Introduction to computer network devices
Learning about network types and configuration remains incomplete unless we get to know the devices which help in communication between computers in any given network. Without the communication devices networks cannot be formed so knowing their names and what are their uses are equally important. To develop LAN network following network communication devices are required which are listed below:
NIC is Network Interface Card; this is the most important device in building network.These adapters are the most common part of computers which are used in our homes and offices.Nic is also referred to LAN, i.e. is Local area network card. Communication mediums (cables) are attached to this card to build network. This device has unique Mac address. To build network unique IP address is assign to this LAN card to begun communication.In case of developing WLAN, instead of LAN card we use Wireless card. Its functionality is same as simple LAN card; it is just wireless communication device which connects to router for communication.
Router is intelligent device which routes data to destination computers. It helps in connecting two different logical and physical networks together. In small network server is connected to router along with clients for communication. With routers network communication is not possible; it is soul of network without which distribution if internet and other network data to entire network is impossible. It works very same when it comes to use wireless network using wireless network router. It performs all functions similarly without using any medium like cables etc.Router uses software known as routing table. Routing table is used to store source and destination address. Major companies which know for manufacturing routers and wireless routers are Tp Link, Cisco systems, Nortel, D link etc.
If we talk about networks on larger scale hub(s) are required to build network. All computers are connected directly to the hub as hub performs as centralized device the network. When data is sent to the hub it broadcasts the data to all the ports of the hub and then it is sent to destination computer on the network. If hubs fails to perform its routine functions it will halt the working of the entire network until it is put back in normal condition.
Switch is another important device when we talk about computer network on broader spectrum.It is used at the same place as hub is but the only difference between the two is that switch possess switching table with in it. Switching tables store the MAC addresses of every computer it is connected to and send the data to only requested address unlike hub which broadcasts the data too all the ports. Switches can be considered advance form of hubs.
As name suggests it some kind of passing through to some thing. Interestingly gateways can be software or it can also be device. Gateway device connects LAN with internet. Its basic functionality is to provide security to the network. By using gateways incoming/out going traffic can be monitored for any malicious activity within the network which can be harmful to network integrity.
Modems can be of two types. One modem is very common in every computer which we use to connect to internet using our telephone line by dialing to our ISP and the other one is used to connect to DSL. Functions however are same for both types of modems; they are used for modulation and demodulation, they are used to convert analog signals into digital and digital signals into analog so that signals can be travelled on telephone lines.
Cables are obviously used to connect communication devices with each other to form network. There different types of cables, commonly used cables are 10baseT/CAT5 , coaxial cable, Ethernet and fiber optical cable. Fiber optical is the most expensive as it enables the data transfer at speed of light. It is costly solution which is mostly get adopted by corporate sector. However in recent developments optical fiber cable is now being used in home networking and also used as medium to connect to internet.