Dumb Network

What Does Dumb Network Mean?

A dumb network is a network that performs minimal processing to support running activities. In its early stages, the Internet was considered a dumb network. A public switched telephone network (PSTN) is an example of an intelligent network.


Dumb networks are used by legacy systems (e.g., workstations and mainframes).

Techopedia Explains Dumb Network

Dumb networks provide flexible and efficient end-to-end connectivity. However, they are not sensitive to enterprise needs, which creates potential issues because dumb networks are used for sharing applications.

Initially, dumb networks were criticized for security issues (e.g., viruses) and lack of network traffic prioritization. However, supporters stressed the high costs associated with intelligent networking, in addition to end user vs. system security, that is, end users should install antivirus software to avoid virus/malware intrusion and attacks.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…