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Introduction to computer networks Course Outline


Barungi Fred

Purpose of Module
This course introduces the concepts, design criteria, and prevailing standards used in modern
distributed information systems. You will benefit by enhancing your understanding of Internet
protocols and Network operating systems.
Course Outline
1. Introduction
Classification of Networks
2. Numbering systems
3. Network Devices
4. Communication Models
OSI Model
TCP/IP Model
5. Bandwidth
6. Cables
7. Cable Termination Practicals
8. Adressing and Subnetting
9. Wireless Networking
Students will undertake a coursework and an exam at the end of the semester and this
will constitute 40% and 60% respectively of the total grade (100%).
Recommended Texts


A computer network is a grouping of two or more computers to share data, applications, and
networked peripherals such as printers.
Types of Networks
Local area networks (LANs) link computers in the same building
LANs consist of the following components:


Network interface cards

Peripheral devices

Networking media

Network devices
LANs make it possible for businesses that use computer technology to locally share files and
printers efficiently, and make internal communications possible. Some common LAN
technologies are:


Token Ring

wide area networks (WAN)
WANs interconnect LANs, which then provide access to computers or file servers in other
locations. Because WANs connect user networks over a large geographical area, they make it
possible for businesses to communicate across great distances. WANs are designed to do the

Operate over a large geographically separated areas

Allow users to have real-time communication capabilities with other users

Provide full-time remote resources connected to local services

Provide e-mail, World Wide Web, file transfer, and e-commerce services
Some common WAN technologies are:


Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

A MAN is a network that spans a metropolitan area such as a city or suburban area. A MAN
usually consists of two or more LANs in a common geographic area. For example, a bank with
multiple branches may utilize a MAN. Typically, a service provider is used to connect two or
more LAN sites using private communication lines or optical services. A MAN can also be
created using wireless bridge technology by beaming signals across public areas.
A SAN is a dedicated, high-performance network used to move data between servers and
storage resources. Because it is a separate, dedicated network, it avoids any traffic conflict
between clients and servers. SAN technology allows high-speed server-to-storage, storage-tostorage, or server-to-server connectivity.
Virtual private network (VPN)
A VPN is a private network that is constructed within a public network infrastructure such as the
global Internet. This network is said to be virtual because it links two "physical" networks (local
area networks) using an unreliable connection (the Internet), and private because only
computers which belong to a local area network on one end of the VPN or the other can "see"


the data. A virtual private network relies on a protocol called a tunneling protocol; that is, a
protocol that encrypts the data which runs from one end of the VPN to the other.
Personal Area Network (PAN)
The smallest type of network, a PAN simply involves connecting one person's computer to a
number of devices or peripherals. Usually, all devices, such as printers, PDAs, and telephones,
are within a few feet of the computer. A PAN can also refer to a connection to the internet.
Network Classifications
Networks are classified as either public or private
Public Networks
Internet A global network of networks used to exchange information using the TCP/IP
protocol. It allows for electronic mail and the accessing and retrieval of information from
remote sources.
Private Networks
Intranet And Extranets
An intranet is a private network that is setup and controlled by an organization to encourage
interaction among its members, to improve efficiency and to share information.
Information and resources that are shared on an intranet might include: organizational policies
and procedures, announcements, information about new products, and confidential data of
strategic value.Intranets are designed to permit access by users who have access privileges to
the internal LAN of the organization.
An extranet is an extended intranet. allowing access to members of an organization, an
extranet uses firewalls, access profiles, and privacy protocols to allow access to users from
outside the organization.
An extranet is a private network that uses Internet protocols and public networks to securely
share resources with customers, suppliers, vendors, partners, or other businesses.
Network topology
Network topology defines the structure of the network. One part of the topology definition is the
physical topology, which is the actual layout of the wire or media. The other part is the logical
topology, which defines how the media is accessed by the hosts for sending data. The physical
topologies that are commonly used are as follows:
Bus topology or Linear Topology: All nodes on the LAN are connected by one linear cable,
which is called the shared medium. Every node on this cable segment sees transmissions from
every other station on the same segment. At each end of the bus is a terminator, which absorbs
any signal, removing it from the bus. This medium cable apparently is the single point of failure.
Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) is the protocols used for this type of LAN.

Mesh topology: Devices are connected with many redundant interconnections between
network nodes such as routers and switches. In a mesh topology if any cable or node fails,
there are many other ways for two nodes to communicate. Full mesh topology occurs when


every node has a circuit connecting it to every other node in a network. Partial mesh topology
where some nodes are organized in a full mesh scheme but others are only connected to one
or two in the network, is often used in real network to provide the reliability with less complexity.

Ring topology: Every network node has two branches connected to it and form a ring. If one
of the nodes on the ring fails than the ring is broken and cannot work. A dual ring topology has
four branches connected to it, and is more resistant to failures.

Star topology: The network nodes are connected to a central node, which rebroadcasts all
transmissions received from any peripheral node to all peripheral nodes on the network,
including the originating node. All peripheral nodes may thus communicate with all others by
transmitting to, and receiving from, the central node only.

Tree topology: The network nodes are arranged as a tree, which resembles an
interconnection of star networks in that individual peripheral nodes are required to transmit to
and receive from one other node only and are not required to act as repeaters or regenerators.
Unlike the star network, the function of the central node may be distributed.


A hybrid topology is a combination of any two or more network topologies in such a way that
the resulting network does not have one of the standard forms. For example, a tree network
connected to a tree network is still a tree network, but two star networks connected together
exhibit hybrid network topologies. A hybrid topology is always produced when two different
basic network topologies are connected.
The logical topology of a network is how the hosts communicate across the medium. The two
most common types of logical topologies are broadcast and token passing.
Broadcast topology simply means that each host sends its data to all other hosts on the
network medium. There is no order that the stations must follow to use the network. It is first
come, first serve. Ethernet works this way as will be explained later in the course.
The second logical topology is token passing. Token passing controls network access by
passing an electronic token sequentially to each host. When a host receives the token, that
host can send data on the network. If the host has no data to send, it passes the token to the
next host and the process repeats itself. Two examples of networks that use token passing are
Token Ring and Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI). A variation of Token Ring and FDDI
is Arcnet. Arcnet is token passing on a bus topology.
Fiber-distributed data interface (FDDI) is another token-passing technology that
operates over a pair of fiber optic rings, with each ring passing a token in opposite
FDDI networks offered transmission speeds of 100 Mbps, which initially made them
quite popular for high-speed networking. With the advent of 100-Mbps Ethernet, which
is cheaper and easier to administer, FDDI has waned in popularity.
Network architecture. The network architecture can take one of several forms, including
peer-to-peer (in which each computer or node on the network has equal capabilities) and
client/server (in which one node, the server, is more powerful and manages network functions
for the client, or PC, devices).
A type of network in which each workstation has equivalent capabilities and responsibilities.
Computers in a peer to peer network are typically situated physically near to each other and
run similar networking protocols and software.
This differs from client/server architectures, in which some computers are dedicated to serving
the others.
Peer to peer workgroups allow sharing of files, printers and other resources equally among all
of the devices
in peer-to-peer networks, each machine shares its own resources and handles its own security
aren't nearly as expensive to create, since you don't need a dedicated machine, server
software, or special client licenses.
The "network" consists of shared folders located on computers within the network.



Content and resources can be shared from both the center and the edge of the
network. In client/server networking, content and resources are typically shared from
only the center of the network.
A network of peers is easily scaled and more reliable than a single server. A single
server is subject to a single point of failure
A network of peers can share its processor, consolidating computing resources for
distributed computing tasks, rather than relying on a single computer, such as a
a peer can share the file directly from its local storage rather than from a central
computer in client/server model
Allows the processing resources of edge computers to be utilized for distributed
computing tasks.
Allows local resources to be shared directly, without the need for intermediate servers.
Allows efficient multipoint communication without having to rely on IP multicast
inexpensive to set up. It uses the built in networking capabilities of Windows XP


Lack of data security
Files are not centralized, so getting a back up of all critical files is more difficult.
A client server network is defined as specific type of network comprised of a single central
computer acting as a server that directs multiple other computers, which are referred to as the
By accessing the server, clients are then able to reach shared files and information saved on
the serving computer.
makes it possible for multiple computers or people to interconnect and share information.
In the client-server scheme, a central server handles all security and file transactions;
In a client-server environment, the dedicated file server controls the level of access that client
PCs have to shared resources.
For example, to check your e-mail from your computer, a client program on your computer
forwards your request to a server program at your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Once the
server program has retrieved your e-mail, it forwards them to the client on your computer,
which then allows you to read the e-mail


Advantages of client server

allowing a shared database or site to be accessed or updated by multiple computers

while maintaining only one control center for the action

This model has an increased security, often with encryption, ensuring that the data is
only available to qualified individuals.


If too many different clients attempt to reach the shared network at the same time,
there may be a failure or a slowing down of the connection.
If the network is down, this disables access to the information from any site or clients
client-server networks is the costly because server software is required
It required technician to install


Numbering System


In networking, there are three important number systems:

Base 2 binary

Base 10 decimal

Base 16 hexadecimal
Decimal numbers have 10 different placeholders, the numbers 0-9.
here's a binary number system: digits (symbols) allowed: 0, 1 base (radix): 2 each
binary digit is called a BIT the order of the digits is significant
1001 (base 2) is really 1 x 2**3 + 0 x 2**2 + 0 x 2**1 + 1 x 2**0 9 (base 10)
11000 (base 2) is really 1 x 2**4 + 1 x 2**3 + 0 x 2**2 + 0 x 2**1 + 0 x 2**0 24 (base 10)
Binary numbers have only two different placeholders, 0 and 1.
decimal --> binary divide decimal value by 2 (the base) until the value is 0
36/2 = 18 r=0
18/2 = 9 r=0
9/2 = 4 r=1
4/2 = 2 r=0
2/2 = 1 r=0
1/2 = 0 r=1
36 (base 10) == 100100 (base 2)
Hexadecimal numbers have 16 different placeholders, the numbers 0-9 and the letters A-F.
here's a hexadecimal number system: digits (symbols) allowed: 0-9, a-f base (radix):
You multiply by 16 then rise to the powers in order to change to base 10
a3 (base 16)
is really a x 16**1 + 3 x 16**0
160 + 3 =163 (base 10)


Network Devices
End-user devices that provide users with a connection to the network are also referred to as
hosts. These devices allow users to share, create, and obtain information.
A NIC is a printed circuit board that fits into the expansion slot of a bus on a computer
motherboard, or it can be a peripheral device. It is also called a network adapter. Laptop or
notebook computer NICs are usually the size of a PCMCIA card. Each individual NIC carries a
unique code, called a Media Access Control (MAC) address. This address is used to control
data communication for the host on the network

Short for modulator-demodulator. A modem is a device or program that enables a computer to
transmit data over, for example, telephone or cable lines. Computer information is stored
digitally, whereas information transmitted over telephone lines is transmitted in the form of
analog waves. A modem converts between these two forms.
A network device used to regenerate or replicate a signal. Repeaters are used in transmission
systems to regenerate analog or digital signals distorted by transmission loss. Analog
repeaters frequently can only amplify the signal while digital repeaters can reconstruct a signal
to near its original quality.

A hub is a repeater, which is an OSI model device, the simplest possible. Hubs are a common
connection point for devices in a network and are commonly used to connect segments of a
LAN. A hub takes the incoming data packet that comes into a port and copies it out to all the
other ports in the hub. It doesn't perform any filtering or redirection of data.

Bridges (sometimes called "Transparent bridges") work at OSI model Layer 2. This means
they don't know anything about protocols, but just forward data depending on the destination


address in the data packet. This address is not the IP address, but the MAC (Media Access
Control) address that is unique to each network adapter card. All computers included in the
LAN must contain a network interface card (NIC). The card assigns a unique address to the
machine in which it is installed. This address is called a MAC (Medium Access Control).
The bridge is the device which is used to connect two local-area networks (LANs), or two
segments of the same LAN that use the same protocol.
However, the only data that is allowed to cross the bridge is data that is being sent to a valid
address on the other side of the bridge. No valid address, no data across the bridge.
Bridges don't require programming. They learn the addresses of the computers connected to
them by listening to the data flowing through them.
Bridges are very useful for joining networks made of different media types together into larger
networks, and keeping network segments free of data that doesn't belong in a particular
segment. Only 2 networks can be linked with a bridge.
Switches are the same thing as Bridges, but usually have multiple ports with the same "flavor"
connection (Example: 10/100BaseT).
Switches can be used in heavily loaded networks to isolate data flow and improve
performance. In a switch, data between two lightly used computers will be isolated from data
intended for a heavily used server, for example. Switches are layer 2 devices. Switch can
link up four, six, eight or even more networks.

Routers forward data packets from one place to another, too! However routers are OSI model
Layer 3 devices, and forward data depending on the Network address, not the Hardware
(MAC) address. For TCP/IP networks, this means the IP address of the network interface.
Routers isolate each LAN into a separate subnet, so each network adapter's IP address will
have a different third "octet" (Example: and are in different subnets).
A router can determine the most efficient path for a packet to take and send packets around
failed segments.



Often used as a connection to a mainframe or the internet. Gateways enable communications
between different protocols, data types and environments. This is achieved via protocol
conversion, whereby the gateway strips the protocol stack off of the packet and adds the
appropriate stack for the other side. Gateways operate at all layers of the OSI model without
making any forwarding decisions.

The Differences between these devices on the network

In a hub, a frame is passed along or "broadcast" to every one of its ports. It doesn't matter
that the frame is only destined for one port. The hub has no way of distinguishing which port a
frame should be sent to. Passing it along to every port ensures that it will reach its intended
destination. This places a lot of traffic on the network and can lead to poor network response
A switch, however, keeps a record of the MAC addresses of all the devices connected to it.
With this information, a switch can identify which system is sitting on which port. So when a
frame is received, it knows exactly which port to send it to, without significantly increasing
network response times. And, unlike a hub, a 10/100Mbps switch will allocate a full
10/100Mbps to each of its ports. So regardless of the number of PCs transmitting, users will
always have access to the maximum amount of bandwidth. It's for these reasons why a switch
is considered to be a much better choice then a hub.
Routers are completely different devices. Where a hub or switch is concerned with
transmitting frames, a router's job, as its name implies, is to route packets to other networks
until that packet ultimately reaches its destination. One of the key features of a packet is that it
not only contains data, but the destination address of where it's going.


Protocol suites are collections of protocols that enable network communication from one host
through the network to another host. A protocol is a formal description of a set of rules and
conventions that govern a particular aspect of how devices on a network communicate.
Protocols determine the format, timing, sequencing, and error control in data communication.
Without protocols, the computer cannot make or rebuild the stream of incoming bits from
another computer into the original format.
Protocols control all aspects of data communication, which include the following:

How the physical network is built

How computers connect to the network

How the data is formatted for transmission

How that data is sent

How to deal with errors

Key elements of a protocol are:
SYNTAC: Data format and signal levels
SEMANTICS: Control information for coordination and error handling
TIMING: Synchronization, speed matching, and sequencing
Examples of protocols:
WAN Protocol: TCP/IP
LAN Protocol: Media Access Control; Contention; Token Passing



Communication Models


OSI Model
The OSI reference model is a framework that is used to understand how information travels
throughout a network. The OSI reference model explains how packets travel through the
various layers to another device on a network, even if the sender and destination have different
types of network media.

In the OSI reference model, there are seven numbered layers, each of which illustrates a
particular network function. Dividing the network into seven layers provides the following

It breaks network communication into smaller, more manageable parts.

It standardizes network components to allow multiple vendor development and


It allows different types of network hardware and software to communicate with each

It prevents changes in one layer from affecting other layers.

It divides network communication into smaller parts to make learning it easier to

In order for data to travel from the source to the destination, each layer of the OSI model at the
source must communicate with its peer layer at the destination. This form of communication is
referred to as peer-to-peer. During this process, the protocols of each layer exchange
information, called protocol data units (PDUs). Each layer of communication on the
source computer communicates with a layer-specific PDU, and with its peer layer on the
destination computer
Data packets on a network originate at a source and then travel to a destination. Each layer
depends on the service function of the OSI layer below it. To provide this service, the lower
layer uses encapsulation to put the PDU from the upper layer into its data field; then it adds
whatever headers and trailers the layer needs to perform its function. Next, as the data moves
down through the layers of the OSI model, additional headers and trailers are added. After
Layers 7, 6, and 5 have added their information, Layer 4 adds more information. This
grouping of data, the Layer 4 PDU, is called a segment.
The network layer provides a service to the transport layer, and the transport layer presents
data to the internetwork subsystem. The network layer has the task of moving the data through


the internetwork. It accomplishes this task by encapsulating the data and attaching a header
creating a packet (the Layer 3 PDU). The header contains information required to complete
the transfer, such as source and destination logical addresses.
The data link layer provides a service to the network layer. It encapsulates the network layer
information in a frame (the Layer 2 PDU). The frame header contains information (for
example, physical addresses) required to complete the data link functions. The data link layer
provides a service to the network layer by encapsulating the network layer information in a
The physical layer also provides a service to the data link layer. The physical layer encodes
the data link frame into a pattern of 1s and 0s (bits) for transmission on the medium
(usually a wire) at Layer 1.

The TCP/IP model has the following four layers:

Application layer

Transport layer

Internet layer

Network access layer

Although some of the layers in the TCP/IP model have the same name as layers in the OSI
model, the layers of the two models do not correspond exactly. Most notably, the application
layer has different functions in each model.
The designers of TCP/IP felt that the application layer should include the OSI session and
presentation layer details. They created an application layer that handles issues of
representation, encoding, and dialog control.
The transport layer deals with the quality of service issues of reliability, flow control, and error
correction. One of its protocols, the transmission control protocol (TCP), provides excellent and
flexible ways to create reliable, well-flowing, low-error network communications.
TCP is a connection-oriented protocol. It maintains a dialogue between source and destination
while packaging application layer information into units called segments. Connection-oriented
does not mean that a circuit exists between the communicating computers. It does mean that
Layer 4 segments travel back and forth between two hosts to acknowledge the connection
exists logically for some period.
The purpose of the Internet layer is to divide TCP segments into packets and send them from
any network. The packets arrive at the destination network independent of the path they took to
get there. The specific protocol that governs this layer is called the Internet Protocol (IP). Best
path determination and packet switching occur at this layer.
The relationship between IP and TCP is an important one. IP can be thought to point the way
for the packets, while TCP provides a reliable transport.
The name of the network access layer is very broad and somewhat confusing. It is also known
as the host-to-network layer. This layer is concerned with all of the components, both physical
and logical, that are required to make a physical link. It includes the networking technology
details, including all the details in the OSI physical and data link layers.
Some of the most commonly used application layer protocols include the following:

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)



Domain Name System (DNS)

Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP)

The common transport layer protocols include:

Transport Control Protocol (TCP)

User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

The primary protocol of the Internet layer is:

Internet Protocol (IP)

The network access layer refers to any particular technology used on a specific network.
Regardless of which network application services are provided and which transport protocol is
used, there is only one Internet protocol, IP. This is a deliberate design decision. IP serves as a
universal protocol that allows any computer anywhere to communicate at any time.
A comparison of the OSI model and the TCP/IP models will point out some similarities and
Similarities include:

Both have layers.

Both have application layers, though they include very different services.

Both have comparable transport and network layers.

Both models need to be known by networking professionals.

Both assume packets are switched. This means that individual packets may take
different paths to reach the same destination. This is contrasted with circuit-switched networks
where all the packets take the same path.
Differences include:

TCP/IP combines the presentation and session layer issues into its application layer.

TCP/IP combines the OSI data link and physical layers into the network access layer.

TCP/IP appears simpler because it has fewer layers.

TCP/IP protocols are the standards around which the Internet developed, so the
TCP/IP model gains credibility just because of its protocols. In contrast, networks are not
usually built on the OSI protocol, even though the OSI model is used as a guide.
Although TCP/IP protocols are the standards with which the Internet has grown, this curriculum
will use the OSI model for the following reasons:

It is a generic, protocol-independent standard.

It has more details, which make it more helpful for teaching and learning.

It has more details, which can be helpful when troubleshooting.

Networking professionals differ in their opinions on which model to use. Due to the nature of
the industry it is necessary to become familiar with both. Both the OSI and TCP/IP models will
be referred to throughout the curriculum. The focus will be on the following:

TCP as an OSI Layer 4 protocol

IP as an OSI Layer 3 protocol

Ethernet as a Layer 2 and Layer 1 technology

Remember that there is a difference between a model and an actual protocol that is used in
networking. The OSI model will be used to describe TCP/IP protocols





Bandwidth is defined as the total amount of information that can flow through a network
connection in a given period of time expressed in bit/s or multiples of it (kbit/s, Mbit/s etc).
In radio communication ,Bandwidth is the difference between the upper and lower
frequencies in a contiguous set of frequencies in radio signaling
In website hosting, the term "bandwidth" is often incorrectly used to describe the amount of
data transferred to or from the website or server within a prescribed period of time, for example
bandwidth consumption accumulated over a month measured in Gigabyte per month. The
more accurate phrase used for this meaning of a maximum amount of data transfer each
month or given period is monthly data transfer.
Consider this analogy:

Rented Water Tank = web-server that hosts your website,

Water company = hosting company where your web-server resides,

Water = files, data, images, etc. that comprise your website,

Pipe = the internet,

Quantity of water delivered = bandwidth consumption,

You = patron / visitor of your website which is hosted on aforementioned web-server.

There's a pipe that delivers water from your rented water tank to your home. As you request
water, the water company delivers it to you. All the while, they are keeping track of how much
water was delivered to you, during a billing cycle. You have a contract with the water company
in which they agree to charge you a fixed dollar amount per billing cycle, provided you do not
request more water than the allowable quantity, as defined in your contract. If you do request
more water, they will not deny you ... but you will incur additional charges for the extra water
requested / delivered.
It is essential to understand the concept of bandwidth when studying networking for the
following four reasons:
Bandwidth is finite.
In other words, regardless of the media used to build the network, there are limits on the
capacity of that network to carry information. Bandwidth is limited by the laws of physics and by
the technologies used to place information on the media. For example, the bandwidth of a
conventional modem is limited to about 56 kbps by both the physical properties of twisted-pair
phone wires and by modem technology. However, the technologies employed by DSL also use
the same twisted-pair phone wires, yet DSL provides much greater bandwidth than is available
with conventional modems. So, even the limits imposed by the laws of physics are sometimes
difficult to define. Optical fiber has the physical potential to provide virtually limitless bandwidth.
Even so, the bandwidth of optical fiber cannot be fully realized until technologies are developed
to take full advantage of its potential.
Bandwidth is not free.
It is possible to buy equipment for a local-area network (LAN) that will provide nearly unlimited
bandwidth over a long period of time. For wide-area network (WAN) connections, it is almost
always necessary to buy bandwidth from a service provider. In either case, an understanding
of bandwidth and changes in demand for bandwidth over a given time can save an individual


or a business a significant amount of money. A network manager needs to make the right
decisions about the kinds of equipment and services to buy.
Bandwidth is a key factor in analyzing network performance, designing new networks,
and understanding the Internet.
A networking professional must understand the tremendous impact of bandwidth and
throughput on network performance and design. Information flows as a string of bits from
computer to computer throughout the world. These bits represent massive amounts of
information flowing back and forth across the globe in seconds or less. In a sense, it may be
appropriate to say that the Internet is bandwidth.
The demand for bandwidth is ever increasing.
As soon as new network technologies and infrastructures are built to provide greater
bandwidth, new applications are created to take advantage of the greater capacity. The
delivery over the network of rich media content, including streaming video and audio, requires
tremendous amounts of bandwidth. IP telephony systems are now commonly installed in place
of traditional voice systems, which further adds to the need for bandwidth. The successful
networking professional must anticipate the need for increased bandwidth and act accordingly.
Terminology in telecommunications related to bandwidth
dual-band refers to a device supporting two frequencies used for communication. dual band
wireless network equipment, some cell phones also use two bands for wireless
communications. Phone that support multiple bands can connect to different types of cellular
networks, helpful while roaming or traveling. Dual-band Wi-Fi network adapters likewise
contain two wireless radios. These adapters can be configured to use either 802.11a via one
radio, or the 802.11b/g/n family via the other, but not both.
Duplex communication system is a system composed of two connected parties or devices that
can communicate with one another in both directions.
A half-duplex system provides for communication in both directions, but only one direction at a
time (not simultaneously). An example of a half-duplex system is a two-party system such as a
"walkie-talkie" style two-way radio, wherein one must use "Over" or another previouslydesignated command to indicate the end of transmission, and ensure that only one party
transmits at a time, because both parties transmit on the same frequency.
Full Duplex Refers to the transmission of data in two directions simultaneously. For example, a
telephone is a full-duplex device because both parties can talk at once.
Factors affecting bandwidth.

Noise is any undesired signal in a communication circuit. Another definition calls noise
unwanted disturbances superimposed on a useful signal, which tends to obscure its
information content. The four most important to the telecommunication/data communication
technologist are thermal noise, intermodulation noise, crosstalk and impulse noise.
Thermal noise arises from random electron motion and is characterized by a uniform
distribution of energy over the frequency spectrum. Every equipment element and the
transmission medium itself contribute thermal noise to a communication system if the
temperature of that element or medium is above absolute zero. Whenever molecules heat
above absolute zero, thermal noise will be present.



Intermodulation (IM) noise is the result of the presence of intermodulation products. If two
signals of frequencies F1 and F2 are passed through a nonlinear device or medium, the result
will contain IM products that are spurious frequency energy components. These components
may be inside or outside the frequency band of interest for a particular device.
Crosstalk refers to unwanted coupling between signal paths. Excessive level may exacerbate
Impulse noise is a noncontinuous series of irregular pulses or noise "spikes" of short duration,
broad spectral density and of relatively high amplitude. Impulse noise degrades telephony only
marginally, if at all. However, it may seriously corrupt error performance of a data circuit.
Attenuation is the loss of power a signal suffers as it travels from the transmitting device to the
receiving device
Bandwidth has been defined as the amount of information that can flow through a network in a
given time. The idea that information flows suggests two analogies that may make it easier to
visualize bandwidth in a network. Since both water and traffic are said to flow, consider the
following analogies:
Bandwidth is like the width of a pipe.
A network of pipes brings fresh water to homes and businesses and carries waste water away.
This water network is made up of pipes of different diameters. The main water pipes of a city
may be two meters in diameter, while the pipe to a kitchen faucet may have a diameter of only
two centimeters. The width of the pipe determines the water-carrying capacity of the pipe.
Therefore, the water is like the data, and the pipe width is like the bandwidth. Many networking
experts say that they need to put in bigger pipes when they wish to add more informationcarrying capacity.
Bandwidth is like the number of lanes on a highway.
A network of roads serves every city or town. Large highways with many traffic lanes are joined
by smaller roads with fewer traffic lanes. These roads lead to even smaller, narrower roads,
which eventually go to the driveways of homes and businesses. When very few automobiles
use the highway system, each vehicle is able to move freely. When more traffic is added, each
vehicle moves more slowly. This is especially true on roads with fewer lanes for the cars to
occupy. Eventually, as even more traffic enters the highway system, even multi-lane highways
become congested and slow. A data network is much like the highway system. The data
packets are comparable to automobiles, and the bandwidth is comparable to the number of
lanes on the highway. When a data network is viewed as a system of highways, it is easy to
see how low bandwidth connections can cause traffic to become congested all over the
In digital systems, the basic unit of bandwidth is bits per second (bps). Bandwidth is the
measure of how much information, or bits, can flow from one place to another in a given
amount of time, or seconds. Although bandwidth can be described in bits per second, usually
some multiple of bits per second is used. In other words, network bandwidth is typically
described as thousands of bits per second (kbps), millions of bits per second (Mbps), and
billions of bits per second (Gbps) and trillions of bits per second (Tbps).



Bandwidth is the measure of the amount of information that can move through the network in a
given period of time. Therefore, the amount of available bandwidth is a critical part of the
specification of the network. A typical LAN might be built to provide 100 Mbps to every desktop
workstation, but this does not mean that each user is actually able to move one hundred
megabits of data through the network for every second of use. This would be true only under
the most ideal circumstances. The concept of throughput can help explain why this is so.
Throughput refers to actual measured bandwidth, at a specific time of day, using specific
Internet routes, and while a specific set of data is transmitted on the network. Unfortunately, for
many reasons, throughput is often far less than the maximum possible digital bandwidth of the
medium that is being used. The following are some of the factors that determine throughput:

Internetworking devices

Type of data being transferred

Network topology

Number of users on the network

User computer

Server computer

Power conditions
The theoretical bandwidth of a network is an important consideration in network design,
because the network bandwidth will never be greater than the limits imposed by the chosen
media and networking technologies. However, it is just as important for a network designer and
administrator to consider the factors that may affect actual throughput. By measuring
throughput on a regular basis, a network administrator will be aware of changes in network
performance and changes in the needs of network users. The network can then be adjusted



Cable specifications
Cables have different specifications and expectations pertaining to performance:

What speeds for data transmission can be achieved using a particular type of
cable? The speed of bit transmission through the cable is extremely important. The speed of
transmission is affected by the kind of conduit used.

What kind of transmission is being considered? Will the transmissions be digital or

will they be analog-based? Digital or baseband transmission and analog-based or
broadband transmission are the two choices.

How far can a signal travel through a particular type of cable before attenuation
of that signal becomes a concern? In other words, will the signal become so degraded that the
recipient device might not be able to accurately receive and interpret the signal by the time the
signal reaches that device? The distance the signal travels through the cable directly affects
attenuation of the signal. Degradation of the signal is directly related to the distance the signal
travels and the type of cable used.
Some examples of Ethernet specifications which relate to cable type include:



10BASE-T refers to the speed of transmission at 10 Mbps. The type of transmission is
baseband, or digitally interpreted. The T stands for twisted pair.
10BASE5 refers to the speed of transmission at 10 Mbps. The type of transmission is
baseband, or digitally interpreted. The 5 represents the capability of the cable to allow the
signal to travel for approximately 500 meters before attenuation could disrupt the ability of the
receiver to appropriately interpret the signal being received. 10BASE5 is often referred to as
Thicknet. Thicknet is actually a type of network, while 10BASE5 is the cabling used in that
10BASE2 refers to the speed of transmission at 10 Mbps. The type of transmission is
baseband, or digitally interpreted. The 2, in 10BASE2, represents the capability of the cable to
allow the signal to travel for approximately 200 meters, before attenuation could disrupt the
ability of the receiver to appropriately interpret the signal being received. 10BASE2 is often
referred to as Thinnet. Thinnet is actually a type of network, while 10BASE2 is the cabling used
in that network.
Coaxial cable
Coaxial cable consists of a hollow outer cylindrical conductor that surrounds a single inner wire
made of two conducting elements. One of these elements, located in the center of the cable, is
a copper conductor. Surrounding the copper conductor is a layer of flexible insulation. Over this
insulating material is a woven copper braid or metallic foil that acts as the second wire in the
circuit and as a shield for the inner conductor. This second layer, or shield reduces the amount
of outside electro-magnetic interference. Covering this shield is the cable jacket.
Fibre Optic
Every fiber-optic cable used for networking consists of two glass fibers encased in separate
sheaths. One fiber carries transmitted data from device A to device B.The second fiber carries
data from device B to device A. The fibers are similar to two one-way streets going in opposite
directions. This provides a full-duplex communication link. Just as copper twisted-pair uses
separate wire pairs to transmit and receive, fiber-optic circuits use one fiber strand to transmit
and one to receive. Typically, these two fiber cables will be in a single outer jacket until they
reach the point at which connectors are attached.
Until the connectors are attached, there is no need for twisting or shielding, because no light
escapes when it is inside a fiber. This means there are no crosstalk issues with fiber. It is very



common to see multiple fiber pairs encased in the same cable. This allows a single cable to be
run between data closets, floors, or buildings. One cable can contain 2 to 48 or more separate
fibers. With copper, one UTP cable would have to be pulled for each circuit. Fiber can carry
many more bits per second and carry them farther than copper can.
Usually, five parts make up each fiber-optic cable. The parts are the core, the cladding, a
buffer, a strength material, and an outer jacket.
The core is the light transmission element at the center of the optical fiber. All the light signals
travel through the core. A core is typically glass made from a combination of silicon dioxide
(silica) and other elements.
Surrounding the core is the cladding. Cladding is also made of silica but with a lower index of
refraction than the core. Light rays traveling through the fiber core reflect off this core-tocladding interface as they move through the fiber by total internal reflection.
Surrounding the cladding is a buffer material that is usually plastic. The buffer material helps
shield the core and cladding from damage. There are two basic cable designs. They are the
loose-tube and the tight-buffered cable designs.
The strength material surrounds the buffer, preventing the fiber cable from being stretched
when installers pull it. The material used is often Kevlar, the same material used to produce
bulletproof vests.
The final element is the outer jacket. The outer jacket surrounds the cable to protect the fiber
against abrasion, solvents, and other contaminants. The color of the outer jacket of multimode
fiber is usually orange, but occasionally another color.
For LANs, coaxial cable offers several advantages. It can be run longer distances than
shielded twisted pair, STP, and unshielded twisted pair, UTP, cable without the need for
repeaters. Repeaters regenerate the signals in a network so that they can cover greater
distances. Coaxial cable is less expensive than fiber-optic cable, and the technology is well
known. It has been used for many years for many types of data communication, including cable
STP cable
Shielded twisted-pair cable (STP) combines the techniques of shielding, cancellation, and
twisting of wires. Each pair of wires is wrapped in metallic foil. The four pairs of wires are
wrapped in an overall metallic braid or foil. It is usually 150-Ohm cable. As specified for use in
Ethernet network installations, STP reduces electrical noise within the cable such as pair to
pair coupling and crosstalk. STP also reduces electronic noise from outside the cable, for
example electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). Shielded
twisted-pair cable shares many of the advantages and disadvantages of unshielded twistedpair cable (UTP). STP affords greater protection from all types of external interference, but is
more expensive and difficult to install than UTP.
UTP cable
Unshielded twisted-pair cable (UTP) is a four-pair wire medium used in a variety of networks.
Each of the 8 individual copper wires in the UTP cable is covered by insulating material. In
addition, each pair of wires is twisted around each other. This type of cable relies solely on the
cancellation effect produced by the twisted wire pairs, to limit signal degradation caused by
EMI and RFI. To further reduce crosstalk between the pairs in UTP cable, the number of
twists in the wire pairs varies. Like STP cable, UTP cable must follow precise specifications
as to how many twists or braids are permitted per foot of cable.
TIA/EIA-568-A contains specifications governing cable performance. It calls for running two
cables, one for voice and one for data, to each outlet. Of the two cables, the one for voice must
be four-pair UTP. CAT 5 is the one most frequently recommended and implemented in
installations today.



Unshielded twisted-pair cable has many advantages. It is easy to install and is less expensive
than other types of networking media. In fact, UTP costs less per meter than any other type of
LAN cabling. However, the real advantage is the size. Since it has such a small external
diameter, UTP does not fill up wiring ducts as rapidly as other types of cable. This can be an
extremely important factor to consider, particularly when installing a network in an older
building. In addition, when UTP cable is installed using an RJ-45 connector, potential sources
of network noise are greatly reduced and a good solid connection is practically guaranteed.
There are disadvantages in using twisted-pair cabling. UTP cable is more prone to electrical
noise and interference than other types of networking media, and the distance between
signal boosts is shorter for UTP than it is for coaxial and fiber optic cables.
When communication occurs, the signal that is transmitted by the source needs to be
understood by the destination. This is true from both a software and physical perspective. The
transmitted signal needs to be properly received by the circuit connection designed to receive
signals. The transmit pin of the source needs to ultimately connect to the receiving pin of the
destination. The following are the types of cable connections used between internetwork
A LAN switch is connected to a computer. The cable that connects from the switch port to the
computer NIC port is called a straight-through cable.
Two switches are connected together. The cable that connects from one switch port to another
switch port is called a crossover cable.
The cable that connects the RJ-45 adapter on the com port of the computer to the console port
of the router or switch is called a rollover cable.



Cable Practicals
The TIA/EIA 568-A standard which was ratified in 1995, was replaced by the TIA/EIA 568-B
standard in 2002 and has been updated since. Both standards define the T-568A and T-568B
pin-outs for using Unshielded Twisted Pair cable and RJ-45 connectors for Ethernet
connectivity. The standards and pin-out specification appear to be related and interchangeable,
but are not the same and should not be used interchangeably.
T-568B Straight-Through Ethernet Cable

Both the T-568A and the T-568B standard Straight-Through cables are used most often as
patch cords for your Ethernet connections. If you require a cable to connect two Ethernet
devices directly together without a hub or when you connect two hubs together, you will need
to use a Crossover cable instead.
Ethernet Cable Instructions:
Pull the cable off the reel to the desired length and cut. If you are pulling cables through holes,
its easier to attach the RJ-45 plugs after the cable is pulled. The total length of wire segments
between a PC and a hub or between two PC's cannot exceed 100 Meters (328 feet) for
100BASE-TX and 300 Meters for 10BASE-T.
Start on one end and strip the cable jacket off (about 1") using a stripper or a knife. Be extra
careful not to nick the wires, otherwise you will need to start over.
Spread, untwist the pairs, and arrange the wires in the order of the desired cable end. Flatten
the end between your thumb and forefinger. Trim the ends of the wires so they are even with
one another, leaving only 1/2" in wire length. If it is longer than 1/2" it will be out-of-spec and
susceptible to crosstalk. Flatten and insure there are no spaces between wires.
Hold the RJ-45 plug with the clip facing down or away from you. Push the wires firmly into the
plug. Inspect each wire is flat even at the front of the plug. Check the order of the wires.
Double check again. Check that the jacket is fitted right against the stop of the plug. Carefully
hold the wire and firmly crimp the RJ-45 with the crimper.
Check the color orientation, check that the crimped connection is not about to come apart, and
check to see if the wires are flat against the front of the plug. If even one of these are incorrect,
you will have to start over. Test the Ethernet cable.



Adressing and Subnetting


DNS Server Provides host name resolution by translating host names to IP addresses (forward
lookups) and IP addresses to host names (reverse lookups).
DHCP Server Provides automatic IP addressing services to clients configured to use dynamic
IP addressing.
IP" stands for Internet Protocol, so an IP address is an Internet Protocol address. What
does that mean? An Internet Protocol is a set of rules that govern Internet activity and
facilitate completion of a variety of actions on the World Wide Web. Therefore an
Internet Protocol address is part of the systematically laid out interconnected grid that
governs online communication by identifying both initiating devices and various
Internet destinations, thereby making two-way communication possible.
Internet Protocol Address
Internet Protocol Address (or IP Address) is an unique address that computing devices
use to identify itself and communicate with other devices in the Internet Protocol
network. Any device connected to the IP network must have an unique IP address
within its network. An IP address is analogous to a street address or telephone number
in that it is used to uniquely identify a network device to deliver mail message, or call
("view") a website.
An IP address is written in "dotted decimal" notation, which is 4 sets of numbers
separated by period each set representing 8-bit number ranging from (0-255). An
example of IPv4 address is, which is the IP address assigned to
A Subnet mask is a 32-bit number that masks an IP address, and divides the IP
address into network address and host address. Subnet Mask is made by setting
network bits to all "1"s and setting host bits to all "0"s. Within a given network, two host
addresses are reserved for special purpose. The "0" address is assigned a network
address and "255" is assigned to a broadcast address, and they cannot be assigned
to a host.
Basic Subnetting
Subnetting is the process of breaking down an IP network into smaller sub-networks called
"subnets." Each subnet is a non-physical description (or ID) for a physical sub-network
Uses of Subnetting
Subnets are created to limit the scope of broadcast traffic,
to apply network security measures, to separate network segments by function,
and/or to assist in resolving network congestion problems..,
A subnet is usually composed of a network router, a switch or hub, and at least one
Calculations will be done in class



Wireless Networking
Lecture 9
Wireless network is a network set up by using radio signal frequency to communicate
among computers and other network devices. Sometimes its also referred to as WiFi
network or WLAN.
WiFi Technology is a standard of communication among wireless devices and
computers all over the world.
Wi-Fi is wireless technology which enable connection between two or more devices
wirelessly for data sharing purposes . I
It is wireless networking which is based on IEEE 802.11 standards.
it enabled file transferring from server to clients without wires, networking cards,
hubs and other important networking related hardware. Using Wi-Fi internet
connection can be shared among computers with minimum usage of hardware, WLAN
cards enable feature of wireless networking among devices, wireless routers help to
broadcast wireless networking signals in given area.
The uses of the Wi-Fi Technology contain any type of WLAN product support any of
the 802.11 together with dual-band, 802.11a, 802.11b.
Wi-Fi Technology is through accessible hot Spots like Home, Office, Airports, Hotels,
Railway stations, Restaurants
Wireless products
The product used by Wi-Fi Technology are Wireless access points which make
possible and fast access to your priorities ,
Wireless adapters makes it more sufficient for wok,
Wireless routers make traffic clean and quick,
Wireless network bridges which enable links, allow PC card, Express Card, USB, Card
bus, mini-PCI and PCI, Handhelds and PDAs and expand range of wireless repeater.
Wireless standards
In 1997, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) created the first
WLAN standard. They called it 802.11
Unfortunately, 802.11 only supported a maximum network bandwidth of 2 Mbps - too
slow for most applications.
For this reason, ordinary 802.11 wireless products are no longer manufactured.
IEEE expanded on the original 802.11 standard in July 1999, creating the 802.11b
802.11b supports bandwidth up to 11 Mbps
802.11b uses the same unregulated radio signaling frequency (2.4 GHz) as the
original 802.11 standard.
802.11b gear can incur interference from microwave ovens, cordless phones, and
other appliances using the same 2.4 GHz range.
However, by installing 802.11b gear a reasonable distance from other appliances,
interference can easily be avoided.
Pros of 802.11b - lowest cost; signal range is good and not easily obstructed
Cons of 802.11b - slowest maximum speed; home appliances may interfere on the
unregulated frequency band
While 802.11b was in development, IEEE created a second extension to the original
802.11 standard called 802.11a.
Because 802.11b gained in popularity much faster than did 802.11a, some folks
believe that 802.11a was created after 802.11b.
In fact, 802.11a was created at the same time.



Due to its higher cost, 802.11a is usually found on business networks whereas
802.11b better serves the home market.
802.11a supports bandwidth up to 54 Mbps and signals in a regulated frequency
spectrum around 5 GHz. This higher frequency compared to 802.11b shortens the
range of 802.11a networks. The higher frequency also means 802.11a signals have
more difficulty penetrating walls and other obstructions.
Because 802.11a and 802.11b utilize different frequencies, the two technologies are
incompatible with each other. Some vendors offer hybrid 802.11a/b network gear, but
these products merely implement the two standards side by side (each connected
devices must use one or the other).
Pros of 802.11a - fast maximum speed; regulated frequencies prevent signal
interference from other devices
Cons of 802.11a - highest cost; shorter range signal that is more easily obstructed

In 2002 and 2003, WLAN products supporting a newer standard called 802.11g
emerged on the market.
802.11g attempts to combine the best of both 802.11a and 802.11b.
802.11g supports bandwidth up to 54 Mbps, and it uses the 2.4 Ghz frequency for
greater range. 802.11g is backwards compatible with 802.11b, meaning that 802.11g
access points will work with 802.11b wireless network adapters and vice versa.
Pros of 802.11g - fast maximum speed; signal range is good and not easily obstructed
Cons of 802.11g - costs more than 802.11b; appliances may interfere on the
unregulated signal frequency
The newest IEEE standard in the Wi-Fi category is 802.11n. It was designed to
improve on 802.11g in the amount of bandwidth supported by utilizing multiple wireless
signals and antennas (called MIMO technology) instead of one.
When this standard is finalized, 802.11n connections should support data rates of over
100 Mbps. 802.11n also offers somewhat better range over earlier Wi-Fi standards due
to its increased signal intensity. 802.11n equipment will be backward compatible with
802.11g gear.
Pros of 802.11n - fastest maximum speed and best signal range; more resistant to
signal interference from outside sources
Cons of 802.11n - standard is not yet finalized; costs more than 802.11g; the use of
multiple signals may greatly interfere with nearby 802.11b/g based networks.
How WIFI works
Wi-Fi uses a frequency of 2.4 to 2.4835 gigahertz, which is also common microwaves
and cordless telephones.
A Wi-Fi connection works through a transmitting antenna, which is usually connected
to a DSL or cable Internet connection. The antenna on the router will then beam radio
signals through a specific range.
Another antenna, which is on the laptop or personal computer, receives the signal.
The wireless signal typically has a range of 300 feet. The connection speeds gets
slower as the distance between the computer and the router increases
A wireless access point connects a group of wireless devices to a wired Local Area
Network, or LAN connection.
The wireless access point then relays data between the connected devices. Before a
device can connect to a Wi-Fi network, a wireless adapter will need to be present.
Wireless adapter can connect to devices using PCI or miniPCI, USB, Cardbus,
ExpressCard, and PC card.



Once the device has a wireless adapter,

you will need a wireless router to relay the signal to your adapter.
The wireless router is connected to the high-speed modem with an Ethernet cable.
Once the wireless router is connected, you should be able to receive a wireless signal
as long as there is a wireless adapter on the device you wish to connect.