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Network Topologies & Network Devices

Source : From my Blog Wink
I start writting these a year ago, and stop recently Sad cuz I'm so busy.
Hope this help :

Network Topologies & Network Devices

Alright, before starting to learn specific skills about Windows Server . You need some basic understandings in Networking fundamental.

If you've been through this before, you can skip it, but make sure that you have a glance to know what it is .

I) Network Topology :

Network Topology is kind of shape of Network in your house, your office or your school .

1/ Token Ring :

As its name says : all computers connect to a "Ring". If the ring is broken somewhere, computer cannot communicate with each other .
Just one computer can send data at a time .
Data are sent one-way (clockwise or counter clockwise)
Use method called "Token Passing" - it means if a computer want to send data, it needs a token (like a priority) , taken from other computers .
So, data transfer speed is slow ~ 10 Mbps
=> This Topology is oblivion .

2/ Bus :

The two end-points are called Terminators .
Computers connect to the Bus by T-connector .
If computer 1 want to send data to computer 4, data must be send to computer 2, computer 3 ... => Not assure for security .
If 2 computers are sending data simultaneously - bandwidth is divided by 2 and so forth .
This topology is easy to expand (just connect a computer to the Bus)
Because of slow speed, it is no longer used in modern Network.

3/ Star :

There is always a central device (called HUB - in this figure) .
Every computer becomes a member by connecting to central device .
Speed : 100 Mbps
Easy to deploy and expand .

=> The most popular Network topology is used nowaday .

There're also many topologies, but we just focus on the main ones ; you can find out more about them by doing some Google searches.

II) Network Devices :

1) Network Interface Card (NIC) - or Network Adapter :

- It's a part of your computer (behind a CPU-Case)

- Help computers to communicate to each other, and connect to central device - also .
- To recognise each other, NIC has something called : Address . Imagine that NIC is a house - if I need to send email to you - I need your House's address, right ?
- NIC has 2 types of address :
+ Physical address (MAC address) : Producer provides and cannot be changed - It's unique .
+ Logical address (Netowork address - IP address) : can be changed by administrator .

2/ Central devices :

Today, Hub is no longer used; instead , we use Switch which provides more efficient functions and enhance speed of transfer, also .

Central devices are used in Star Topology as I wrote in previous section.

3/ Cable :

2 types of cable :
- UTP : Unshielded Twisted Pair . Cheap.

- STP : Shielded Twisted Pair . Cover by copper to avoid interferences . Expensive 3 times when compare to UTP cable .
There is another topology --Mesh, considered to be the most robust among all. However it requires lots of cabling and are used in the scenario where reliability is more important than cost.

In network devices, there are Bridge, router and gateway along with the devices mentioned by you.
A gateway is not usually simply a 'device' as such (though it can be) - it can be software only, hardware only, or a mix of both. It is essentially just a 'splice' between two or more nets using different base protocols.
Also you have 'repeaters' - usually on older networks - which are just digital signal amps, brouters (bridge and router in one) and protocol converters (function similar to gateway but also convert a-sync to sync).
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