network is a collection of computers, servers, mainframes, network devices and peripherals
connected to one another to allow the sharing of data. Below are some of the
commonly used network devices.
A network bridge joins two different computer
networks using the same protocol to enable them to work as a single network.
Bridges are used with local area networks (LANs) to extend their reach to cover
larger physical areas. Apart from building up larger areas, bridges are also
used to segment larger networks into smaller ones. The bridge
archives this by placing itself between the two portions of two physical
networks and controlling the flow of data between them. It has the capacity to
block the incoming flow of data as well. There are 3 types of bridges; Transparent
device is invisible to other devices on the network. It only blocks or forwards
data as per the protocol set. Translational
Bridge: This device supports conversion. It converts the data
format of one networking to another and has the capability of connecting two
different networks. Source Route Bridge: This device is
set in the path which the packet takes through the network is implanted within
the packet. It is mainly used in Token ring networks which is seldom used these
days. Source-route bridge—Source-route bridges were designed by IBM for use
on Token Ring networks. The source-route bridge derives its name from the fact
that the entire route of the frame is embedded within the frame. This allows
the bridge to make specific decisions about how the frame should be forwarded
through the network. The diminishing popularity of Token Ring makes the chances
that you’ll work with a source-route bridge very slim. RouterA
router is a device that joins several computer networks together via wired or
wireless connections. It routes data from a LAN to another network connection.
A router allows only authorized machines to connect to other computer systems.
Most routers have the capability to keep the log files about the local network
modemA digital subscriber line (DSL) modem
enables the computer to connect to the Internet via an Internet Service
Provider. DSL offers a substantial increase in Internet performance compared to
a dial-up connection. Switch
A switch is a device that
is used to network many computers together. Switches have many Ethernet ports
that can connect to computers, cables or DSL modems and other switches.
High-end switches have more than 50 ports and are often are rack mounted.
Switches can limit the
traffic to and from each port so that each device connected to the switch has a
sufficient amount of bandwidth. However, switches do not have the ability to provide
firewall and logging capabilities.
Interface CardNetwork Interface Cards (NICs) are hardware devices that connect a
computer to the network. They are installed on the mother board and have the
capability to develop a physical connection between the network and the
computer. Computer data is translated into electrical signals send to the
network via Network Interface Cards.
There are two types of network cards;
The wired NIC uses cables and connectors as a medium to transfer
data, whereas in the wireless card, the connection is made using antenna that
employs radio wave technology. All modern laptop computers incorporated
wireless NIC in addition to the wired adapter.
Network Interface card is one of the main computer network
components, comes with different speeds, 10Mbps, 100Mbps, and 1000Mbps, so on.
The standard network cards are built with Gigabit (1000Mbps)
connection speed. It also supports to connect slower speeds such as 10Mbps and
100Mbps. However, the speed of the card depends on the speed of the LAN.
HubA hub is the most basic networking
device. It connects multiple computers or network devices to form a single network
segment to allow computers to communicate directly with each other. It has
several Ethernet ports that are used to connect two or more network devices
together. Each computer or device connected to the hub can communicate with any
other device connected to one of the hub’s Ethernet ports. There are three
basic types of hubs; Passive hub: It has no power supply, thus does not provide any
processing or regeneration of data. It only shares physical media. Active hub: It has power supply, thus
has the ability to regenerate data before being retransmitted and it strengthens
the signals in case of disturbance. Intelligent hub: An intelligent hub functions
as an active hub. It is stackable and can join one or more hubs together to extend
the number of ports. They have a microprocessor chip and have the capability to
perform diagnostics in which is useful in troubleshooting. It can be remotely