We use computers of all shapes and sizes to communicate with one another every day. These tools help us to be more productive at work, play games at home, or scroll through our Facebook feeds.
There are several ways that we use them without thinking about their presence in our lives. Modern automobiles use sophisticated computing to maximize fuel economy, response times, and many aspects of the driving experience. Smart technologies use networking capabilities to tackle a variety of needs, ranging from thermostat management to the locks on your home’s front door.
Computers help us to find new resources. They are responsible for showing us the secrets of what lie beyond our solar system. We also use them to explore how certain cells contribute to our health. This technology makes the macro- and micro-worlds come alive for us in a variety of ways.
When we consider the advantages and disadvantages of computer networking, there is an opportunity to link the power of individual units to create even more possibilities.
List of the Advantages of Computer Networking
1. Computer networks create more opportunities for information security.
A single computer can be a powerful tool to protect personal information. If you have that unit off-line, then there is no way to access it unless you’re local and have the password for it. When you have an online network of computers, you can experience the same benefits, even if you are connected to the Internet. In this era of data breaches that happen on a massive scale, we can all use this technology to improve our standard of living= and increase productivity without compromising our privacy.
2. Almost everyone can afford the benefits of a computer network.
Computers are remarkably affordable tools. Families can purchase a brand-new unit for less than $200 and still receive the powerful benefits of a network. You can even build computers to take advantage of what this technology provides for under $100 for basic models. Humanity discovered more than 30 years ago that when we can use this tech to communicate with each other and make better decisions that life becomes better.
Even when computer networks have artificial limitations placed on them, the benefits of their presence still exist. You can even find them in some of the most restrictive countries in the world today, like North Korea. Even premium products, like an Apple Mac, have come down in price by 50% or more since their introduction in the 1980s.
3. A computer network offers a personalized experience.
The first computers suitable for home use required individuals to follow specialized processes if they wanted to be more productive. If you didn’t input the correct commands at the right time, then you had to start over from the beginning. Games were few and far between – unless you liked chess or Battleship.
Modern computers provide a very different user experience. It’s no longer a system that requires you to take what is offered or look for something else. You have more computing power in your pocket than what the astronauts used to fly to the moon. This personalization of our networking potential allows us to have information however and whenever we want it.
4. You can expand the potential of computer networks.
If you have two computers at home, then you can link them together to create a personal network. The Internet of Things system links tools together to create benefits in a similar way. What makes this technology such a fantastic addition to our lives is that it can also incorporate new units at any time. If you purchase a third computer, then you can add it to your personal network to create even more rewards.
You can continue expanding this potential by adding external storage and additional user features over time. People today think that the 5 GB of storage you get for free from many cloud-based providers is limiting. When IBM introduced the first 1 GB hard drive in 1980, it weighed 550 pounds and was the size of a refrigerator. Buying it would have set you back $40,000. When you incorporate inflation into the mix, that’s like spending over $124,000 in 2019 dollars on that product.
5. Almost anyone can use a computer to create networking experiences.
When you purchase a modern computer, what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG). If you can press the power button on the unit, then it is pretty easy to figure out what you’ll need to do afterward. Most people can set up computer networks in a few minutes to start taking advantage of its benefits. Even if you have no experience, you’re only a few clicks away from receiving the assistance you need to get going.
6. Computer networks make it easier to collaborate on projects.
There are several different ways that computers make it easier to work with others on projects. Most companies use this technology to connect teams so that they can share documents, work on designs, or send emails to each other to finish projects. Personal networks allow families to stay connected, share pictures and music, and a host of other fun activities without compromising their security.
Several people can be in the same document simultaneously to work on it. You can share events to organize political responses, social meet-ups, or a variety of other needs. Whether you want to share a grocery list or you’re booking a vacation, computer networks make all of these tasks more comfortable to complete.
7. This technology makes it easy to share information.
The average price of a broadband connection in the United States is about $50 per month for every 100 Mbps of speed you receive. Your actual price may vary based on your geographic location. When you can network with other computers online with this technology, then you have the ability to create a number of personalized benefits. Many of them we all take for granted already if we’re used to their presence.
- You can stream movies and TV shows from authorized providers thanks to computer networking technologies.
- You can share files with other people almost instantly.
- You can connect multiple devices to the same internet connection at once to create personal experiences.
- You can post status updates, images, and videos to your preferred social media platforms.
8. Computer networks can transfer enormous file sizes in seconds.
If you are old enough to remember the 1990s, then you might have used those 3.5-inch floppy disks to store information from your computer. You knew that a game was going to be complex if it came with at least 7 installation disks that you needed to manage. Older computer users might even remember the 5.25-inch floppies. With tools like Dropbox, iCloud, and similar services, you can now share files that are measured in terabytes instead of megabytes. You can even upload the file to a personal account and then share a direct access link for others to download the item.
9. We have opportunities to learn because of computer networks.
Why is it important to share information? Because the foundation provided by computer networks gives us the opportunity to have ongoing educational opportunities every day. Online degrees are possible in a variety of fields because of this technology. We share email messages with attachments for a variety of reasons. Social media is the perfect place to share links to interesting content.
The flexibility of a network means that it can support almost any type of learning at whatever time of day is convenient for the user. Everyone can choose the sharing options that best meet their needs. It becomes an extension of who we are.
10. Entrepreneurs can make money because of computer networks.
Fiverr takes advantage of computer networking technologies to deliver freelance opportunities to buyers and sellers. It was founded in 2010 and is based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Even though only 2% of the platform’s sellers are above the age of 55, the gig economy gives individuals the opportunity to create a global opportunity for themselves from the comfort of their home. It is a chance for someone to earn radical income opportunities with their skills in the developing world or for busy parents to work from home to manage their schedules better.
That’s one example of millions that exist in the world today. Whether you want to write a blog, sell products on Amazon, or create YouTube videos, all of those activities happen because of the presence of computer networks.
11. Computer networks allow us to be more productive with our time.
We have instant access to almost any form of information thanks to the presence of computer networks in our lives. Instead of needing to stop to look up something in an encyclopedia, you can find the information on Google, Bing, or another search engine. We have opportunities for genuine multitasking thanks to the way web browsers can segregate data for us. Everything that we need stays in one place, even if that means it’s on the device that you’ve stuck in your pocket.
12. There are numerous ways to save money with computer networks.
When you can share devices on a single computer network, then there are fewer physical assets that you must purchase. You can have multiple units connected to the same printer, copy machine, or server so that the initial capital investments are minimal. Site licenses tend to be cheaper when you can deploy them along with a network as well, especially when you compare the expense to purchase several standalone licenses for people to use. You can even save money on your data backups since everything goes to a single location instead of being stored in multiple units as a partial project.
Even productivity benefits help to save money. If you are not having people key the same day multiple times, then teams can stay focused on role-based instructions instead of creating accidental duplication
13. A computer network can share a single Internet connection.
Instead of connecting individual units to a separate ISP account, your computer network can function as a single unit to access online information. This advantage makes the expense of purchasing cables and other equipment worthwhile because you can usually operate under a single subscription package. It is a setup that gives your digital defenses another layer of security because it funnels all traffic into a single point, whether it is coming down the stream or someone uploads something.
14. It provides people with an opportunity to solve problems creatively.
If you have a medical emergency, then computer networks make it possible to start a crowdfunding page that can cover the expense. Villages in remote locations use this technology to communicate with local providers about the basic necessities they require. Anyone can share almost anything over a blog to start building an audience of unlimited size. This advantage allows us to communicate openly, build diverse environments, and create personal and professional networks that help us to shape the world in unique ways.
List of the Disadvantages of Computer Networking
1. Computer networks can lead us to a variety of distractions.
The presence of a computer network can enhance productivity like arguably nothing else that has come before it. This design can also be a disadvantage if there isn’t self-discipline with the personal interactions that happen with this technology. When you switch between tasks, then you can lose up to 40% of your productivity energy instantly. This issue results in a delay of up to 15 minutes before restarting your project.
Even something simple, like switching to a different tab on your preferred web browser, is enough to create this problem. You might experience more multitasking benefits, but that benefit is an experience that only 2% of the population gets to enjoy.
2. Computer networks require a specific setup to be useful.
There must be a minimum level of electromagnetic impedance to obtain uniform coverage for a computer network. Buildings with several wireless networks often cause interference with information transfers, disrupting user access to the needed data. Individual locations with steel reinforcements make it difficult for computers to pick up the specific frequencies required for data sharing.
For a computer network to operate efficiently, exceptional care must be taken during the installation process to reduce interference problems.
3. People can stop relying on their memory because of computer networks.
Digital dependence can erode the benefits that human memory provides. When we are overly reliant on computer networks to provide us with information, then it becomes difficult to recall needed data at a moment’s notice. “Many adults who could still recall their phone numbers from childhood could not remember their current work number or the numbers of family members,” writes Sean Coughlan for the BBC.
A study that examined the memory habits of 6,000 adults in Europe found that over one-third of them turn to computers first to recall information. Over 50% of the participants in the UK said that they’d search online for an answer first.
4. National legislation has not caught up with modern computer network activities.
Many of the laws that we have around the world have not yet caught up with what computer networks can provide. If someone makes a false report to the police about a dangerous incident at a person’s home, then swatting activities that result in death are not counted as murder. The presence of this technology makes it easier to embezzle money when you’re in a position of trust and know how to cover your digital footprint.
Computers allow us to have access to information and provide more communication opportunities. It also gives us these benefits without the same security options that govern our activities outside of the digital world in some critical areas.
5. Computer networks change our perspective on work-life balance.
Almost 50% of people take work with them when traveling on vacation. This figure includes individuals who are not self-employed. It is not unusual for professionals to bring a work computer home each night to check emails, speak with co-workers, and telecommute on projects. This disadvantage is one of the reasons why the average digital attention span for humans is about eight seconds in length. We have so many different things going on that any distraction feels like it might be an important topic that can’t be missed.
Computer networks have also created a change in how we view relationships because of this issue. The average person will check their phone over 80 times per day for notifications, messages, and social media updates. When was the last time you checked-in with your spouse, partner, or significant other that many times during the day? Online communication does not provide the same benefits as a face-to-face conversation.
6. There are several ways to exploit the vulnerabilities of a computer network.
There are infinite ways for disruptions to happen when operating a computer network. Hackers can contaminate them with malicious software, and then encrypt the information it contains for money – like they’re “kidnapping” your files. You might download a file from an email that looks real without realizing it’s a trap to record keystrokes to expose your credit card data.
Something as simple as a power outage can make it challenging for people to use their computers when they might require access. Viruses, information corruption, ISP outages, and DDoS assaults are all typical examples of interruptions that occur daily. A computer network is never 100% secure, even when you keep it off-line.
7. You can lose access to your information quickly.
If you have a file server that breaks down on your computer network, then all of your information might become instantly inaccessible. When individual units become isolated, they can no longer communicate as effectively with each other. That means it takes more time and energy to get work finished each week. Trying to manage a large network is a complex process that requires training and the presence of a competent manager to maximize your opportunities for success.
8. One computer can create problems for the entire network.
Viruses can quickly spread to other computers when an infected one is connected to a network. Even if there is no ill intent with the process, this security risk can limit productivity and increase the risk of a data breach. Security procedures, such as a firewall, cannot stop every problem that might occur when individuals use several different access points simultaneously for their collaboration efforts.
Even though other users can’t see the files that someone stores locally since it remains a stand-alone machine, an experienced professional could use the network to communicate with the unit to access the data anyway.
9. Computer networks cause us to put all of our eggs in one basket.
About $600 billion in intellectual property losses occur annually because of how we structure computer networks and use them. We can access plenty of information with this technology, but it can also be used to break the law in ways that feel anonymous. Even a common crime that happens online, like identity theft, can result in a global GDP loss of $100 billion each year.
Computer networks help to magnify the benefits that we experience every day with this technology. It gives us ways to save money, share data, and stay connected to the people we care about the most with minimal effort.
It is a tool that lets us grow a business opportunity or play a farm simulation game. Everyone can use a network in whatever way best suits their needs at any given time.
When we evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of computer networking in their entirety, then it is clear to see that we must take steps to protect ourselves. Our technology is only as good as the programmers who created the software we use to access data or community. When we’re ready for the potential problems, then the solutions we create can take our productivity to untold heights.
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.