Types of Computer Networks can be classified on various properties. The Computer networks can also be classified on the basis of Computer network technology used by them. There are two types of Computer networks in this category.
1. Broadcast Networks. In broadcast networks, a single communication channel is shared among all the computers of the network. This means, all the data transportation occurs through this shared channel. The data is transmitted in the form of packets. The packets transmitted by one computer are received by all others in the network. The destination of packet is specified by coding the address of destination computer in the address field of packet header.
On receiving a packet, every computer checks whether it is intended for it or not. If the packet is intended for it, it is processed otherwise, it is discarded. There is another form of broadcast networks in which the packets transmitted by a computer are received by a particular group of computers. This is called as "Multicasting".
2. Point to Point or Store and Forward Networks. This is the other type of networks on the basis of transmission technology. The store and forward networks consist of several interconnected computers and networking devices. The data is transmitted in the form of packets. Each packet has its own source and destination address.
To go from a source to a destination, a packet on this type of network may first have to visit one or more intermediate devices or computers that are generally called as "routers". The packets are stored on an intermediate router unless the output line is free. When the output line is free, it is forwarded to the next router. The routing algorithms are used to find a path from the source to destination. The routing algorithms play a very important role in this type of network.