Computer Network Tutorial

In this Computer Network tutorial, you’ll learn basic to advanced concepts like the basics of computer networks, OSI Model, data link layer, network layer, transport layer, network security, cryptography, compression techniques, and more. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a solid understanding of how computer networks work and how to apply this knowledge effectively. Let’s get started!

What is Computer Network?

A computer network is a collection of interconnected devices that communicate and share resources with each other. These devices can range from computers and smartphones to servers and network devices like routers and switches. The main goal of a computer network is to enable seamless data exchange, resource sharing, and communication between multiple devices.

Importance of Computer Network:

Computer networks are fundamental to modern computing and communication. They enable:

  • Resource Sharing: Printers, files, and applications can be shared across devices, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
  • Communication: Email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and other forms of digital communication rely on networks.
  • Data Management: Centralized data storage and access improve data management and security.
  • Scalability: Networks allow for easy addition of new devices and users.
  • Cost Efficiency: Shared resources reduce the need for individual hardware, saving costs.

Computer Network Tutorial Index

Fundamentals of Computer Networking

Network Hardware and Software


Network Models

Physical Layer

Data Link Layer

Network Layer

Routing Protocols and Network Layer Protocols

Transport Layer

Application Layer

Network Security



Multiple Access and Channel Allocation

Quality of Service (QoS)

FAQs on Computer Network

1. What are different types of network topology?

Network topology refers to the arrangement of various elements (links, nodes, etc.) in a computer network. Here are the main types of network topology:

  • Bus Topology: All devices are connected to a single central cable, or bus. It’s simple and cost-effective but can be slow and prone to failures.
  • Star Topology: Devices are connected to a central hub. This topology is reliable and easy to manage but requires more cable.
  • Ring Topology: Devices are connected in a circular format. Data travels in one direction, reducing the chance of packet collisions.
  • Mesh Topology: Every device is connected to every other device. It’s robust and reliable but expensive and complex to install.

2. What are different types of Computer Networks?

Computer networks can be classified based on their size, scope, and purpose. Here are the main types of computer networks:

  • Personal Area Network (PAN): Covers a small area, typically within a single room. Examples include Bluetooth and USB connections.
  • Local Area Network (LAN): Covers a limited area such as a home, office, or building. Ethernet and Wi-Fi are common LAN technologies.
  • Metropolitan Area Network (MAN): Spans a city or a large campus. It is larger than a LAN but smaller than a WAN.
  • Wide Area Network (WAN): Covers a large geographical area, often a country or continent. The internet is the largest WAN.

3. What are the Network Components?

Key components of a computer network include:

  • Routers: Direct data packets between different networks.
  • Switches: Connect devices within a single network, filtering and forwarding data to the correct devices.
  • Access Points: Allow wireless devices to connect to a wired network using Wi-Fi.
  • Modems: Convert digital data into analog signals and vice versa for transmission over phone lines.
  • Firewalls: Provide security by monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic.

4. What are the Network Protocols?

Protocols are rules that govern data communication over a network. Some of the key protocols include:

  • Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP): The foundation of the internet, responsible for end-to-end communication.
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/HTTPS): Used for transferring web pages on the internet.
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP): Used for transferring files between computers.
  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP): Used for sending emails.
  • Domain Name System (DNS): Translates domain names to IP addresses.

5. What is Network Security?

Securing a network is crucial to protect data from unauthorized access, attacks, and breaches. Key aspects of network security include:

  • Encryption: Protects data by converting it into a secure format during transmission.
  • Firewalls: Monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic.
  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS): Detect suspicious activities and potential security breaches.
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs): Provide secure connections over public networks.
  • Antivirus and Anti-malware: Protect devices from malicious software.

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Manish Bhojasia - Founder & CTO at Sanfoundry
Manish Bhojasia, a technology veteran with 20+ years @ Cisco & Wipro, is Founder and CTO at Sanfoundry. He lives in Bangalore, and focuses on development of Linux Kernel, SAN Technologies, Advanced C, Data Structures & Alogrithms. Stay connected with him at LinkedIn.

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