The basics of how networking works, and how to use different devices to build networks. Computer networking has existed for many years, and as time has passed the technologies have become faster and less expensive. Networks are made up of various devices—computers, switches, routers—connected together by cables or wireless signals. Understanding the basics of how networks are put together is an important step in building a wireless network in a community or neighborhood.
Advantages of a Computer Network
- Helps you to connect with multiple computers together to send and receive information when accessing the network.
- Helps you to share printers, scanners, and email.
- Helps you to share information at very fast speed
- Electronic communication is more efficient and less expensive than without the network.
Clients and Servers
An important relationship on networks is that of the server and the client. A server is a computer that holds content and services such as a website, a media file, or a chat application. A good example of a server is the computer that holds the website for Google’s search page: http://www.google.com. The server holds that page, and sends it out when requested.
A client is a different computer, such as your laptop or cell phone, that requests to view, download, or use the content. The client can connect over a network to exchange information. For instance, when you request Google’s search page with your web browser, your computer is the client.
In the example below, two computers are connected together with an Ethernet cable. These computers are able to see each other and communicate over the cable. The client computer asks for a website from the server computer. The website is delivered from the server, and displayed on the client’s web browser.
Most requests and content delivery on networks are similar to, or are based on, a client to server relationship. On a network, the server can be located almost anywhere, and if the client has the address, it can access the content on the server.
Client: radio receiver in your car
Server: radio station
Computer Network Components
Switches work as a controller which connects computers, printers, and other hardware devices to a network in a campus or a building.
It allows devices on your network to communicate with each other, as well as with other networks. It helps you to share resources and reduce the costing of any organization.
Routers help you to connect with multiple networks. It enables you to share a single internet connection with multiple devices and saves money. This networking component acts as a dispatcher, which allows you to analyze data sent across a network. It automatically selects the best route for data to travel and send it on its way.
- Transmission Media
Transmission media is a carrier used to interconnect computers in a network, such as coaxial cable, twisted-pair wire, and optical fiber cable. It is also known as links, channels, or lines.
- Access points
- Shared Data
Shared data are data which is shared between the clients such as data files, printer access programs, and email.
- Network Interface Card
Network Interface card sends, receives data, and controls data flow between the computer and the network.
- Local Operating System
A local OS which helps personal computers to access files, print to a local printer and uses one or more disk and CD drives which are located on the computer.
- Network Operating System
The network operating system is a program which runs on computers and servers. It allows the computers to communicate via network.
A protocol is the set of defined rules that allows two entities to communicate across the network. Some standard protocols used for this purpose are IP, TCP, UDP, FTP, etc.
Hub is a device that splits network connection into multiple computers. It acts a distribution center so whenever a computer requests any information from a computer or from the network it sends the request to the hub through a cable. The hub will receive the request and transmit it to the entire network.
- LAN Cable
Local Area Network(LAN) cable is also called as Ethernet or data cable. It is used for connecting a device to the internet.
OSI stands for Open Systems Interconnection. It is a reference model which allows you to specify standards for communications.
Unique Identifiers of Network
Every device of the network is associated with a unique device, which is called hostname.
In order to send and direct data across a network, computers need to be able to identify destinations and origins. This identification is an IP—Internet Protocol—address. An IP address is just a set of four numbers between 1 and 254, separated by dots.
Length of the IP address is 32-bits. IPv6 address is 128 bits. An example of an IP address is 22.214.171.124.
A function typically performed by routers, this filters traffic between networks and can protect them from interference or attacks.
DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is a server which translates URL or web addresses into their corresponding IP addresses.
MAC (Media Access Control Address) is known as a physical address is a unique identifier of each host and is associated with the NIC (Network Interface Card). General length of MAC address is : 12-digit/ 6 bytes/ 48 bits.
Port is a logical channel which allows network users to send or receive data to an application. Every host can have multiple applications running. Each of these applications are identified using the port number on which they are running.
Uses of Computer Networks
- Helps you to share resource such as printers
- Allows you to share expensive software’s and database among network participants
- Provides fast and effective communication from one computer to another computer
- Helps you to exchange data and information among users via a network.