You have undoubtedly heard the "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". This phrase describes networking very well, and explains why it has become so popular. A network isn't just a bunch of computers with wires running between them. Properly implemented, a network is a system that provides its users with unique capabilities, above and beyond what the individual machines and their software applications can provide.
Most of the benefits of networking can be divided into two generic categories: connectivity and sharing. Networks allow computers, and hence their users, to be connected together. They also allow for the easy sharing of information and resources, and cooperation between the devices in other ways. Since modern business depends so much on the intelligent flow and management of information, this tells you a lot about why networking is so valuable.
Here, in no particular order, are some of the specific advantages generally associated with networking:
Data Sharing: One of the most important uses of networking is to allow the sharing of data. Before networking was common, an accounting employee who wanted to prepare a report for her manager would have to produce it on his PC, put it on a floppy disk, and then walk it over to the manager, who would transfer the data to her PC's hard disk. (This sort of "shoe-based network" was sometimes sarcastically called a "sneakernet".)
True networking allows thousands of employees to share data much more easily and quickly than this. More so, it makes possible applications that rely on the ability of many people to access and share the same data, such as databases, group software development, and much more. Intranets and extranets can be used to distribute corporate information between sites and to business partners.
Hardware Sharing: Networks facilitate the sharing of hardware devices. For example, instead of giving each of 10 employees in a department an expensive color printer (or resorting to the "sneakernet" again), one printer can be placed on the network for everyone to share.
Internet Access: The Internet is itself an enormous network, so whenever you access the Internet, you are using a network. The significance of the Internet on modern society is hard to exaggerate, especially for those of us in technical fields.
Internet Access Sharing: Small computer networks allow multiple users to share a single Internet connection. Special hardware devices allow the bandwidth of the connection to be easily allocated to various individuals as they need it, and permit an organization to purchase one high-speed connection instead of many slower ones.
Data Security and Management: In a business environment, a network allows the administrators to much better manage the company's critical data. Instead of having this data spread over dozens or even hundreds of small computers in a haphazard fashion as their users create it, data can be centralized on shared servers. This makes it easy for everyone to find the data, makes it possible for the administrators to ensure that the data is regularly backed up, and also allows for the implementation of security measures to control who can read or change various pieces of critical information.
Performance Enhancement and Balancing: Under some circumstances, a network can be used to enhance the overall performance of some applications by distributing the computation tasks to various computers on the network.
Entertainment: Networks facilitate many types of games and entertainment. The Internet itself offers many sources of entertainment, of course. In addition, many multi-player games exist that operate over a local area network. Many home networks are set up for this reason, and gaming across wide area networks (including the Internet) has also become quite popular. Of course, if you are running a business and have easily-amused employees, you might insist that this is really a disadvantage of networking and not an advantage!
Contact Greening Computer Services on Email for a competitive quote to support your network from wired devices to wireless, Greening Computer Services can have your network running smooth to keep you running.