Information, Computer and Network Security Terms Glossary and
A "dumb network" provides the physical interconnection between nodes but not much processing to support signaling. The Internet is often cited as a dumb network relative to the public switched telephone network(PSTN). The PSTN is considered an "intelligent network" because the intelligence required for operation is carried within the network, while the end devices (telephones) are simple devices. The Internet takes the opposite approach: the network simply transports packets of data and the end devices (computers, for example) contain the intelligence to process the data. This approach is sometimes referred to as "dumb network, smart devices."