The advantages and disadvantages of computer networking depend on the method used to assess the networks. There are numerous methods of evaluation due to a lack of standardization for defining the term, “computer network.” However, since most computer networking is done for business purposes, this guide will be based from a business perspective.
The right computer networking can benefit any type of business by providing the following advantages:
- Provides a way to attain, store, share, retrieve, and modify most types of information with greater efficacy, consistency, and accuracy.
- Improves communication, relationships, and collaboration among employees, suppliers, management, and customers.
- Streamlines some business processes, thus increasing productivity while improving work quality.
- Reduces cost, time, and allows for a better utilization of expensive resources, and may provide access to resources from other companies or sources that otherwise may not be accessible.
- Provides a way to safely secure sensitive information.
- Improves the overall efficiency of a business
Although there are numerous advantages, there are numerous disadvantages as well. Here is a list of some of those disadvantages:
- Requires network infrastructure monitoring, maintenance, and management.
- Increases potential for data loss, security breaches, and viruses.
- Initial expense of network setup.
- May require extra training of employees, and a full-time information technology support team.
- Company may need to expand the networking system or downsize it as company grows or decreases in size or productivity.
- Depending on the way a network is set up, one user’s problem may affect the entire network; or if a server breaks down , it could cause the entire network to shut down and lose productivity.
Other Advantages and Disadvantages
The advantages and disadvantages of a computer network may involve the network’s topology. For instances, the pros of a linear bus topology are easy connections to peripherals and it requires less cable length than a star topology. One of its cons is that the entire network shuts down if a main cable breaks, making it difficult to identify the problem.
The advantages and disadvantages may also depend on what type, size, and networking technology was implemented. Additionally, the individual’s or organization’s own needs and preferences would need to be factored into the assessment of networking.