CrazyEngineers Archive
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@pratap singh, upendra • 26 Jun, 2015

What is the difference between a host and a node in computer networking.

I recently learnt that link layer devices are called as nodes and network layer devices are called as hosts.

Is this difference limited only to OSI layer being talked about?

Are there any other differences?

@Kaustubh Katdare • 26 Jun, 2015 if ($networkingQuestion)
tag = @durga ;
return correctAnswer;
@vishnu tej • 27 Jun, 2015 Node:
In a network, a node is a connection point, either a redistribution point or an end point for data transmissions. In general, a node has programmed or engineered capability to recognize and process or forward transmissions to other nodes.

For companies or individuals with a Web site, a host is a computer with a Web server that serves the pages for one or more Web sites. A host can also be the company that provides that service, which is known as hosting.

In short node refers to either servers/clients, but host refers to servers.
@durga ch • 27 Jun, 2015 • 1 like sumarising what Vishnu has stated
node: an intermediate device in the network that is it is not generally the end device for data traffic but can be recipient of network controll traffic.
host on the other end is an end device- reciepient of data traffic . it can be a work station , a server or a virtual machine and so on. hosts generally dont have capability of handling traffic , they just either receive or drop traffic where as nodes forward filter and update packets
@durga ch • 27 Jun, 2015 also osi is is just a standard for implementation of network functions ina device
@Karshil Sheth • 26 Jan, 2020 • 1 like

Hi, A node is any addressable device connected to a network whereas the host is a more specific descriptor that refers to a networked general-purpose computer rather than a single purpose device (such as a printer).

A network host is a computer or other device connected to a computer network. A network host may offer information resources, services, and applications to users or other nodes on the network. A network host is a network node that is assigned a network layer host address. Computer is a host.

@Teja Reddy • 27 Feb, 2020

A node is any device that is "active" in the network (has a network port and is more than an electrical adapter); a node may have only a partial network stack, e.g. only physical layer or only physical to network layer.

A host has a complete network stack from physical to application layer, arbitrary applications run on a host.

All strict definitions fail when you look at real-world devices like switches or routers with a web interface - here you'll have to look at what function the device serves in the network. A managed switch is primarily a node and only incidentally a host.

@supriya VN gowda • 27 Feb, 2020

Node is a end system or computer in a network. It helps to transfer information from one node to another node in the network. It is active in the network. 

Host is a computer or system connected to a network and it provides services and applications to users and other hosts. It serves as a server while providing services. 


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