Anetwork is a collection of computers, servers, mainframes, network devices and peripheralsconnected to one another to allow the sharing of data. Below are some of thecommonly used network devices. BridgeA network bridge joins two different computernetworks 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 coverlarger physical areas. Apart from building up larger areas, bridges are alsoused to segment larger networks into smaller ones. The bridgearchives this by placing itself between the two portions of two physicalnetworks and controlling the flow of data between them.
It has the capacity toblock the incoming flow of data as well. There are 3 types of bridges; TransparentBridge: Thisdevice is invisible to other devices on the network. It only blocks or forwardsdata as per the protocol set. TranslationalBridge: This device supports conversion. It converts the dataformat of one networking to another and has the capability of connecting twodifferent networks. Source Route Bridge: This device isset in the path which the packet takes through the network is implanted withinthe packet.
It is mainly used in Token ring networks which is seldom used thesedays. Source-route bridge—Source-route bridges were designed by IBM for useon Token Ring networks. The source-route bridge derives its name from the factthat the entire route of the frame is embedded within the frame. This allowsthe bridge to make specific decisions about how the frame should be forwardedthrough the network. The diminishing popularity of Token Ring makes the chancesthat you’ll work with a source-route bridge very slim. RouterArouter is a device that joins several computer networks together via wired orwireless 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 networkactivity. DSLmodemA digital subscriber line (DSL) modemenables the computer to connect to the Internet via an Internet ServiceProvider. DSL offers a substantial increase in Internet performance compared toa dial-up connection. SwitchA switch is a device thatis used to network many computers together. Switches have many Ethernet portsthat 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 thetraffic to and from each port so that each device connected to the switch has asufficient amount of bandwidth. However, switches do not have the ability to providefirewall and logging capabilities.
NetworkInterface CardNetwork Interface Cards (NICs) are hardware devices that connect acomputer to the network. They are installed on the mother board and have thecapability to develop a physical connection between the network and thecomputer. Computer data is translated into electrical signals send to thenetwork via Network Interface Cards.There are two types of network cards;Wired: Wireless: The wired NIC uses cables and connectors as a medium to transferdata, whereas in the wireless card, the connection is made using antenna thatemploys radio wave technology. All modern laptop computers incorporatedwireless NIC in addition to the wired adapter.
Network Interface card is one of the main computer networkcomponents, 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 and100Mbps. However, the speed of the card depends on the speed of the LAN. HubA hub is the most basic networkingdevice.
It connects multiple computers or network devices to form a single networksegment to allow computers to communicate directly with each other. It hasseveral Ethernet ports that are used to connect two or more network devicestogether. Each computer or device connected to the hub can communicate with anyother device connected to one of the hub’s Ethernet ports. There are threebasic types of hubs; Passive hub: It has no power supply, thus does not provide anyprocessing or regeneration of data. It only shares physical media. Active hub: It has power supply, thushas the ability to regenerate data before being retransmitted and it strengthensthe signals in case of disturbance.
Intelligent hub: An intelligent hub functionsas an active hub. It is stackable and can join one or more hubs together to extendthe number of ports. They have a microprocessor chip and have the capability toperform diagnostics in which is useful in troubleshooting. It can be remotelymanaged.