1. Technology

Network Applications, Upgrades and Information Technology

By

Once installed and running, you can use a computer network to share and back up files, play games, and run more sophisticated applications. Regular maintenance is essential to keep a network running well. You should also be prepared to upgrade equipment and software periodically to take advantage of improving technology. Networking professionals and students will also want to expand their knowledge base to stay on top of the latest developments this fast-changing field.
  1. Staying Safe Online
  2. Improving Network Performance
  3. Networking with Consumer Electronics
  4. Managing Network Storage
  5. Using P2P and File Sharing Networks
  1. Using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and Remote Access
  2. Using Internet Web and Proxy Servers
  3. Building a Home Automation System
  4. Tracking Future Network and Internet Trends
  5. Jobs and Careers in Computer Networking

Staying Safe Online

Unfortunately, networks are subject to attack by criminals and mischief makers. They may be looking to steal files and personal information or just simply harass others. Monitoring network usage and being prepared to cope with some unwanted problems is essential to maintaining an enjoyable online experience.

Improving Network Performance

speedtest.net Global Broadband Speed Test

So-called speed tests measure the bandwidth of an Internet connection. You can employ various tweaks on a computer and home network to increase their overall performance. Other tools and techniques also exist for improving performance of specific applications.

Networking with Consumer Electronics

Schlage LiNK Electronic Keypad Security Products

Consumer electronics devices like game consoles, personal hand-held gadgets, home entertainment and home security systems can often be connected to your home network and the Internet to increase their usefulness.

Managing Network Storage

Storage networking utilizes specialized devices designed to serve or back up large amounts of data across local area networks. Two types of storage network technology exist - SAN (Storage Area Network) and NAS (Network Attached Storage). A SAN supports large-scale network data storage, retrieval and replication typically for business networks. A NAS utilizes one or more file serving devices connected as peers on a local network. Establishing a network backup system that keeps safe copies of all of your digital data is always recommended.

Using P2P and File Sharing Networks

P2P (Peer to Peer) Internet file sharing systems use distributed network techniques and specialized protocols to support large-scale online file searching, sharing and messaging. Some P2P file sharing systems have been heavily criticized for enabling the sharing of copyright material such as commercial music and video files. Popular P2P file sharing applications include BitTorrent and LimeWire.

Using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and Remote Access

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) supports local or long-distance protected access to network resources by tunneling through shared public links. While VPNs offer one type of remote access solution, other remote access software applications can also be used.

Using Internet Web and Proxy Servers

Proxy servers are Internet gateways that provide network firewall, connection sharing, and caching technology for computers on a private network. Public Web proxy servers are also available on the Internet as a means to enable anonymous online surfing.

Building a Home Automation System

With the use of a few special-purpose gadgets, you can automatically control a home's lighting, HVAC, and security systems, saving time and money. Home automation systems utilize specialized networking technologies but are designed to be installed and used by non-professionals.

Tracking Future Network and Internet Trends

Commonly used applications on the Internet today include Web browsers, email clients and instant messaging systems. Industry trends suggest that future network applications will continue evolving into even more powerful environments.

Jobs and Careers in Computer Networking

Anyone deeply interested in computer networking technology can build a career in the field. Many network engineers earn college degrees in computer science, electrical engineering, or information technology, but others learn through on-the-job training and self study. Job titles and expectations vary across the world and by technical specialty area. Several recognized professional certification study programs in networking can be pursued to demonstrate mastery of the subject and improve job prospects.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.