Communication has evolved greatly. Traditional communication methods such as mail have been overtaken by more sophisticated forms. Electronic Communication methods offer higher speeds; more efficiency, reliability, integrity, security; scale across larger geographical areas and require less resources to use. Tools and services such as e-mail, blogs, podcasts, instant messaging, and social networks among other multimedia methods have changed the way we communicate to a great extent.

In this chapter, we give an overview of the world of networks: we will discuss the following:

  1. The role of networks in our lives
  2. Explain the qualities and elements of a network
  3. Define key terms and diagrams used in this course
  4. Explain what a converged network is
  5. Give a brief history of computer networks