What is Networking?

In its simplest terms, Networking refers to establishing connections between devices so they can communicate with each other. In most cases, this means connecting client computers and/or servers so that information and resources can be shared. This sharing is most commonly used for sharing files and printers, so that multiple computers can open the same files and print to the same printers.

The type of “connection” can be through network cables (Cat5 or Cat6 cables), or via wireless. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is worth reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of each before you make a decision.

Wireless offers the advantage of not having to string copper cables between computers, which can be a severe issue if the computers are not on the same floor. It has two primary disadvantages which are security and speed. Wireless connections tend to be slower than wired connections, and are easier for hackers to intercept. Wireless connections can be password protected, but a hacker with the right tools might be able to crack the password and gain access.

Wired connections are faster, more stable, and offer greater security. Their primary disadvantage is the need to run cables between devices.

Most networks, even those for the home, are usually a combination of the two, providing copper cable connections for desktop computers, and wireless for laptops and other portable devices.