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Embed code for: 01.3 Physical Components of a Network
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01.3 Physical Components of a Network
9/11/2016 Cisco ELearning for ICND1 v2.0 https://ondemandelearning.cisco.com/ciscosc/icnd1#/sections/1/pages/3 1/2 – – – Physical Components of a Network Section 1: Exploring the Functions of Networking There are a number of different types of devices that can be part of a network. A network can be as simple as two PCs that are connected by a wire or as complex as several thousands of devices that are connected through many different types of media. Take a look at the five major components that you may find in a network. Endpoints: These include devices such as PCs, file servers, printers, and tablets. Interconnections: These are the components that connect the devices on the network. They provide a means for data to travel from one point to another in the network. This category includes these components: NICs translate computer data into a format that can be transmitted over the network. A NIC is the device that you plug a network cable into on a PC. Network media, such as cables or wireless media, provide the means by which signals are transmitted from one networked device to another. Connectors provide connection points for the media. The most common type of connector is the plug on the end of a network cable that looks like an analog phone connector. This is called an RJ45 connector, and it is slightly larger than an analog phone connector and contains eight wires instead of four. Switches: These are devices that endpoints such as PCs, file servers, and printers typically connect to. In most cases, all of the computers that are connected to the 9/11/2016 Cisco ELearning for ICND1 v2.0 https://ondemandelearning.cisco.com/ciscosc/icnd1#/sections/1/pages/3 2/2 same switch can communicate directly with one another. They share what can be called a common network. If a computer wants to communicate with a device that is on a separate network, then a device known as a router is required to connect the two networks together. Before switches became affordable, many networks used devices that were called hubs. Hubs serve functions similar to switches, but they have a number of limitations. These limitations include slower speeds and poor performance. Routers: These connect networks and intelligently choose the best paths between networks. Their main function is to route traffic from one network to another. For example, you need a router to connect your office network to the Internet. An analogy that may help you understand the function of switches and routers is that of a neighborhood. Think of the devices that are plugged into a switch as the houses on a city block. From a house on that block, you can go to any other house on the block without having to cross a street. However, if you want to travel to a house that is on another block, you must cross a street intersection. In networking, when you want to connect to a device on a different network from your own, you need to cross a router. As an intersection connects blocks in a neighborhood, a router connects computer networks. WLAN devices: These connect wireless devices such as computers, printers, and tablets to the network. The minimum requirement for wireless access to the network is a device with a WLAN NIC and a wireless AP that is connected to a traditional wired network. Homes may have a single device that provides connectivity for wired and wireless devices as well as providing access to the Internet. You may be wondering which kind of device that is. It seems to have characteristics of a switch, a router, and a WLAN AP. The answer is that it is actually all three of those devices in a single package. It acts as a switch by providing physical ports to plug local devices into. It acts as a WLAN AP by allowing wireless devices to connect to it. And it acts as a router by connecting the local network to the Internet. Up Next: Characteristics of a Network