Types of Network Devices and Hardware in Computer Networking

In Computer Networking Skills, Computer Skills
Types of Network Devices

Before forming a computer networking, you need to decide one of network topology types that fit your computer network. Besides that, you also need to think about whether the computer networking you are going to form will require a wireless networking, wired networking, or the combination of both of them. Then, consider the types of network devices for a computer networking.

Along with the development of technology, the computer networking is also evolving, especially for the network devices. Thus, the each of the network devices varies and distinguished based on its usability and quality.

Types of Computer Network Devices

If you want to assemble a computer networking, you need to know the network devices that work for a certain type of the network. Or, you simply may want to add up your computer networking skills. Therefore, the following are the summary of network devices you need know.

Server

Generally, the server computer of a network has an operating system, specific software, and networking database which provide services to other computers in the network. Furthermore, if the network connects to the internet, then the server computer also works as the client computer gateway to access the internet.

Client

The client computer is the computer that receives the services and also works to manage the data taken from the server computer.

Network Card

The network card or LAN card is a device mounted to the motherboard of every computer available in the network (either server or client). The LAN card allows computers communicate and exchange data among the computers within the network.

HUB (Hybrid Unit Board)

The Hub is a network device that consists of many ports used to connect nodes which work to form an interconnected network.

The Function HUB in a Computer Networking

  • Dividing the data signal from the LAN card.
  • Network signal amplifier.
  • Connecting cable from the server computer to the client computers.
  • Allows a long distance of computers connects by using the network cable.

Simply, the HUB is a device that has a lot of ports used to connect multiple nodes or points to form a network in a star topology network. On a common simple network, one of the ports connects the HUB to the server computer. Whereas, other ports are used to connect the client computers or workstations that already has a NIC to form a network.

The Development of HUB

A specific development of HUB can make it possible to connect to another HUB by way of uplink. This way is applicable when you are using a 16 ports HUB and plus 1 port for a server or another HUB. So, to add an additional network, you need an additional HUB.

In term of HUB management that is currently used on the market, you’ll find two types of HUB, namely manageable HUBs, and unmanageable HUBs. Manageable HUB is a HUB that can be managed by its congenital software. While unmanageable HUB, you can manage it manually. Take note that the HUB only allows users to share network in the same line.

A set of HUBs that form a network is also called as “Shared Ethernet.” In such network, each user will only get a bandwidth speed that is available on the network. For example, a network uses a 10 Mbps Ethernet and there are 20 Windows 95/98 operating system computers on the network. So, all of the computers connected to the network simultaneously transmit data, in which the average bandwidth that can be used by them is 0.5Mbps each.

On a bus topology network, there is also another device named Repeater which is almost similar to HUB. The work of the Repeater in a network is to amplify the signal which is useful to fasten the traffic from client computers to the server computer or vice versa when the distance between the client and the server is far. Using a repeater in a network, the signal will be stronger. Moreover, if you are using a coaxial cable for the network, the faster the signal.

Cables and Connectors

They work as the network cables to connect one computer to computers. A common type of cable for a network is the UTP cable.

Types of Cables and Connectors for Computer Networking

UTP connector (RJ-45)

To connect an UTP cable, you need an RJ-45 connector. It’s a jack that looks similar to a phone jack cable, but the cable of the RJ-45 connector has more holes. You can install the connector at both ends of the cable using UTP pliers. However, if you cannot install it yourself, you can ask the seller to install it directly when buying UTP cable.

UTP Cable – Unshielded Twisted Pair

There are several types of cable you can use in wireless networks. But today, the most widely used cable in a private network or local area network is UTP. The UTP cables for a network are also distinguished by its quality, which is category 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. There is also a UTP cable for outdoor with a weather-resistant safety quality and interference from the outside because it is protected by a metal which is commonly called as a Shielded Twisted Pair (STP or STP-A). In which, the installation of such cable with an RJ-45 UTP has a standard rule.

STP cable
The Advantages of Using STP Cable
  • More resistant to electromagnetic wave interference both from inside and outside
  • have the cable bending protection and anticipation
The Disadvantages of Using STP Cable:
  • It’s an expensive network cable.
  • The attenuation is increasing at a high-frequency.
  • At a high frequency, the balance will be decreasing, so it can not compensate the emergence of “crosstalk” and signal “noise”.
  • It’s difficult to install (especially when grounding).
  • The maximum reach is only 100 meters.

Repeater

The repeater in a network works to amplify the signal. So the signal can be received by the recipient (the same to the original power). Usually with a certain distance that has passed through the Network Card/Cable device capability.

Bridge

The bridge is a network device used to connect a network (LAN) to another network. The function of Bridge is to link between networks with the same protocol. The end result of Bridge is a single logical network. You can also use Bridge to the networks that have different physical media. For example, the Bridge can connect a fiber optic network with a coaxial network.

The Bridge in a network will determine the destination address of a traffic that is passing through the Bridge and directs it to the destination address. You can also use a Bridge to insulate a network. If network traffic is going slow due to overload traffic, the Bridge will divide the network into two smaller entities.

The Advantages of Using a Bridge in a Network

  • It can connect different types of networks such as Ethernet and Fast Ethernet or the same networks.
  • The Bridge in a network can map the Ethernet address of each of the existing nodes on each network segment and allows only the necessary data delivery process.
  • It can specify the source and destination of network segments. If the same segments are the same, then the packet will be rejected. Conversely, if it’s a different segment, then the Bridge will forward to the destination segment.
  • To avoid corrupted message spread out of a segment.

The Disadvantages of Using Bridge in a Network

The Bridge will not allow any delivery process, in addition, accept the process of sending the required data and cannot determine a segment and source if it’s the same segment or source.

Router

If you need to regulate the data flow from a LAN or other type of network to not mix, then you need a Router. Basically, a computer network is a system that consists of computers, software, and other network devices that work together to achieve a common goal.

The router has no ability to learn a network, but it can specify the most efficient line of data between two networks. Besides that, Router operates at the Network layer (the third layer of OSI). The Router will not care about the topology and the access level used by the network because it works at the network layer. The Bridge in a network is not deterred by a media or communication protocol. The Bridge knows the end destination of data packets.

Overall, the Router only knows where the location of the next router is. It can be used to connect networks using the same high level of protocols. If a data package arrives at the router, the router will determine the best route for the data package by checking it on the router table. The Router only determines the data package sent to the router from the previous Router.

Switch

It’s one of network devices which as the development of the Bridge concept. There are two basic architectures on the Switch, they are “cut-through” and “store and forward”. One of the advantages of the Cut-Through Switch is the high speed. Each time a data package arrives, the switch only focuses on the destination address before passing to the destination segment. Whereas, the Store and Forward Switch works as the opposite of the Cut-Through Switch. The Switch in a computer network receives and examines the entire contents of the data package before forwarding it to the destination. The data package inspection takes time. But this process allows the switch aware of any damage to data packages and prevents them disrupt the network.

There are several advantages of using Switch for all segments of the network because it has a bandwidth at a full 10 Mbps of speed. Commonly, the data transfer speed of a Switch is not divided like a shared network using a HUB.

The Advantage of Using a Switch in a Computer Network

Good performance for the network. Due to the specific system that of a Switch only focuses on the information that is explicitly addressed to the NIC, there will be a little overhead time to discard the data packages that are unnecessary to read every NIC in getting data package which is sent to the Switch from one to another independently which are bound to NIC switch.

Saving the use of cable in the computer network as the straight or cross cables already exist and can be used in the Switch.

The Disadvantages of Using a Switch in a Network

The price of a Switch is slightly more expensive than a HUB because Switch is the development of HUB.

The HUB has only one collision control for all ports that allow the possibility of data clashes. It’s because the data transmission is only controlled by one collision.

The Switch can only use a straight cable. So, if you want to use an existing cross cable, you need to change it to be a straight cable in advance.

Modem

The modem is one of network devices to support data transmission in a computer networking. Generally, the only time you don’t need a modem is when the telephone is used as a terminal keypad. All computer network channels require a modem at each end of them. Commonly, a modem operates at a certain data transfer speed, such as 300, 1200, 2400, 4800 or 96000 bits per second. The speed of a modem determines the speed of data transmission.

ADSL is a type of modem in the use high-speed internet access. Generally, the ADSL modem is an integration of a modem, firewall, Ethernet Switch, and routers, and perhaps also with a transceiver. ADSL modem works on a different frequency in a telephone conversation. So the telephone channel can be used for a conjunction conversation by using a data transmission through an ADSL modem.

NIC (Network Interface Card)

The Network Interface Card is a network card or LAN card in the form of an electronic board. Inside of every computer in a networking has a NIC to connect to the network. This network is not limited to a LAN (Local Area Network) only, but also Workgroup. So, as the technology development is always changing especially in the computer networking, now there are many types and brands network cards. However, there are three main points you need to know about the network card or NIC. Such as the type of network card, protocol, and the supporting cable.

NIC or network adapter is a computer hardware that is absolutely necessary if you want to assemble a computer network using a cable connection media. NIC serves to connect the server to the cabling system network. Based on the type of slot on the motherboard, there are two types of NIC, such as:

  • ISA slot (black or brown slot, longer)
  • PCI slot (white slot, shorter)

Cable for Networking

Currently, there are several types of network cabling. They are UTP cable (unshielded twisted pair cable), coaxial cable, and fiber optic. The quality of the cable is one of the most important network devices for a computer networking which does really determine the speed of data transmission. Today, the fiber optic is a popular network cable and there are many large companies use this kind of networking cable.

The most common cable and easy installation is the Coaxial cable. However, thanks to the HUB or Concentrator developments, most people prefer to use UTP cable. Because, besides the price is not too expensive, the capability is unreliable.

Back to 1990s, the most popular network cable is the coaxial cable. This kind of cable is almost similar to the antenna cable of television. Another type of cable which was also very popular is the Fiber Optic (F/O). Such kind of cable is very expensive, but its ability to support data transfer speed is really capable.

So, make sure you know the best networking cable that fit your networking needs. Because other network devices will be less functioning if the cable is not supporting the data transmission.

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