The Internet is a great example to understand the function of computers as part of a network.
The internet is evidently the largest data network of the world. It is built of many smaller and larger networks that are connected to one another. The source and destination of the information passing through the internet are individual computers.
To be able to create internet connection is separated into three parts: physical connection, logical connection, and applications.
Physical connection is created by specific devices of the computer (modems, network cards). With this physical connection computers are capable to transmit and receive information onto and from a certain network (LAN), or the internet.
The logical connection is based on standards called protocol. The protocol is a formal description of the proprieties and rules applied to the networking devices. The internet connection can use more protocols. The primary ones belong to the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
protocol group. The TCP/IP is a group of protocols that send the information and the data in a cooperative way.
The last part of the connection is the applications, in other name software, or program. These convert the data into a form that human can understand, and visualize them. The applications use the protocols to transmit and receive data through the internet.
The web browser visualizes files written in HTML language. Web browsers are the Internet Explorer and the Netscape. With FTP (file Transfer Protocol) large files can be transferred and received.