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Computer networks facilitate sharing and centralized management of resources, information and applications across a variety of devices in a scalable, secure manner. They are a vital part of modern-day life and offer benefits such as improved collaboration and communication, less costs, enhanced security, and improved accessibility to data and resources.

Nodes and links are the two most important elements of the network. Nodes are devices that are networked, such as computers, printers and file servers. They are able to communicate with each other with each other using a set of rules known as communication protocol. Links connect these nodes with each other using wireless, optical, or wired connections. A laptop that is connected to a local network via Wi-Fi is a node (DTE) and the link (DCE). Network switches and routers work as traffic police, directing data packets to their intended destinations in the most efficient way.

A wide area network (WAN) is a larger-scale network which uses bridges and gateways for interconnecting multiple LANs. Unlike a LAN the WAN is connected to the Internet and other global networks of communication. Students in Florida, for example can use teleconferencing on their workstations with classmates in Tokyo thanks to the WAN.

Computer networks aid in streamlining work processes and create a collaborative and engaging workplace. For example employees can save their files to the server, which is regularly backed-up on a regular basis, rather than sending documents back and forth, which could result a fantastic read in lost files. They can also access the standard versions of employee or customer manuals on the network. This ensures consistency and accuracy.