Things to know about networking

Things to know about networking

Networking or computer networking is allied computing tools that help share and exchange data or resources with each other. It is an electronic device that helps streamline the interaction and communication between devices on the computer network. These networking tools employ communication protocols or a system of rules to share information over wireless or physical technologies. In simpler terms, networking equipment are hardware to connect mobiles, laptops, computers, printers, and other devices to the network.

Different types of computer networking architecture
Two broad categories are:

Client-Server architecture
In this computer networking, the nodes are clients or servers. The server offers resources to clients like data, processing power, or memory. They also manage the behavior of the client node. Clients communicate with each other, but they do not share resources. For instance, there are computer devices in a network that save data or configuration settings. They are the servers in a network. Clients access this data by requesting the server.

Peer-to-peer architecture
In this networking architecture, connected computers have equal privileges and powers. But peer-to-peer architecture has no central server for coordination. Every device in the network works as either a server or a client. Each peer shares resources like processing and memory power with the computer network. For instance, some companies employ peer-to-peer architecture for hosting memory-consuming apps like 3D graphic rendering across different digital devices.

Networking equipment

Repeater
The device strengthens the signal and sends it again to the destination. Repeaters help bypass interfaces, overcome attenuation, and extend signal range. These are used within wireless networks, but you can also employ them with TV broadcasting, telephones, and fiber optics. Even though the hub boosts the signals for several devices connected to the ports, a simple repeater will have only two ports – one for the outgoing signals and the other for the incoming ones. Repeater functions at Layer 1 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model.

Hub
A hub helps connect several computer networking devices. It functions like a repeater by amplifying the signals that degrade upon commuting long distances through connecting cables. It is the most straightforward device in the family and connects LAN components with similar protocols. As long as the configuration for the incoming data formatting is set, both analog and digital data can be utilized through the hub. For instance, if the incoming data is in analog format, the hub will pass it in signal form. Likewise, if this data is in digital format, the hub will pass it on as packets. Hubs do not address functions or undertake packet filtering. They send the data packets to the connected devices. They operate at the Physical layer of the OSI model. Typically, hubs are of two types – multiple and simple ports. One can enroll in some online networking courses to learn about these in detail.

Modems
A modem helps the computer connect to the internet through a telephone line. Primarily modem converts the digital signals from the computer to analog signals and transports them through the telephone line. At the other end, the modem converts the analog signals to digital signals read by another computer.

Gateway
In terms of hardware, there is not much difference between a router and a gateway. Gateways are routers with a definite purpose. These work as the next default hop. In cases where there is no other pathway for the IP address on the network, the packets are routed to the default gateway in the network. These packets travel to the next hop, and the process continues until the packets reach their final destination.

Routers
Routers connect two or more networks. One prevalent use of the router is to connect the office or home network or LAN to the internet or WAN. Routers have a plugged-in internet cable with other cables that connect computers on the network. But LAN connection can also be wireless or Wi-Fi enabled, making the device wireless. These are also called wireless access points.

Switch
Switch forwards the data to the destination by assessing an incoming frame’s media access control address and forwarding it to the device with the matching address. Usually, devices connect to the switch ports through an Ethernet cable. The switch saves the MAC address of these devices in the address table and employs it as a reference while transferring the frames. When a router forwards the data to a network or IP address, a switch sends the information to the specific destination port. Unlike the hub that shares bandwidth amongst all its ports, the switch allocates the bandwidth for every port.

Moreover, switches have better intelligence than hubs as they examine the frame’s MAC address. You can find different types of switches like Layer 2, Layer 3, managed, unmanaged, fixed, modular, stackable, smart, and power over ethernet switches.

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