computer network

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computer network Number of computers linked together for communications purposes. A typical local area network (LAN) links computers within the same building, enabling staff to exchange data and share printers. LANs may use low-power radio links or infrared radiation links. A wide area network (WAN) covers longer distances and may link LANs. The interconnections are made through public telephone services via electronic units called modems, or through the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), a dedicated high-speed line that carries digital signals. See also Internet