Information Technology Fundamentals - Connecting To A Network
Connecting to a Network
The term "computer network" refers to any interconnected system of computers that allows for the transfer and exchange of data. Anything that can process data is considered a computing device, from a smartphone to a server. These gadgets can communicate wirelessly or through hardwired connections like fibre optics.
The components of a computer network consist of physical devices (routers, switches, hubs, etc.) and specialized computer programmes (such as operating systems, firewalls, or corporate applications).
A LAN (local area network) is a network that connects computers in a specific geographical area, like a house or an office, though one can also classify networks based on their function.
A MAN, on the other hand, links computers spread across a city's many buildings.
The Internet is the best known WAN (Wide Area Network), linking together billions of computers and other devices around the globe.
Computer networking can also be defined in terms of the protocols used for communication between nodes, the layout of the physical components that make up the network, the methods used to control network traffic, and the results of the network's operation.
Business, entertainment, academic, and scientific communities all rely on computer networks to exchange information and conduct transactions on a global scale.
Internet, Google Search, IM Apps, Online Video Streaming, Social Media, Email, Cloud Kitchen, Cloud Data Storage, etc. all exist because of computer networks.
Networking Terms and Concepts
Some of the most common networking terms are discussed below
IP Address: You might think of your IP address, or Internet Protocol address, as your personal identification number on the web. IP addresses, which are numerical in nature rather than physical like street addresses, are assigned to every device on a network. A unique IP address is assigned to each device that joins a network. An IP address for both your computer and the device you are sending data to is included in the "header" of the packet.
Router: A network router is a device that forwards data packets from one network to another. Routers analyze data, manage network traffic, and select the most efficient way for data packets to travel. In order to reach its destination, a data packet may have to go via several routers.
Node: A node is a connection point in a network that enables the transfer of information and the production, storage, and retrieval of files. Multiple gadgets could connect to the web or a network via wired or wireless nodes. Two or more nodes, each with its own access identifier like an IP address, are needed to create a network connection. Computing devices, printing hardware, networking hardware, and routing hardware are all examples of nodes.
Ports: Ports allow users to gain access to a wide variety of software by establishing a path for data to travel between computers and other devices on a network. A series of integers represents each available port. If you think of an IP address as the location of a hotel, then think of ports as the room numbers. Devices on a network will look at the port number to decide what program, service, or method will be used to transmit the data.
Switches: A switch is a component of a computer network that mediates communication between nodes by selecting the optimal path for data transmission among network nodes (usually if there are multiple routes in a more extensive network). Although both a router and a switch transmit data, a router only does so across networks, whereas a switch forwards data between nodes within the same network.
Computer Networks and the Internet
The Internet, which links together billions of computers throughout the world, is the best known WAN. In order to streamline communication between nodes, the Internet strictly adheres to a set of protocols. Included in these rules are:
- Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
- Internet protocol or IP addresses (IP)
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
- Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
- User Datagram Protocol (UDP)
Internet Service Providers (ISP) Network Service Providers (NSPs) provide critical infrastructure support for the Internet. The infrastructure makes it possible for data packets to be sent over the Internet and delivered to the intended machine.
While the Internet has a wealth of information, not every machine connected to the network has access to this database. Sharing the precise data a user needs is the responsibility of the underlying protocols and infrastructure.
How do they work?
Nodes (computers, desktops, routers, hubs, and switches) are connected in a network by using Ethernet, data cables, fiber optics, or wireless technologies (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi). The nodes may now share data and have conversations thanks to this network link.
When sending, receiving, producing, or forwarding information, networks operate in accordance with established protocols. IP (Internet Protocol) addresses are used to distinguish each connected note and let them to communicate with one another.
The ability to communicate between networks is made possible by routers and switches, which can either be virtual or physical devices. The router examines each packet of data to find the most direct path to its final destination. Conversely, switches link gadgets together and encourage node-to-node communication when many paths exist in a larger network, guaranteeing that data packets traveling across the network arrive at their intended destination.