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A computer network is a group of computer systems and other computing hardware devices that are linked together through communication channels to facilitate communication and resource-sharing among a wide range of users.
Networks are commonly categorized based on their characteristics.
One of the earliest examples of a computer network was a network of communicating computers that functioned as part of the U.S. military's Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) radar system. In 1969, the University of California at Los Angeles, the Stanford Research Institute, the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Utah were connected as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) project.
It is this network that evolved to become what we now call the internet.
Networks are used to:
There are many types of networks, including: