Basics of Networking
Computer Networking plays a very crucial part of the IT. Millions of the computers are networked together to form the Internet. Networking plays a important role in every kind of organization from small to medium sized, in Banks, multinational Companies, Stock Exchanges, Air Ports, Hospitals, Police Stations, Post Offices, Colleges, Universities, and even in home, in short networking plays an important role everywhere where computers are used.
A network is a group of computers, printers, and other devices that are connected together with cables for sharing of data and resources. The network operates by connecting computers and peripherals using two pieces of equipment; switches and routers. Switches and routers, essential networking basics, enable the devices that are connected to your network to communicate with each other, as well as with other networks.
A node is anything that is connected to the network. While a node is typically a computer, it can also be something like a printer or CD-ROM tower.
Types of Networking:
There are two popular types of network cabling one is twisted-pair (also known as 10BaseT) and thin coax (also known as 10Base2). Twisted-pair cabling looks like ordinary telephone wire, except that it has 8 wires inside instead of 4. Thin coax looks like the copper coaxial cabling that’s often used to connect a VCR to a TV set.
Network Interface Card:
A network computer is connected to the network cabling with a network interface card called a network adapter (NIC). These Network Adapters are installed inside the PC where a network card is plugged directly into one of the computer’s internal expansion slots.
Like network cards, hubs are available in both standard (10Mbps) and Fast Ethernet (100Mbps) versions. A hub is a box that is used to gather groups of PCs together at a central location with Twisted-pair(10BaseT) cabling. Each hub, in turn, may connect a handful of computer together using 10BaseT cabling, which allows you to build networks of tens, hundreds, or thousands of nodes.
LANs (Local Area Networks):
LANs are networks usually limited to a geographic area, such as a single building or a college campus. LANs can be small, linking as few as three computers, but often link hundreds of computers used by thousands of people. The development of standard networking protocols and media has resulted in worldwide proliferation of LANs throughout business and educational organizations.
WANs (Wide Area Networks):
Wide area networking combines multiple LANs that are geographically separate. This is accomplished by connecting the different LANs using services such as dedicated leased phone lines, dial-up phone lines (both synchronous and asynchronous), satellite links, and data packet carrier services.
Wide area networking is globally linked using special routing protocols and filters to minimize the expense of sending data sent over vast distances.
The Internet is a system of linked networks around worldwide to facilitate data communication services such as remote login, file transfer, electronic mail, the World Wide Web and newsgroups. Internet websites now provide personal, educational, political and economic resources to every corner of the planet.
With the advancements made in browser-based software for the Internet, many private organizations are implementing intranets. An intranet is a private network utilizing Internet-type tools, but available only within that organization. For large organizations, an intranet provides an easy access mode to corporate information for employees.
Ethernet is the most popular physical layer LAN technology in use today. Ethernet is popular because it strikes a good balance between speed, cost and ease of installation. These benefits, combined with wide acceptance in the computer marketplace and the ability to support virtually all popular network protocols, make Ethernet an ideal networking technology for most computer users today.
Network protocols are standards that allow computers to communicate. A protocol defines how computers identify one another on a network, the procedures for handling lost or damaged transmissions or “packets, the form that the data should take in transit, and how this information is processed once it reaches its final destination. Popular protocols include TCP/IP, the most common protocol found on the Internet and in home networks.
Topology is the way that each node is physically connected to the network. A network topology is the geometric arrangement of nodes and cable links in a LAN, and is used in two general configurations: bus and star. These two topologies define how nodes are connected to one another. A node is an active device connected to the network, such as a computer or a printer. A node can also be a piece of networking equipment such as a hub, switch or a router.
A bus topology consists of nodes linked together in a series with each node connected to a long cable or bus. Many nodes can tap into the bus and begin communication with all other nodes on that cable segment. A break anywhere in the cable will usually cause the entire segment to be inoperable until the break is repaired.
A peer-to-peer network allows two or more PCs to pool their resources together. Individual resources like disk drives, CD-ROM drives, and even printers are transformed into shared, collective resources that are accessible from every PC.
The information stored across peer-to-peer networks is uniquely decentralized. Because peer-to-peer PCs have their own hard disk drives that are accessible by all computers, each PC acts as both a client (information requestor) and a server (information provider). A peer-to-peer network can be built with either 10BaseT cabling and a hub or with a thin coax backbone.
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