Networks

All about networks

NIC

NIC, or Network Interface Card is used to connect a computer to a network, modem or router.

HUB

Network Hubs are used to connect multiple computers into a network. These have Ethernet (CAT 5) connections.

Switch

Switches, as the name suggests, switches the data signal because a network cable can only have one data packet in it in one instant.

Router

A device that transfers data from one network to another in a very intelligent way. Most modern Routers are wireless.

Bridge

A bridge joins two networks together so as far as data packets are concerned; it looks like one large network. This is done on a computer in the 'Networks' window.

LAN

LAN, or Local Area Network is what small businesses have, all the machines are connected using one of the network topologies below to create a local network. If you have

WAN

WAN, or Wide Area Network is basically many LANs connected to a central system to create a WAN. An example is a supermarket chain, such as Tesco. There are many individual stores that have their own LAN, but they are all connected to the Head Quarters, where the main machine is. This forms a WAN.

Bus Network

A Bus network topology is a network architecture in which a set of clients are connected in a line called a bus.

Bus networks are the simplest way to connect multiple clients, but may have problems when two clients want to transmit at the same time on the same bus because a network cable can only support one data packet at a time.

Another disadvantage of a Bus network topology is that if one connection breaks, the whole system goes down, this could potentially be a problem if there are many machines.

Ring Network

A Ring network topology is a network architecture in which a set of clients are connected in a ring. This topology is essentially the same as a Bus network but it is easier to fix and find faults. It also requires less equipment and time as each client just connects to each other.

Star Network

A Star network topology is a network architecture in which a set of clients are each connected individually to a Hub or switch. This is the most commonly used network nowadays and is the most reliable because if one connection goes down only one client will.