1. Advantage of Network:
– Speed. Networks provide a very rapid method for sharing and transferring files. Without a network, files are shared by copying them to floppy disks, then carrying or sending the disks from one computer to another. This method of transferring files (referred to as sneaker-net) is very time-consuming.
– Cost: Networkable versions of many popular software programs are available at considerable savings when compared to buying individually licensed copies. Besides monetary savings, sharing a program on a network allows for easier upgrading of the program. The changes have to be done only once, on the file server, instead of all the individual workstations.
– Security. Files and programs on a network can be designated as “copy inhibit,” so that you do not have to worry about illegal copying of programs. Also, passwords can be established for specific directories to restrict access to authorized users.
– Centralized Software Management: One of the greatest benefits of installing a network at school is the fact that all of the software can be loaded on one computer (the file server). This eliminates that need to spend time and energy installing updates and tracking files on independent computers throughout the building.
– Resource sharing: Sharing resources is another area in which a network exceeds stand-alone computers. Most schools can not afford enough laser printers, fax machines, modems, scanners, and CD-ROM for each computer. However, if these or similar peripherals are added to a network, they can be shared by many users.
– Electronic mail: We can use email to communicate to each other.
– Flexible access: School networks allow students to access their files from computers through the school.
2. Disadvantage of Network:
– Expensive to install: Although a network will generally save money over time, the initial costs of installation can be prohibitive. Cables, Network Cards, and software are expensive, and the installation may require the service of a technician.
– Requires Administrative time: Proper maintenance of a network requires considerable time and expertise.
– File server may fail: Although a file server is no more susceptible to failure than any other computer, when the files server “goes down,” the entire network may come to a halt.
– Cable may break: Some of the configurations are designed to minimize the inconvenience of a broken cable; with other configurations, one broken cable can stop the entire network.