A computer network may be defined as a channeled group of computers. A commonly used network model used by most computers is referred to as the Internet Protocol Suite.
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Computer networks are broadly classified into different classes according to various factors as stated below:
- According to their connection method; these include; -power line communication, Ethernet, optical fiber, and wireless Local Area Network (LAN). In wireless LAN technology, nonwired devices use radiofrequency for connectivity whereas Ethernet devices use physical wiring for connections. Ethernet uses switches, bridges, hubs, and routers for connectivity.
- According to scale; the key distinguishing factor in this classification type is the size of the network. The divisions include Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), Wide Area Network (WAN), and Local Area Network (LAN).
- According to a functional relationship: a functional relationship exists between elements in the network systems. Examples of such relationships include client-server networking and peer-to-peer networking systems.
- According to network topology: a network topology is defined as how computers and devices are organized in a network. These types of topologies include; mesh topology, bus topology, star topology, and ring topology. These arrangements signify how components included in a network relate logically to one another.
- Protocol: network systems employ different communication protocols across their devices.
Local Area Network
This study is going to extensively look at the study of Local Area Networks. This is a network that majorly covers a small geographical area. Data transfer rates in LANs are fast. Currently, Ethernet LAN technologies will operate at a data transfer rate of about 10 GB/s.Within a LAN it is also possible to create a set of interconnected networks. This is referred to as an intranet.
An intranet uses IP-based tools including browsers which are usually under the control of a single entity from the administrator. Also uses the Internet Protocol. This administrative entity and allows only specific users. Basic Hardware Components of a Local Area Network
These are building blocks that make up a network. They are used to interconnect internet devices such as repeaters, network cards also called network interface cards, routers, switches, and hubs. The various functions of these devices include:
Repeater: It is defined as an electronic device that will receive and transform a signal and retransmits it to a higher level so that it covers a long distance to avoid degradation. Repeaters don’t work to interpret data being transmitted since they work with the actual physical signal. Repeaters operate at the first layer of the Open System Interconnection model known as the physical layer.
Network Card or Network Interface Card: This device enables computers over a computer network to communicate. It also permits computers to access physically to the networking medium. Users are also allowed to be connected through this medium by either using cables or wirelessly.
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Bridges: this device will connect multiple network segments. They do not copy traffic to all ports. They work by learning the association between ports and addresses through examination of source addresses of frames seen on various ports. Hubs: a hub is a device that connects that simply copies data to the nodes connected to it a hub will normally have multiple ports.
Routers: a router is a networking device that forwards data packets along with networks. It does this by using headers and forwarding tables that determine the best path in which to forward packets. They will also act as a medium of connectivity between the unlike and like media.
Ancillary Equipment Used in Networking
These are defined as equipment that ensures the correct working of a networking system. They diagnose failures in the system. They also circumvent problems. These devices include:
UPS (Uninterruptible Power supply) can be put anywhere in the system. It may be a line-charged battery that will take the element through a short power drop-out. It can also be an extensive channel of generators and magnificent battery banks which will the network over a long period in time after power shortage
Monitoring and diagnostic devices: Depends on the critical and skills of networks among operators. This factor makes the network need to have temporary or permanent connected measures of performance and diagnosis.
Wireless technology is a modern alternative to networks that use cables. A wireless network transmits data by microwave and other radio signals. Wireless networks offer even more benefits than wired ones. Most agree that wireless networking represents the future of computer and Internet connectivity worldwide. Wi-Fi continues to be the pre-eminent technology for building general-purpose wireless networks. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that are secure will provide the vices of security including network encryption and authentication. This can be implemented using IPsec.A VPN client software is used to log into the network.
Security can also be implemented using the VPN SSL. This relies on a web browser to log onto the privatized network. The advantage of this over IPsec VPN is that it is cheaper to set up and maintain since they utilize the SSL network protocols that are inbuilt to standard web servers and browsers. Another advantage includes the SSL operations that are always at a higher level than IPsec. This is advantageous again to network administrators in that they are exposed to a variety of options in aid of controlling access to network resources. A major disadvantage of SSL VPNs is the interfacing with resources that cannot be accessed from web browsers is difficult.
One wireless network is
- Efficient – One scalable network conserving spectrum and power
- Simple – One system to learn, operate and maintain
- Universal – One platform supporting many field protocols and applications simultaneously
These key attributes provide the following benefits:
- Best integrated industrial security available today
- Simultaneously connects to installed industrial protocols
- Single plant-wide wireless infrastructure for the lowest total cost of ownership
- Most flexible and upgradeable plant-wide wireless system available today
Extremely reliable mesh system – field-proven for best uptime.
S.p Meyn (2007). Control techniques for complex networks, Cambridge University Press.
R.Srikart, (2007). The Mathematics of Internet congestion control.Birkhouser.