Introduction includes Network types IP address NIC etc
Networks can be categorized in several different ways. One approach defines the type of network according to the geographic area it spans. Local area networks (LANs), for example, typically reach across a single home, whereas wide area networks (WANs), reach across cities, states, or even across the world. The Internet is the world's largest public WAN.
Computer networks also differ in their design. The two types of high-level network design are called client-server and peer-to-peer. Client-server networks feature centralized server computers that store email, Web pages, files and or applications. On a peer-to-peer network, conversely, all computers tend to support the same functions. Client-server networks are much more common in business and peer-to-peer networks much more common in homes.
A network topology represents its layout or structure from the point of view of data flow. In so-called bus networks, for example, all of the computers share and communicate across one common conduit, whereas in a star network, all data flows through one centralized device. Common types of network topologies include bus, star, ring and mesh.
Switches are used to connect multiple devices on the same network within a building or campus. For example, a switch can connect your computers, printers and servers, creating a network of shared resources. The switch, one aspect of your networking basics, would serve as a controller, allowing the various devices to share information and talk to each other. Through information sharing and resource allocation, switches save you money and increase productivity.
There are two basic types of switches to choose from as part of your networking basics: managed and unmanaged.
- An unmanaged switch works out of the box and does not allow you to make changes. Home-networking equipment typically offers unmanaged switches.
- A managed switch allows you access to program it. This provides greater flexibility to your networking basics because the switch can be monitored and adjusted locally or remotely to give you control over network traffic, and who has access to your network.
Routers, the second valuable component of your networking basics, are used to tie multiple networks together. For example, you would use a router to connect your networked computers to the Internet and thereby share an Internet connection among many users. The router will act as a dispatcher, choosing the best route for your information to travel so that you receive it quickly.
Routers analyze the data being sent over a network, change how it is packaged, and send it to another network, or over a different type of network. They connect your business to the outside world, protect your information from security threats, and can even decide which computers get priority over others.
Depending on your business and your networking plans, you can choose from routers that include different capabilities. These can include networking basics such as:
- Firewall: Specialized software that examines incoming data and protects your business network against attacks
- Virtual Private Network (VPN): A way to allow remote employees to safely access your network remotely
- IP Phone network : Combine your company's computer and telephone network, using voice and conferencing technology, to simplify and unify your communications
- Node - A node is anything that is connected to the network. While a node is typically a computer, it can also be something like a printer or CD-ROM tower.
- Segment - A segment is any portion of a network that is separated, by a switch, bridge or router, from other parts of the network.