Computer network software is a collection of programs and applications that enable the management, setup and operation of computer networks. Without the right network software, the network will not be able to function with optimum efficiency and reliability. In this article, we will explore several important types of network software and their role and function in managing networks.
Network Operating System
A network operating system (NOS) is the software that controls and coordinates network functions at a basic level. NOS enables management of network resources, such as file sharing, security settings, user management, and overall network monitoring.
Router software manages the flow of data traffic between different networks. Routers help direct data packets to the right destinations in the network, ensuring efficient and accurate delivery. Router software also provides security features, such as firewalls and network policy settings.
Switch software works to connect and manage data flow between devices in a local network (LAN). Switches enable fast and efficient communication between computers, servers, and other devices on the network. Switch software can also provide VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) management to logically segregate and manage network traffic.
In addition to basic network software, there are also various network applications that support various functions in network management. Here are some of them:
Network Management Application
Network management application helps network administrators in managing and monitoring overall network performance. This includes network traffic monitoring, performance analysis, security monitoring, and reporting. This application provides important information about network conditions and allows appropriate actions to maintain network reliability and security.
Server applications are used to provide services and network resources to users. Examples are web server applications, database servers, email servers, and file sharing servers. The server application ensures efficient and secure delivery of data and services in the network.
Network Security Applications
Network security applications protect the network from threats and attacks that may be harmful. This includes firewall applications, intrusion detection, and antivirus software. Network security applications monitor network traffic, identify potential threats, and take action to protect the network from attacks.
Apart from network software and applications, there are also network protocols which help in the communication and exchange of data between devices in a network. Some commonly used network protocols include:
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
TCP/IP is the protocol that underlies the internet and many computer networks. This protocol enables reliable and efficient communication between devices in a network, including sending data packets, setting up connections, and sending messages.
DNS (Domain Name System)
DNS is a protocol that converts numeric IP addresses into easy-to-remember domain names. This protocol allows users to access websites using a domain instead of having to memorize long IP addresses.
DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
DHCP is a protocol that automates the assignment of IP addresses to devices on a network. This protocol ensures that every device connected to the network receives the proper IP configuration automatically.
Computer network software is the backbone in managing networks and ensuring smooth and secure connectivity between devices. By understanding their roles and functions, network administrators can choose and configure software that suits their network needs and goals.