Different Network Devices
In the world of computers, networking is the practice of linking two or more computing devices together for the purpose of sharing data. Networks are built with a mix of computer hardware and computer software. Network devices are components used to connect computers or other electronic devices together so that they can share files or resources like printers or fax machines.
Hub is a common connection point for devices in a network. Hubs are commonly used to connect segments of a LAN. A hub contains multiple ports that allow network devices to be the maximum distance away. When the packet arrives at one port, it is copied to the other ports so that all segments of the LAN can see all packets. There are two types of hub: Active hub and Passive hub. An active hub can regenerate or amplify a signal whereas a passive hub connects multiple media segments together and it doesn’t regenerate or amplify signal.
Switch is a networking device capable of forwarding packets directly to the ports associated with particular network addresses. Switches work with pairs of ports, connecting two segments needed. Most switches can work with multiple pairs of ports simultaneously to improve performance.
Router is a device that transfer or routes data between network. It is commonly used to transfer data between different technologies such as Ethernet and IBM Token Ring. A router stores and forwards electronic messages between networks, first determining all possible paths to the destination address and then picking the best route between any two hosts. Very little filtering of data is done through routers. Routers do not care about the type of data they handle.
Repeater is a network device used to regenerate or replicate a signal. It is used in transmission systems to regenerate analog or digital signals distorted b transmission loss. Analog repeaters can only amplify the signal while digital repeaters can reconstruct a signal near its original quality. In a data network, a repeater can relay messages between sub-networks that use different protocols or cable types. Hubs can operate as repeaters by relaying messages to all connected computers. A repeater cannot do the intelligent routing performed by bridges and routers.
Bridge is a device that connects a local area network to another network that uses the same protocol such as Ethernet or ARCNET. It examines each message on a LAN, “passing” those known to be within the same LAN and forwarding those known to be on the other interconnected LAN. It diminishes network traffic and increases performance, reliability and security.
Gateway is a device that connects two computer networks that uses different protocols. It translates between protocols so that computers on the connected networks can exchange data. For example, commercials online services often have gateways for sending e-mail to internet addresses.
CSU/DSU (Channel Service Unit/Digital Service Unit)
A channel service unit/digital unit (CSU/DSU) is a digital interface device that adapts the physical interface on a data terminal equipment (DTE) device to the interface of a data circuit-terminating device in a switched-carrier network. The CSU/DSU also provides signal timing for communication between these devices.
Access points are the common connections between a wireless network and a cable network. They have an interface for the cable network and convert that signal into either radio or infrared.
Different Network Models
Computer network refers to a group of networked computer i.e., computers that are linked by means of a communication system. Networks can be organized into three basic models. They are centralized computing, client/server and peer-to-peer. Centralized computing models are used with mid-range and mainframe computers usually running a UNIX-based operating system. Centralized computing model offer the greatest level of performance but at the greatest cost as well. Client/Server is the most popular configuration, because of its versatility and power drawing mainly from the vast variety and higher performance of specialized server hardware. Client/Server and peer to peer are used with PC networks. The peer-to-peer model is the simplest to implement and assemble.
Centralized Computing Network
Centralized computing network is a network in which a central host computer controls all network communication and performs data processing and storage on behalf of clients. Users connect to the host via dedicated terminals or terminal emulators. The host computer is the heart of the centralized computing model. Most computers typically run the UNIX operating system and can process multiple jobs simultaneously and in very efficient manner. Centralized networks provide high performance and centralized management, but they are expensive to implement. Centralized computing network is also called host-based networks.
The client/server network is a common networking model which enables many users to access information in n efficient manner. Generally, the user’s computer is called the client and the machine that contains the information being accessed is called the server. Servers are powerful computers or processes dedicated to managing disk drives, printers, or network traffic. Clients are PCs or workstations on which users run applications. Clients rely on servers for resources, such as files, devices, and even processing power.
Peer-to-Peer networking is a server-less networking technology that allows several network devices to share resources and communicate directly with each other. In this type of network, a user works on a workstation and shares that workstation’s resources with other workstations. It works well in small offices, but doesn’t usually fill the bill for large networks, particularly because there isn’t a back end to share the resources.
Some Terms Related to Network
Node is any network device that can connect to the network and act as an endpoint. In other words, it is a server, client, or other resources that is attached to the network and has a unique network address. An endpoint is a source or destination of data where that data is generated or processed. devices like workstation, servers, printers, and even servers that host Web sites on the Internet are endpoints.
Client is a computer that retrieves information from or uses resources provided by a server or main computer. Each of these computer connects to a central server or mainframe, which allows a lot of the processing to be done on the client side instead of the server side and reduces the processing requirements of the server.
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