations
  • Conferencing
    • Conferencing is when two or more people communicate live with each other through a service like Skype where they can talk and see each other in real-time
  • Distributed Processing
    • Distributed Processing is when a task is distributed among several different computers within a network to allow faster processing
  • It has to be noted that some of these tasks will require faster internet / network speed in order for the services to work

Pros and Cons of different services
  • Video conferencing
    • Advantages: saves on travel costs
    • Disadvantages: does not create the same "feel" of everyone being physically together
  • Voice over IP (for example, Skype)
    • Advantages: saves on long distance call costs and in some cases there is better quality than with a telephone connection
    • Disadvantages: quality is not always as good as telephone connection, not everyone uses Voice over IP
  • Online forums, bulletin boards
    • Advantages: Good place to find answers to subject-specific problems
    • Disadvantages: Answers are not always helpful. Some people intentionally post troublesome answers.
  • Email
    • Advantage: Can send email quickly (more quickly than snailmail)
    • Disadvantage: Email can be impersonal. Because it is such a "quick" form of communication and does not involve face-to-face responses people tend to be less careful about what they write. Receivers of the email can misinterpret what is being said due to the fact that email messages are not accompanied by voice or body language

Benefits of networks

  • Access to a large amount of internal services, eg. printing
  • Access to shared programs
  • Access to shared data
  • Centralized data access from any computer in a network
  • Access to the internet for all users

Comparison between LAN & WAN

  • Slower and less hardware used
  • Lower cost for setup
  • Limited range of data transfer
  • increase of price due to cabling
  • No external communication required
  • Faster and more hardware used
  • More expensive hardware required
  • Security depends on on the communications system
    • telephone is cheap & insecure, dedicated lines are expensive
  • Data processing can be centralized to one mainframe
  • The main limitation of a LAN, when it does not have access to the internet, is that it will not be able to access many of the information available
  • LAN also is restricted to older forms of communication, such as phones, but provide much more security

  • WAN provides access to external information services, but will cost more money to maintain
  • The main limitation is the lack of security, WANs are very vulnerable to hackers compared to LANs

Created By: Daniel Gillo
Last Edited: 1st February 2011

  • Jones, Richard. Computer Science Java Enabled. Victoria: IBID Press, 2004.