CCNC/CCNC Module 1/Networks/Subsection Level CCNC Template15

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Sharing Printers and Files

A peer-to-peer network is where two or more computers are linked together in order to share information and hardware.

It is a major advantage to be able to share printers, plotters and scanners. When computers are networked together, there can be many pc's sharing a printer as opposed to each one having to have it's own printer which is much more costly.

It is also possible to share data files across the network by creating a share on the harddrive and allowing other people access to that information.

If you want to share applications you would need to investigate a client/server network solution and some of the advantages are listed below.

File Servers

  • Users can access their work from any workstation connected to the network.
  • Users can easily exchange work with colleagues.
  • Users can easily co-operate on tasks.
  • Backing up is centralised and can be placed under the control of experts who will follow the correct procedures.

Printer Servers

  • Instead of having printers attached to each computer, printers only need be purchased for the print servers. This results in financial savings.
  • As there are fewer printers to look after, there is lower maintenance.
  • As far fewer printers need to be purchased better quality printers with advanced features can be purchased.

Application Servers

  • Software only needs to be installed on the applications server instead of each workstation.
  • The software is configured in the same way for all users.
  • Upgrading of software only needs to be done on the server.
  • Cost of licensing software for an applications server is less than the cost of many stand-alone versions.
  • Centralising applications software simplifies the process of implementing software policies in an organisation. Software policies refer to what software may be installed on computers and how it may be used.

Internet Connection Sharing (Proxy Servers)

Proxy servers contain a repository of internet sites recently visited and cached for quicker access at a future date.

  • Proxy servers can be configured with firewall software. This helps protect the network from attack by hackers.
  • Files can be filtered for computer viruses before being passed on to the network.
  • Organisations can control access of users to outside sites.
  • Since there is only one point of communication, there is a large saving on line costs.