network of computers

Definition of network of computers in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Network of Computers?

A group of computers connected in some fashion in order to share resources. Networks with enhanced storage and server-based processing power provide users with greater functionality and security than independent or stand-alone machines.

Networks can be classified based on:

  • Physical size:
    They can be classified as local area networks (LANs), metropolitan area networks (MANs), or wide area networks (WANs).


  • Topology:
    Topologies (the manner and complexity of interconnections) include the bus topology, star topology, ring topology, and mesh topology.


  • Security:
    Networks can be based on workgroups, in which all machines control their own security, or they can be based on servers (such as domain-based Microsoft Windows 2000 networks).


  • Network architecture:
    For example, networks can be classified as Ethernet, Token Ring, or Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) networks.


  • Primary protocol:
    Networks can be classified as Internet Protocol (IP) networks, Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX) networks, Systems Network Architecture (SNA) networks, and so on.



In TCP/IP networking, a network is a group of hosts with the same network ID. Multiple networks can be combined using routers to form an internetwork. Each network in an internetwork can be referred to as a subnetwork.