We are going to start from what a network actually is and how a network is cabled and have an overview of network addresses.
You have a bunch of devices, computers, printers, TVs, and so on.
You connect them using a network.
These devices can share data when they are connected.
They can send a print job to a printer, send an email or stream a video file.
They can also share an internet connection.
Users are unaware of the network, as long as they can browse the internet, do their jobs, and play videos.
These all devices need to be connected somehow to communicate with each other.
You can plug cables into the devices and connect to another device called a switch, in networking.
The computer connects to a wall socket.
A cable comes out from the wall and connects to a Patch panel.
That Patch panel connects to a switch.
These devices can also be directly connected to a switch without a Patch Panel.
You can connect these devices wirelessly as well using a wireless access point.
This is also called a Wifi Network.
If you have a tablet, it’s impractical to use cables for it so wireless is a good option.
An Access point is like a switch without cables.
Lots of devices can connect to an access point at the same e.instant.
The access point can also be connected to a switch with a copper cable.
Wired and wireless devices can all be a part of the same entity.
The goal of a network is to move the information between devices.
The sender and receiver devices must understand each other.
Speaking the same language means the devices agree on how the data is sent, received, and organized.
They all agree upon a process.
This is called a Protocol.
There are many protocols to use depending on what is needed.
Networking software and hardware are designed by keeping these protocols in consideration.
The two protocols, Ethernet and TCP are very common for sending and receiving data packets.
We use HTTP Protocol for accessing the web.
An SMDP Protocol is used for email communication.
Many protocols are used together to achieve a task or perform a data transfer.
Networks are used to connect the devices by any means.
Devices use the network to communicate as well as share the data.
To share the information, devices need to follow the same rules.
This process of following a set of rules is called a Protocol.
It is a set of instructions to handle the data.
How computers can connect to the network?
Which devices do the computers connect to?
What is the number of protocols used when accessing a remote computer?
Networks are there to connect the devices.
A single device on a network is called “Node”.
Nodes include all hosts and endpoints.
They send and receive the traffic like workstations, servers, printers, etc.
A node also includes the devices that are used to control the flow of traffic in the network like routers and switches.
There are different sizes of networks.
SOHO stands for Small Office Home Office.
A home or office network in the home is a small network, having a few endpoints.
A SOHO Network typically has some computers, a printer, a few phones, and tablets, or iPads.
Some nodes can be connected by a switch and some could be connected wirelessly.
Users often confuse a Switch with a Hub.
In a SOHO network, a switch looks like a central hub.
Switches and hubs are very different things.
Hubs are not in use nowadays.
Switches are commonly used devices in networking.
They look alike, but they are not the same at all.
A router is used to connect to the internet in a SOHO network.
The switch, router, and access point are all integrated.
A corporation for example has many devices. as compared to the SOHO network.
A corporation network is called an Enterprise network.
It controls traffic flow across a building, a city, or in different countries and cities.
Service Provider Network
An Internet provider has a very large network. This is called a Service Provider Network.
They don’t only provide the internet, they also provide the services to connect their customers.
For example a bank with its branches all over the country.
The service provider uses parts of their network to join these offices together.
Local Area Network
If the devices are collected into a local area, it is called a LAN or a Local Area Network.
LAN is a small network, comparatively.
SOHO Network contains LAN as just a switch with a few devices connected.
It can be a part of an Enterprise network having many devices like routers and access points as needed.
A bank building can be a LAN or each floor at that bank building can be a Local Area Network.
Different LANs can be connected as well.
Wide Area Network
A single bank’s network can be larger than a building or two.
They can have offices on the level of a country or the worldwide.
These networks can be joined together to form a wide Area Network or a Local Area Network.
The organization that you work in, is a company having an office in Sydney and an office in Melbourne.
The internet service providers can connect those offices for you if needed.
Networks are different in size.
A SOHO network is a small network and an Enterprise network is a large one.
A network can fit anywhere in between them.
A Local Area Network is a collection of network devices in a locality.
WAN or Wide Area Network connects networks that are far apart.
Suppose, your company has 3 divisions. Each group has a network and all networks are joined together, what type of network is it?
Learn more about Networking.
You may also want to check RFID Technology.