Computer - Networking

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What is a Computer Network?

A computer network is a system in which multiple computers are connected to each other to share information and resources.

Computer Networks

Characteristics

  • Share Resources from one computer to another

  • Create files and store them in one computer, access those files from the other computer(s) connected over the network

  • Connect a printer, scanner or a fax machine to one computer within the network and let other computers of the network use the machines available over network.

Following is the list of hardwares required to set up a computer network:

  • Network Cables

  • Distributors

  • Router

  • Internal Network Cards

  • External Network Cards

Network Cables

  • Network cables are used to connect computers. The most commonly used cable are Category 5 cable RJ-45.

Network Cables

Distributors

  • Each and every computer can be connected to another one via a serial port, but if we need to connect many computers to produce a network, this serial connection will not work. The solution is to use a central body to which other computers, printers, scanners, etc., can be connected and then this body will manage or distribute network traffic.

Network Distributor

Router

  • A router is a type of device, which acts as the central point among computers and other devices that are part of a network.

  • A router is equipped with holes called ports.

  • Computers and other devices are connected to a router using network cables.

  • Nowadays, router comes in wireless modes using which computers can be connected without any physical cable.

Network Router

Network Card

  • Network card is a necessary component of a computer without which a computer cannot be connected over a network.

  • Also known as network adapter or Network Interface Card (NIC).

  • Most of branded computers have network card pre-installed.

  • Network cards are of two types: Internal and External Network Cards

Internal Network Cards

  • Motherboard has a slot for internal network card where it is to be inserted.

  • Internal network cards are of two types:

  • First type uses Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) connection.

  • Second type uses Industry Standard Architecture (ISA).

  • Network cables are required to provide network access.

Network Card

External Network Cards

  • Comes in two flavors: Wireless and USB based.

  • Wireless network card needs to be inserted into the motherboard but no network cable is required to connect to network.

Externl Network Card
  • USB cards are easy to use and connect via USB port.

  • Computer automatically detects USB card and can install the drivers required to support the USB network card automatically.

Data Card

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