Basic Computer Network Components

Computer Network Terminology – Hardware Explained

Wikiversity

Computer networks share common devices, functions, and features including servers, clients, transmission media, shared data, shared printers and other hardware and software resources, network interface card(NIC), local operating system(LOS), and the network operating system (NOS).

Servers – Servers are computers that hold shared files, programs, and the network operating system. Servers provide access to network resources to all the users of the network. There are many different kinds of servers, and one server can provide several functions. For example, there are file servers, print servers, mail servers, communication servers, database servers, fax servers and web servers, to name a few.

Clients – Clients are computers that access and use the network and shared network resources. Client computers are basically the customers(users) of the network, as they request and receive services from the servers.

Transmission Media – Transmission media are the facilities used to interconnect computers in a network, such as twisted-pair wire, coaxial cable, and optical fiber cable. Transmission media are sometimes called channels, links or lines.

Shared data – Shared data are data that file servers provide to clients such as data files, printer access programs and e-mail.

Shared printers and other peripherals – Shared printers and peripherals are hardware resources provided to the users of the network by servers. Resources provided include data files, printers, software, or any other items used by clients on the network.

Network Interface Card – Each computer in a network has a special expansion card called a network interface card (NIC). The NIC prepares(formats) and sends data, receives data, and controls data flow between the computer and the network. On the transmit side, the NIC passes frames of data on to the physical layer, which transmits the data to the physical link. On the receiver’s side, the NIC processes bits received from the physical layer and processes the message based on its contents.

Local Operating System – A local operating system allows personal computers to access files, print to a local printer, and have and use one or more disk and CD drives that are located on the computer. Examples are MS-DOS, Unix, Linux, Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows XP etc.

Network Operating System – The network operating system is a program that runs on computers and servers that allows the computers to communicate over the network.

Hub – Hub is a device that splits a network connection into multiple computers. It is like a distribution center. When a computer requests information from a network or a specific computer, it sends the request to the hub through a cable. The hub will receive the request and transmit it to the entire network. Each computer in the network should then figure out whether the broadcast data is for them or not.

Switch – Switch is a telecommunication device grouped as one of computer network components. Switch is like a Hub but built in with advanced features. It uses physical device addresses in each incoming messages so that it can deliver the message to the right destination or port.

Unlike a hub, switch doesn’t broadcast the received message to entire network, rather before sending it checks to which system or port should the message be sent. In other words, switch connects the source and destination directly which increases the speed of the network. Both switch and hub have common features: Multiple RJ-45 ports, power supply and connection lights.

Router – When we talk about computer network components, the other device that used to connect a LAN with an internet connection is called Router. When you have two distinct networks (LANs) or want to share a single internet connection to multiple computers, we use a Router. In most cases, recent routers also include a switch which in other words can be used as a switch. You don’t need to buy both switch and router, particularly if you are installing small business and home networks. There are two types of Router: wired and wireless. The choice depends on your physical office/home setting, speed and cost.

LAN Cable A local area Network cable is also known as data cable or Ethernet cable which is a wired cable used to connect a device to the internet or to other devices like other computer, printers, etc.

https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Basic_computer_network_components

Basic Computer Network Components 1

Types of Network Hardware
  • Types of Network Hardware.

A computer network is not made up of one machine or even one type of machine. It is a carefully designed system of different hardware components (networking devices) working in tandem with various rules and communication protocols. From the network scenario in a household, to a medium scale network in a school or mall to a large, border-crossing network of a corporation or service, a computer network is made up of various hardware parts, some standard and some rare and more complex. So, what are the different types of network hardware? Read on for a listing of such devices and a brief explanation of each.

  • Cables & Wires. Everything may be turning wireless nowadays but at least 2-3 wired connections have to exist somewhere in a computer network. …
Cables & Wires
Everything may be turning wireless nowadays but at least 2-3 wired connections have to exist somewhere in a computer network. Connecting a desktop to a router or the router to the modem, such connections are always wired and the common cable type used is CAT5 RJ-45. Wiring is typically thought of as being a Layer 1 (physical layer) device as raw data or signals are transferred from one end to the other.
  • NIC. Network interface cards is easily one of the most important components of a computer network. …
NIC
Network interface cards is easily one of the most important components of a computer network. It is a hardware part that allows the computer to be identified amongst others in a network and allows the computer to connect to a network. It works in the physical and data link layer of the OSI model. This card provides the circuitry required to implement a networking standard. The most common NIC form used is Ethernet. Recent computers, both desktops and laptops have their NIC built on the motherboard, earlier computers needed an internal or external NIC to be added. Laptops with built-in Wi-Fi have wired and wireless NIC capability, but most desktops have only wired connection capabilities and will require a wireless adapter to connect wirelessly.
  • Hubs. …
Hubs
Connecting more than one computer to a higher layer networking device like a router can be difficult, if you do not have a hub. A hub collects various devices through a wired connection and groups them into a segment. So, the network recognizes all devices connected to the hub, as one segment. Typical hubs allow Ethernet wired connections and have at least 4-5 ports on them and can have 8, 12 or even more ports. They are very simple devices, they do not manage or filter or function in any other manner, other than to act as a collection point. They operate in the physical layer of the OSI model.
Hubs are now largely obsolete, having been replaced by network switches except in very old installations or specialized applications.
  • Modems. …
Modems
A modem acts as a sort of converter or translator. It allows digital data or information to be transmitted over traditionally analog lines of transmission such as a telephone line. The word “modem” is a mix of two transmission terms, “modulate” and “demodulate”, which are the two main operations performed. The digital signal from a computer is converted into analog form, sent over the analog medium and then decoded back into its digital form at the receiving end.
  • Routers. …
Routers
Routers can be thought of as the mailroom of a network. They receive incoming data packets, decipher their addressing information (where did they come from, where do they have to go) and send them accordingly. Routers are essentially used for traffic management. They function in Layer 3 (network layer) of the OSI model. Routers are much smarter than hubs, they can implement security protocols, assign IP addresses, both static and dynamic and can function in both the wired and wireless transmission band. There are different router types based on their area of use, such as home or small-use routers to enterprise routers, which are used for complex routing functions in large corporations.
  • Gateways. …
Gateways
A gateway acts as the meeting point or go between point between 2 different networks, using different protocols. e.g. Network A uses one protocol, Network B uses another. A computer from A wants to communicate with a machine from B but due to the difference in protocols, it does not know how to communicate. It can adopt or add B’s protocol but this is a tasking process and is not really efficient. Instead, a gateway will translate the request from the computer in A’s network, into B’s language and then translate the reply from B’s language into A’s. So, the 2 machines can communicate without any change in protocol. Gateways function in all layers of the OSI model, since they perform conversion or translation functions.
  • Wireless Access Points.
Wireless Access Points
An access point acts as a middle station for a network and helps in adding more users to it. They are connected to the network but act as a transmitter and receiver for the network signals, so other devices can connect to the access point and in turn will be connected to the main network. The best example for an access point scenario is a large house, where the router is located in the basement. So, the ground floor can receive the wireless signal but the first floor cannot, due to the network’s limited range. An access point connected on the ground floor will receive the router’s wireless signal and emit it to reach the first floor, enabling users on that floor to access the original network.

Next Unit of Computing (NUC)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Unit_of_Computing

INTEL NUC

is a line of small-form-factor barebone computer kits designed by Intel. The NUC has had eight generations so far, spanning from Sandy Bridge-based Celeron CPUs in the first generation through Ivy Bridge-based Core i3 and i5 CPUs in the second generation to Gemini Lake-based Pentium and Celeron CPUs and Kaby Lake-based Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs in the seventh and eighth generations. The NUC motherboard measures 4 × 4 inches (10.16 × 10.16 cm).[1]

The barebone kits consist of the board, in a plastic case with a fan, an external power supply, and a VESA mounting plate.[2]Intel does sell just the NUC motherboards, which have a built-in CPU, although (as of 2013) the price of a NUC motherboard is very close to the corresponding cased kit; third-party cases for the NUC boards are also available .