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The term "computer infrastructure" refers to the way a computer network is set up using different hardware and software components. There are various types of computer infrastructure, including Internet infrastructure, network infrastructure, satellite infrastructure, and more. These types of infrastructure can be found in the workplace, the home, and other settings.
Infrastructure, as it relates to computers, is most often used to refer to hardware. This includes many different computer components and peripherals that are controlled via firmware, such as drivers. One example of a typical infrastructure is the computer itself, the cables connecting the computer to peripherals like printers or monitors, and the firmware installed on the computer that allows it to send and receive data.
Many components of computer infrastructure have some relation to communications. A computer on a network uses firmware to connect with different computers, servers, and users. Things like satellites, routers, repeaters, and telephone or cable lines are considered parts of the infrastructure, even though they may not be directly connected to a computer. Anything that is used to help a computer transmit and receive data can be considered computer infrastructure.
Most businesses rely on a properly configured computer infrastructure to ensure that their communications needs are met. Employees should be able to use the network to communicate internally and externally, and to send and receive data over the Internet. A well configured network will make everyone’s job easier by providing instant access to different types of computer resources. This can increase job productivity and it can also improve customer satisfaction due to quick response times to customer service queries and problems.
Computer infrastructure must also have some level of security if it is to be protected from unauthorized users. For example, a business will often want to restrict access to servers or computers on its network so that proprietary information is secure. Even at home, people need to be concerned about the security of their network infrastructure so that no one else can "ride" their Internet connection or access private data on their home computers.
Setting up a computer infrastructure can be complicated, so sometimes an outside hire may be used to design and connect computer, networking, and mobile infrastructures. Hiring a professional can help to ensure that the network is correctly designed. An outside hire also ensures that there is a contact in case something goes wrong with a company’s Internet or mobile infrastructure, which can have negative impacts on business if not fixed as soon as possible.
@Soulfox -- True, but there are times when the old, wired network is preferable. Consider security issues. Wireless routers require passwords, but they can be hacked by people who know what they are doing. There is almost no danger of an outsider directly accessing a hardwired network and either stealing bandwidth or finding a way to access computers in a network directly.
For that reason you will find a lot of companies that still do things the old fashioned way.
Setting up computer infrastructure isn't as complicated as it used to be thanks to wireless networking. Remember the good old days when one had to run wires all over the place to tie computers to a router and a server? Such work often involved running cable over ceilings, drilling here and there and generally creating a mess. And if a cable went bad, unscrambling that mess to find the problem was often time consuming and always frustrating.
These days, setting up a wireless router and tying other computers to it is a snap. Sure, there's more to networking than that, but the process of getting various computers to talk to a router used to be half the battle. The widespread use of WiFi has pretty well taken care of that battle.
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