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At the end of this session, you will be able to:

•List the advantages of using computer networks

•Classify computer networks
•Differentiate between LAN ,MAN and WAN
•Differentiate between peer to peer networks ,server based
networks and combination networks
•Explaining the functioning of the standard topology
•Understanding the functioning of a hub
•Explaining some other topologies used in computer networks
Is a group of computers connected by using various media
Is capable of sharing, managing and providing the following
•Hard disks
•Floppy disks
•Other devices
•Keeps information reliable and up to-date
A simple network


Computer Network

Provides centralized data storage

Provides faster data sharing
Is used for efficient communication
between workgroups by using:
 Electronic mail
 Online conferencing
 GroupWare
Scheduling a meeting with Microsoft Schedule+

Staff meeting
On the basis of the area covered, networks
are classified into:
 Local Area Network (LAN)
 Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
 Wide Area Network (WAN)
Common network elements

Server Clients (shared peripherals)

Local Area Network
 Is confined to a single location
 Uses cables as its connecting media
 Has the maximum distance between
networks limited by:
 The strength of the signal
Metropolitan Area Network
 Covers a much larger area compared
to LAN
 Uses the LAN technology
 Carries information in the form of
computer signals
Wide Area Network
 Covers a larger area compared to LAN
 Carries information in the form of
signals from one computer to another
 Is spread over wide areas such as:
 Establishes communication via:
Telephone lines
Advantages of
LAN over WAN
 LAN designers can set up their own network
that is technically reliable
 Whereas WAN designers are forced to use
existing public telephone network that
is technically unreliable
 LAN cables are more reliable since the error
rates are lesser than in WAN
 Error detection and correction are done at lower
levels in LANs as compared to WANs
Roles of Computer in a Network

 Which use network resources but do not
share them
 Which use and share network resources
 Which provide network resources
Roles of Computers in a Network
On the basis of the roles, networks are
divided into three categories:
 Peer-to-Peer networks
 Server-based networks
 Combination networks
Typical peer-to-peer and server-based networks


Peer to Peer networks
 Does not have a central control over the
 Computers are clients as well as servers
 Does not have any dedicated server
 Is organized into workgroups that have
limited security control
Peer-to-peer network computers act as both clients and


Peer to Peer Networks (contd)
Offers the following advantages:
 No extra investment on server
hardware and software
 Easy setup
 No network administrator required
 Users can controls sharing of
 Less cost
Peer-to-Peer Networks (contd.)
Have the following disadvantages:
 Weak and intrusive security
 Need to administer the computers
 Lack of centralized management
 Additional burden on the computers
because of resource sharing
 Non-handling of multiple network
Server-based Networks

Are organized into domains in a Windows 2000

environment that provide:
 Security
 Administration
 Provide services to various clients
 Ensure security of files and directories
Server-based network



Server-based Network (contd)
Provide servers called domain controllers
that are categorized into:
 Domain Controllers
 Member Servers
Server-based Networks (contd.)
Offer the following advantages:
 Strong central security
 Centralized file storage that:
 Provides easy backup of critical data
 Allows users to work with the same set of data
 Reduced overall costs
 Easy management of multiple users
 Users are freed from managing resources
Server-based Networks (contd.)

Have the following disadvantages:

 Expensive dedicated server
 Expensive network operating system
software and
 Need for a dedicated network
Specialized servers


File and
Mail print server
 Are dedicated to perform specific tasks
 May perform all the tasks
 or have separate servers for each task

Are classified into:

 File servers that allow users to share files
 Print servers that allow users to print on a common
network printer
 Application servaers that allow clients to access
expensive software applications
 Message servers that provide message services
Combination Networks

 Combine server-based and peer-to-peer

networking features
 Can be implemented by using two types of
operating systems on the same network
 Require extensive planning and training of
the users to implement the network and
security issues
Combination networks have dedicated servers and computers

Windows 95

Windows Windows NT
for Workstation

NT Server
Network Topology
 Refers to the arrangement of computers, cables
and other components on a network
 Greatly affects the functionality of a network
with respect to:
 Types of equipment
 Functionality of equipment
 Expansion of network
 Management of network
 Determines the:
 Kind of cabling required
Network Topology (contd.)
Can be implemented by taking into
consideration the following factors:
 Network budget
 Network size
 Security level
 Physical layout of the network
 Type of business
 Amount of network traffic
Standard Topologies

Are classified into:

 Bus
 Star
 Ring
Bus Topology

 Is also known as linear bus topology

 Has several computers attached to a common cable
called the trunk line
 Sends data to all the computers on the network
 Enabling the computer with the specified address in
the signal to accept the data
 Allows only one computer at a time to send messages
 Is a passive topology
 Brings down the network if one computer fails
Bus topology network
Bus Topology (contd.)
 Can be affected by
 Number of computers
 Hardware capabilities of computers
 Types of cable
 Number of times data is transmitted
 Distance between computers on the network
 Requires terminators to stop the signal from
Data is sent to all computers, but only the destination computer


Bus Topology (contd.)

Offers the following advantages:

 Is a simple topology
 Is reliable for small networks
 Is easy to use
 Requires least amount of cable to connect
 Can be easily extended
terminators absorb free signals

An unplugged cable is not terminated and will take down the
Bus Topology (contd.)

Has the following disadvantages:

 Performance is adversely affected by heavy
network traffic
 Electric signals weaken when several
extensions are attached
 Troubleshooting is difficult
Star Topology
 Connects computers by cables to a centralized
device called a hub
 Sends signals from the sending computer to the
receiving computer through the hub
 Requires more cable since each computer is
connected to the central point
 May have a disabled network if its central
controller fails
 Can be expanded by attaching another star hub
 A hub is the central point in a star topology
Simple star network

Star Topology

 Offers the following advantages:

 Is easy to modify
 New computers can be added easily
 Network problems are easy to diagnose
 Failure of a single computer does not bring
down the entire network
 Several cable types can be used with the hub
Star Topology (contd.)

 Has the following disadvantages:

 If the central hub fails, the entire network fails
 Cabling costs are more
Ring Topology
 Connects computers to a single circle of cable
 Does not have any terminal ends
 Causes signals to travel around the loop in
one direction
 Affects the entire network if one computer
fails to work
 Is an active topology
 Allows every computer to act as a repeater
that Boosts the signal
 Passes it on to the next computer
 Is used in high performance networks
Simple ring network showing logical ring
Ring Topology (contd.)
Offers the following advantages:
 Network efficiency can be as high
 Equal access is given to all computers
Suffers from the following disadvantages:
 Failure of one computer on the ring can affect
the entire network
 Troubleshooting is difficult
 Adding or removing computers disrupts the
 Is a short message passed around the ring
 Is captured by the computer that has to
transmit the data
Contains :
 Address of the receiving computer
 Data that is to be sent
 Is received by the destination computer
which then sends a receipt to the originator
 Is again generated by the originator and sent
over the ring
A computer grabs the token and passes it around the ring



 Is a device that centralizes network traffic
through a single connection point
 Is classified into:
Active hub:
 which regenerates and transmits the signal
 is also called as multiport repeater
 requires electrical power to run
Passive hub that:
 acts as a connection point
 does not amplify or regenerate signals
 does not require electrical signals
A hub is the central point in a star topology


Other Topologies

 Star Bus
 Star Ring
 Physical Mesh
Star Bus Topology

 Is a combination of the bus and star

 Has several star topology networks linked
with linear trunks
 Does not adversely affect the network if
one computer fails
 Causes the network to be disabled when
the central hub fails
Star bus network

Hub Hub Hub

Star Ring Topology

 Is a combination of the ring and

star topologies.
 Has hubs that are connected in
a star pattern to the main hub
Star ring network

Main hub
Physical Mesh Topology

 Has a link between each device on the network

 Gets unmanageable beyond a very small number of
 Has each of its computers linked to most of the other
computers reducing the redundant links