Information Technology Fundamental - Networking Concepts"
The term "networking," which can also refer to "computer networking," describes the process of moving and exchanging information between various nodes in a network. In addition to the planning, building, and utilization of a network, networking also includes the administration, upkeep, and management of the network's hardware, software, and policies.
Computer networking allows for the interconnection of various nodes and devices over a LAN and beyond that, into wider networks like the internet or private WANs (WAN). This feature is crucial for service providers, businesses, and consumers all over the world to be able to pool resources, acquire or provide services, and interact with one another. Telephony, texting, video streaming, and the "Internet of Things" (IoT) would not be possible without networking (IoT).
The complexity of a network is proportional to the expertise required to manage it effectively. If a business has thousands of nodes and strict security measures in place, like end-to-end encryption, it will need highly trained network administrators to keep everything running smoothly.
On the other hand, a home Wi-Fi network can be set up and basic problems can be fixed by a nontechnical user with the help of a quick guide. In either case, we are talking about computer networking.
Types of Networking
There are primarily two varieties of computer networking: wired and wireless.
Transport between nodes in a wired network is accomplished through the use of a physical medium. Ethernet cabling based on copper is widely used for digital communications in businesses and homes due to its low cost and long lifespan. As an alternative, optical fiber can be used to transmit data over greater distances and at higher speeds, but it comes with a higher price tag and more delicate parts.
With wireless networking, devices can connect to a network without needing to run any cables between them. When people think of wireless networks, they usually think of wireless local area networks. Microwave, satellite, cellular, and Bluetooth are just some of the options out there.
Wire-based networks are typically faster, reliable, and secure than wireless ones, while wireless ones offer greater mobility, scalability, and adaptability.
Note that the focus of these networking techniques is the underlying physical infrastructure of a network. Software-defined networking (SDN) and overlay networks are just two examples of networking approaches that can be categorized based on their construction and design. Local area networks (LAN), campus networks (campus-wide), wide area networks (WAN), data center networks, and storage area networks (SAN) are all examples of networking environments and scales.
Important Elements of the Computer Network
A computer network consists of four fundamental elements. End devices, Media, Protocols, and Networking devices comprise these components. Let's examine these elements in depth.
A network endpoint is a device that transmits or receives data. It might be a computer, laptop, smartphone, or any other network-connected device capable of delivering and receiving data. At least two endpoints are required to construct a network.
Server end devices and client end devices are the two main categories of end devices. The server endpoint is the device that delivers data or services. The client end device is the device that receives the data or service being supplied by the server end device.
The media facilitates communication between the endpoints. If endpoints are not connected by media, they cannot share data or services. There are primarily two forms of media: wireless and wired.
In wireless media, radio waves are utilised to transmit data between end devices, whereas cables are used in wired media.
Both media types are subdivided into numerous subgroups. Various parameters, such as length, data transfer speed, employed metal, frequency spectrum, etc., are used to classify subtypes. The media standards are specified as subtypes. Ethernet and IEEE802.11, sometimes known as Wi-Fi, are two ubiquitous media protocols.
Ethernet defines the specifications for wired media. IEEE802.11 establishes the wireless media standards.
Protocols facilitate communication between several endpoints. A protocol is a set of predetermined rules that establishes communication standards for a single stage or for all phases.
The following are some common functions that protocols accomplish.
- Commencing and concluding the communication process
- Encrypting and compressing the data before transmission
- Packing data in a format compatible with network transmission
- Offering logical addressability
- Implementing error correction
- Carrying out authentication
The OSI Reference Model and the TCP/IP Model are two major networking models that explain the functions of the most prevalent protocols. Both models layer the entire communication process with logic. In addition, they describe how the protocols in each layer facilitate the communication process.
A networking device functions between endpoints. It regulates and forwards the data flow. A networking device can be divided into three sorts based on its functionalities: forwarding device, connecting device, and securing device.
Data is forwarded by a forwarding device. This device typically has numerous ports for connecting various endpoints to a single network. The Ethernet hub, bridge, and switch provide these capabilities.
A connecting device joins at least two distinct media and protocols. If two end devices are located on distinct logical networks or are connected by various types of media, they require a connecting device in order to share data. This capability is provided by the Router and Multilayer switch.
A security device prevents unauthorized access to the data. When a data packet arrives, it performs security checks and makes forwarding decisions based on predefined criteria. Common devices that provide this functionality are the Firewall and the Network Address Translation (NAT).
Classification of the computer network
After studying the main network components, this should be your next topic of study. Computer networks are primarily categorized by their geographical location, access modes, and end device relationships.
Depending on geographic region
A network can be categorized as LAN, MAN, or WAN depending on its geographical location. A network that is geographically dispersed over a small, medium, or large area is referred to as a LAN, MAN, or WAN network, respectively.
Based on the type of access
The network is divided into three groups based on user access to network resources: Intranet, Extranet, and the Internet. Intranet refers to a private network. External users are not permitted to access network resources on this network. Additionally, an Extranet is a private network. But in this network, external users are permitted access to a tiny piece of the network with sufficient authorization. Internet is the largest public network. Anyone is able to connect to this network.
Depending on the connection between the end devices
Peer-to-peer network and client/server network are the two classifications of network based on how end devices communicate with one another. In a peer-to-peer network, each endpoint has equal rights. In a clients/server network, the server determines which clients have access to which resources.