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Identify the purposes, features, and functions of the following
Network components

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.

Figure 1

A Hub is a type of repeater, known as the Multi-Port Repeater. It allows many devices to be
cheaply and easily interconnected and has typically four, eight, twelve or even twenty-four
ports. A hub takes the data that comes into a port and sends it out all the other ports in the hub.
It doesn't perform any filtering or redirection of data and is usually used to connect workstations
in the Star Topology. In a Star Topology a Hub is the central controlling device.
Basically there are two types of Hub:

The Active Hub, which is used to extend the length of the cable.

The Passive Hub is basically used to connect workstations in the star.

Figure 2

A bridge is a device that connects and passes packets between two network segments. It is more
intelligent than a hub and can analyze incoming packets and will forward or drop each packet
based on its addressing information This means that a bridge can improve network performance
by eliminating unnecessary traffic and minimizing the chances of collisions. The bridge divides
traffic into segments and filters traffic based on the station or MAC address. 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.

Figure 3

Switches are basically Bridges, but usually have multiple ports. They are used in heavily loaded
networks to isolate data flow and improve performance. Like bridges, switches connect network
segments, using a table of MAC addresses to determine the segment on which a packet needs to
be transmitted. Switches operate at much higher speeds than bridges and can support new
functionality, such as virtual LANs. In modern data communications a switch can perform two
basic operations. First is switching data frames in which a switch receives a frame on an input
media and them transmits it to an output media. Second is maintenance of the switching
operations, where a switch builds and maintains switching tables (A list with shows which MAC
address is on which port) and searches for loops. An Ethernet switch has many benefits, such as
allowing many users to communicate in parallel through the use of virtual circuits and dedicated
network segments in a collision-free environment. This maximizes the bandwidth available on
the shared medium. Network administrators also have greater flexibility in managing the
network through the power of the switch and the software to configure the LAN.

Figure 4

Routers forward data packets from one place to another. They operate at the network layer in
the OSI model, which means that they forward data depending on the Network, not the
Hardware (MAC) address. For TCP/IP networks, this means the IP address of the network
interface. Routers make logical decisions regarding the best path for the delivery of data on a
network. Routers, like bridges, provide bandwidth control by keeping data out of subnets it
doesn't belong to. However routers need to be set up before they can get going, although
once set up, they can communicate with other routers and learn the way to parts of a network
that are added after a router is initially configured.

Figure 5


Figure 6

In a communications network, a network node equipped for interfacing with another network
that uses different protocols. A gateway may contain devices such as protocol translators,
impedance matching devices, rate converters, fault isolators, or signal translators as
necessary to provide system interoperability. It also requires the establishment of mutually
acceptable administrative procedures between both networks. A protocol translation/mapping

gateway interconnects networks with different network protocol technologies by performing

the required protocol conversions. Loosely, a computer or computer program configured to
perform the tasks of a gateway

Study of internet protocol

The Internet Protocol (IP) is the method or protocol by which data is sent from one computer
to another on the Internet. Each computer (known as a host) on the Internet has at least one
IP address that uniquely identifies it from all other computers on the Internet.
When you send or receive data (for example, an e-mail note or a Web page), the message
gets divided into little chunks called packets. Each of these packets contains both the sender's
Internet address and the receiver's address. Any packet is sent first to a gateway computer
that understands a small part of the Internet. The gateway computer reads the destination
address and forwards the packet to an adjacent gateway that in turn reads the destination
address and so forth across the Internet until one gateway recognizes the packet as belonging
to a computer within its immediate neighborhood or domain. That gateway then forwards the
packet directly to the computer whose address is specified.
Because a message is divided into a number of packets, each packet can, if necessary, be sent
by a different route across the Internet. Packets can arrive in a different order than the order
they were sent in. The Internet Protocol just delivers them. It's up to another protocol, the
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to put them back in the right order.

IP (Internet Protocol) addressing methods:

Static /Dynamic
Each device in an IP network is either assigned a permanent address (static) by the network
administrator or is assigned a temporary address (dynamic) via DHCP software. Routers,
firewalls and proxy servers use static addresses as do most servers and printers that serve
multiple users. Client machines may use static or dynamic IP addresses. The IP address
assigned to your service by your cable or DSL Internet provider is typically dynamic IP. In
routers and operating systems, the default configuration for clients is dynamic IP.
DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. This protocol assigns network IP
addresses to clients on the network at startup. With DHCP, each client workstation does not

need to be set up with a static IP address. DHCP is recommended on large networks. It would
be very time consuming to manually assign a static IP address to every workstation on your
network. With static IP addressing, the IP address that you assign to a device never changes.
A DHCP server contains a pool of IP addresses that it can draw from to assign to devices that
are connecting to the network. Other TCP/IP properties, such as default gateways, DNS
servers, and subnet masks can also be assigned automatically.

Network industry is moving to adopt new version of IPv6. IPv6 have several new features.
RHCE exam test you networking skills on IPv4 so we are not including IPv6 in this article.
We have a separate section for IPv6.