General Info Helps You Understand Networking Fundamentals
Computer Networking is any set of computers or devices connected to each other so as to communicate or exchange data. For a network to function, the devices must be interconnected. Network connections can be wired or wireless.
All networks are connected to enable communication with different kinds of media (wire or cables), which includes, twisted-pair copper wire cable, coaxial cable, optical fiber, power lines and various wireless technologies.
The devices can be separated by a few meters (e.g. via Bluetooth) or nearly unlimited distances (e.g. via the interconnections of the Internet).
In Wired networks, the medium is either copper, which carries electrical signals, or optical fibre, which carries light signals.
In Wireless networks, the medium of connection or mode of transmitting is radio waves, space, or microwaves. Wireless networks may include the home wireless connection between a wireless router and a computer with a wireless network card, the global wireless connection between two ground stations, or the communication between devices on earth and satellites then received via the internet.
Examples of Networks are:
Local Area Network. (LAN)
A LAN (Local Area Network) is an individual network that covers a single geographical area, providing networking services and applications to people within a common managerial structure, such as a single business, campus or region.
A LAN is usually administered by a single organization. The administrative control that governs the security and access control policies are enforced on the network level. LANs and WANs are very useful to individual organizations. They connect the users within the organization. They allow many forms of communication including exchange e-mails, corporate training, and other resource sharing.
Wide Area Network. (WAN)
WAN that is usually a larger network that covers a large geographic area. An example of this is an organization that uses a WAN to interconnect their offices in different countries. The largest and best example of a WAN is the Internet, which is a network of networks, composed of many smaller networks. The Internet is considered the largest network in the world.
Main Features of WANs:
- WANs generally connect devices that are separated by a broader geographical area than can be served by a LAN.
- WANs use the services of carriers, such as telephone companies, cable companies, satellite systems, and network providers.
- WANs use serial connections of various types to provide access to bandwidth over large geographic areas.
Wireless LANs and WANs. (WLAN & WWAN)
WLAN & WWAN are the wireless equivalent of the LAN and WAN. But there are no wires between end devices and servers. Communication or data is transferred over sets of radio transceivers or waves. These types of networks are beneficial when it is too costly or inconvenient to run the necessary cables.. The media access protocols for LANs come from the IEEE.
Components of the Network
The path that a message takes from source to destination can be as simple as a single cable connecting one computer to another or as complex as a network that literally spans the globe. This network infrastructure is the platform that supports our human network. It provides the stable and reliable channel over which our communications can occur.
Devices and Media
Devices and media are the physical elements or hardware of the network. Hardware is often the visible components of the network platform such as a laptop, a PC, a Switch, Router or the cabling used to connect the devices. Occasionally, some components may not be so visible. In the case of wireless media, messages are transmitted through the air using invisible radio frequency or infrared waves.