ITGS Syllabus

Monday, February 06, 2006

Topic 22

Additional threats to privacy on a network compared with stand-alone computers by Tanay Khandelwal

A stand alone computer is a self-contained computer, usually a microcomputer, which is not connected to a network of computers and can be used in isolation from any other device.

The issues associated with stand alone computers are that stand alone computers require all the power from their own computer to conduct tasks and access the internet. This can be a major problem because sometimes a computer may overload or go beyond the limit of its CPU usage and crash. But, at the same while, stand-alone computers, though not the general systems used at all anymore, are highly more reliable than the computers we use in modern days which are hooked up to the internet. This is due to the fact that, stand-alone computers in general are not hacked into, and do not pick up viruses as they run as a self or “individual.”

Stand Alone computers run on an old modem internet connection of about 28.7 kbs. This way, downloads would take up to 60 to 70 days!

A “network computer” is a computer with minimal memory, disk storage and processor power designed to connect to a network, especially the Internet. The idea behind network computers is that many users who are connected to a network don't need all the computer power they get from a typical personal computer. Instead, they can rely on the power of the network servers.

Stand Alone computers today include: applications such as servers, games, and programs that have been made to “stand-alone” themselves.

Network computers are highly dangerous though a use of computer technologies today in order to be more efficient. Network computers are designed to minimize the amount of memory and processor power required by the workstation. Though to the average Joe, this may seem very advantageous it is rigged with problems. Network computers, if not protected with the correct virus-defense mechanisms, can be hacked easily and users’ information can be used in negative aspects. This is due to the fact that it is linked to a server which is shared. For example, just recently in the past year or two, CIT had an outbreak of a virus called “BugBear” that spread across the campus. This was due to the fact that, one computer which was linked to a network had received this virus. Then, many computers on that same network, started to receive the same virus due to the fact that they were sharing the very same network that the virus had infected. Through this example, it is clearly presented that network computers can be much of a threat to an individual using it.

Furthermore, network computers, proved inefficient since it requires a network connection to run. This is a disadvantage as many countries/ places lack network connections. Also, no privacy is really present in a network computer as it is not designed to protect others from accessing its database, but rater vice versa.

Network computers today include: Acorn computers, Gumstix' netstix computers, Applied Data Systems Single Board Computers, NetProducts NetStation, Sun Microsystems JavaStation, RCA Network Computer, IBM Network Station, Apple Interactive Television / Apple Set Top Box, Model M4120.

For further information the following websites:

Stand Alone Computers


Computer Networking


taro kondo11 said...

ive heard both terms before, but did not know the main differences until i read this essay.
so which one do you prefer? and are stand-alone computers still in the market? answers to those could've been stated in your essay.

Saturday, December 09, 2006 1:25:00 AM

Anonymous said...

It isn't necessarily true that a network is highly vulnerable to viruses. Many, many networks do not have any connection to the internet. Also, when it comes to hacking networks, for Windows LAN, you can apply a code which is encrypted. THis has been tested by hackers at Microsoft to be effective for the most part.
-Aditya Kumar

Friday, December 15, 2006 5:57:00 AM

Anonymous said...

many department stores use networks which are not connected to the internet to track inventory

Friday, December 15, 2006 6:05:00 AM

Anonymous said...

"Network computers are highly dangerous." This isnt necessarily true. A couple of firewalls and security software can protect a computer connected to a network from viruses or whatever. Good discussion though.

Monday, December 18, 2006 4:02:00 AM


Blogger Juju said...

Great essay tanay. You helped me understand what a stand alone computer is and told me about networking computers that i had never known about.

January 07, 2007 8:57 PM  
Blogger XiaoxiaoLi said...

I thought it is kind of obvious regarding "stand alone" computer's vulnerabilities VS. networks although you did do a decent job differentiating the two. Sometimes it's not mainly that the network of computers as a whole is more vulnerable. In most cases, the network makes it even stronger. But it's just that one infected PC will create a chaos within the network rapidly.

January 08, 2007 12:03 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home