Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Networks and the Internet
E-Mail E-mail (short for electronic
mail) is the transmission of messages
and files via a computer network.
Today, e-mail is a primary commu-
nications method for both personal
and business use. You use an e-mail
program to create, send, receive,
forward, store, print, and delete e-mail
messages (Figure 36). Outlook and
Windows Live Mail are two popular
desktop e-mail programs. Just as you
address a letter when using the postal
system, you address an e-mail message
with the e-mail address of your
intended recipient. Likewise, when
someone sends you a message, he or
she must have your e-mail address.
Networks
and the Internet
Figure 36
An e-mail program.
A network is a collection of computers and devices connected together, often wirelessly, via
communications devices and transmission media. When a computer connects to a network, it
is online . Networks allow users to share resources, such as hardware, software, data, and infor-
mation. Sharing resources saves time and money. For example, instead of purchasing one printer
for every computer in a company, the firm can connect a single printer and all computers via a
network; the network enables all of the computers to access the same printer.
Most business computers are networked. These networks can be relatively small or quite
extensive. A local area network ( LAN ) is a network that connects computers and devices in a
limited geographical area such as a home, school computer laboratory, office building, or closely
positioned group of buildings. A wireless LAN ( WLAN ) is a LAN that uses no physical wires.
Often, a WLAN communicates with a wired LAN (Figure 37).
high-speed Internet connection
wired network
wireless
access point
Figure 37 Computers and
mobile devices on a wireless
LAN often communicate via
an access point with a wired
LAN to access its software,
printer, the Internet, and
other resources.
wireless network
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