A network consists of two or more computers that are linked in order to share resources (such as printers and CD-ROMs), exchange files, or allow electronic communications. The computers on a network may be linked through cables, telephone lines, radio waves, satellites, or infrared light beams.
A Local Area Network (LAN) is a network that is confined to a relatively small area. It is generally limited to a geographic area such as a writing lab, school, or building. Rarely are LAN computers more than a mile apart.
In a typical LAN configuration, one computer is designated as the file server. It stores all of the software that controls the network, as well as the software that can be shared by the computers attached to the network. Computers connected to the file server are called workstations. The workstations can be less powerful than the file server, and they may have additional software on their hard drives. On most LANs, cables are used to connect the network interface cards in each computer.
Wide Area Networks (WANs) connect larger geographic areas, such as Florida, the United States, or the world. Dedicated transoceanic cabling or satellite uplinks may be used to connect this type of network.
Using a WAN, schools in Florida can communicate with places like Tokyo in a matter of minutes, without paying enormous phone bills. A WAN is complicated. It uses multiplexers to connect local and metropolitan networks to global communications networks like the Internet. To users, however, a WAN will not appear to be much different than a LAN or a MAN.
Whether you're designing a simple Ethernet network or documenting a large and complex one, you can use the improved Ethernet shape in Edraw Network Diagram to get the job done quickly. The connectors on the Ethernet shape attach easily to the updated device shapes in Edraw, and they remain attached, even when you move them.
You can also add text and store network information (such as network names and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses) in your diagram and then extract the information by using one of three new pre-defined reports.