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Chapter 1. Computer Networking Overview > Why Network Your Computers? - Pg. 3

Computer Networking Overview Note 3 Networks are not networks just because they contain highly complex connectivity strategies. Two computers running the Windows Me operating system can be joined together by their COM ports (also known as serial ports ) by a single serial cable. Is this a network? Sure, it allows you to share resources between the two computers and therefore meets the basic definition of what a network is. In our discussion of computer networks, we will be looking at two distinct entities: LANs and WANs. A local area network (LAN) is a collection of personal computers and other periph- eral devices connected at one location. A wide area network (WAN) is a collection of LANs at different locations connected together using various WAN technologies (discussed in Chapter 13, "Expanding a LAN with WAN Technology").