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Allow all of your computers to share an Internet connection Share data (e.g. Word documents, music, video and any other type of file) between computers Share printers, scanners and other networkable devices Stream music and video from one computer to another (as opposed to downloading and then running locally) Play multi-player games Backup data Video-conference (e.g. from one room to another)
Local Area Network
The Local Area Network (LAN) is by far the most common type of data network. As the name suggests, a LAN serves a local area (typically the area of a floor of a building, but in some cases spanning a distance of several kilometers). Typical installations are in industrial plants, office buildings, college or university campuses, or similar locations. In these locations, it is feasible for the owning Organisation to install high quality, high-speed communication links interconnecting nodes. Typical data transmission speeds are one to 100 megabits per second. The most widely used LAN system is the Ethernet system developed by the Xerox Corporation. In summary, a LAN is a communications network which is:
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local (i.e. one building or group of buildings) controlled by one administrative authority assumes other users of the LAN are trusted usually high speed and is always shared
LANs allow users to share resources on computers within an organisation, and may be used to provide a (shared) access to remote organisations through a router connected to a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN). LAN Setup Overview Technologies does not provide support or consulting for LAN configuration and setup. The following instructions are a general overview of LAN setup steps that may be helpful in configuring your local area network for use with the Server proxy features. The Server proxy is designed to allow small private networks to share a single connection to the internet. You will need to assign "private" IP address to each of the machines on your LAN, including the gateway machine on which the Server will be running in order
to make use of this (or any other) proxy server. Only your dial-up adapter will have a "public" IP address for communicating with your ISP. IP Address You must first configure the TCP/IP properties (via Control Panel -> Network) that are assigned to the network adapter in each machine of your private network. Select the IP address and enter an address in the range 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.0.255 as the IP address of the machine. Each machine must have a separate IP address in this range. Addresses in this range are reserved for private use only and can only be used for internal LANs. It is recommended that your gateway machine be configured with the address 192.168.0.1 and that your local machines be provided addresses starting at 192.168.0.2 and incrementing by one. Hosts Configuration for LAN Machines A HOSTS file acts as a local database, indicating where to go when it's looking for a certain address. On Windows95 OEM 1 Release, the default HOSTS file can be found in the WINDOWS directory. The following is the default HOSTS file found on each machine (note localhost is a special name reserved for addressing your machine locally). 127.0.0.1 localhost Testing Once configured (you will need to restart your machines for the network configuration modifications to take effect), you should test that each machine can communicate with the gateway machine on which the Server Proxy will run. >From the command prompt, type "ping www" from each of your workstations. If you get a response back, then the TCP/IP connection between your machines is working properly. If you get a "Request timed out" message, or a "Bad IP address" response, your physical connection or configuration is not propery set up. The following steps can be followed for more detailed troubleshooting:
Ping the loopback address (127.0.0.1) to verify that TCP/IP was installed and loaded correctly. If this step is unsuccessful, verify the system was restarted after TCP/IP was installed and configured. Ping your IP address to verify that it was configured correctly. If this step is unsuccessful, Ping the IP address of the default gateway to verify that the gateway is functioning and configuring correctly. If this step is unsuccessful, verify that you are using the correct IP address and subnet mask After you can successfully ping the IP address, ping the host name to verify that the name is configured correctly in the HOSTS file. If this is unsuccessful, check the HOSTS file for a valid entry for both the maching being tested and the remote host you are connecting to.
Bridge:A bridge is a LAN interconnection device which operates at the data link layer
(layer 2) of the OSI reference model. It may be used to join two LAN segments (A,B), constructing a larger LAN. A bridge is able to filter traffic passing between the two LANs and may enforce a security policy separating different work groups located on each of the LANs
The OSI Reference Model
The OSI reference model specifies standards for describing "Open Systems Interconnection" with the term 'open' chosen to emphasise the fact that by using these international standards, a system may be defined which is open to all other systems obeying the same standards throughout the world.
Services provided by each Protocol Layer
1. Physical layer: Provides electrical, functional, and procedural characteristics to activate, maintain, and deactivate physical links that transparently send the bit stream; only recognises individual bits, not characters or multicharacter frames. 2. Data link layer: Provides functional and procedural means to transfer data between network entities and (possibly) correct transmission errors; provides for activation, maintenance, and deactivation of data link connections, grouping of bits into characters and message frames, character and frame synchronisation, error control, media access control, 3. Network layer: Provides independence from data transfer technology and relaying and routing considerations; masks peculiarities of data transfer medium from higher layers and provides switching and routing functions to establish, maintain, 4. Transport layer: Provides transparent transfer of data between systems, relieving upper layers from concern with providing reliable and cost effective data transfer; provides end-to-end control and information interchange with quality of service needed by the application program; first true end-to-end layer. 5. Session layer: Provides mechanisms for organising and structuring dialogues between application processes; mechanisms allow for two-way simultaneous or two-way alternate operation, establishment of major and minor synchronisation points, and techniques for structuring data exchanges. 6. Presentation layer: Provides independence to application processes from differences in data representation, that is, in syntax; syntax selection and conversion provided by allowing the user to select a "presentation context" with conversion between alternative contexts. 7. Application layer: Concerned with the requirements of application. All application processes use the service elements provided by the application layer. The elements include library routines which perform interprocess communication, provide common procedures for constructing application protocols and for accessing the services provided by servers which reside on the network.
What is Client/Server Networking? The term client/server refers to a model utilizing networked client and server computers and application software. Web, FTP, email, DNS and many other database applications are client-server systems. What is Peer-to-Peer Networking? Peer to peer networks share responsibility for processing data among all of the connected devices. Peer-to-peer networking (also known simply as peer networking) differs from client-server networking in several respects. How is Network Performance Measured? The performance or "speed" of a computer network is normally measured in units of bits per second (bps). This quantity can represent either an actual data rate or a theoretical limit to available network bandwidth. The related units of Kbps, Mbps, Gbps represent increasingly larger multiples of bps.
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) are two distinct network protocols, technically speaking. TCP and IP are so commonly used together, however, that TCP/IP has become standard terminology to refer to either or both of the protocols. IP corresponds to the Network layer (Layer 3) in the OSI model, whereas TCP corresponds to the Transport layer (Layer 4) in OSI. In other words, the term TCP/IP refers to network communications where the TCP transport is used to deliver data across IP networks. The average person on the Internet works in a predominately TCP/IP environment. Web browsers, for example, use TCP/IP to communicate with Web servers.
Top 6 TCP/IP Administration and Troubleshooting Tools in Windows XP
Microsoft Windows XP provides a set of built-in utilities for administering and troubleshooting TCP/IP networks. Windows XP contains many of the standard network troubleshooting tools found on most other computers as well as some additional, more advanced ones. Each of these utilities runs from the Windows command prompt. From the Start menu, choose Run and type 'cmd' to open a command window, then type in the name of the utility to run.
'Ping' is the single most powerful troubleshooting tool for networked computers. The ping tool can at different times verify that TCP/IP is installed correctly on a computer, that a computer has joined the network successfully, that a computer can reach the Internet, that a remote Web site or computer is responding, and that computer name resolution is working.
The 'ipconfig' tool shows a computer's TCP/IP configuration. It displays the IP address, the network (subnet) mask and the Internet/network gateway address (if one is set for that network). Use this tool to verify that the TCP/IP configuration has been set up correctly.
The 'hostname' utility in Windows XP displays the computer's name. This tool is often used on a computer to verify its name when attempts to map network drives on that computer fail.
'Tracert" (pronounced "traceroute") sends a test network message from a computer to a designated remote host and tracks the path taken by that message. Specifically, 'tracert' displays the name or IP address of each intermediate router or other network gateway device the message passes through to reach its destination. 'Tracert' is especially useful when diagnosing connectivity problems on the Internet or within a school or corporate network.
The 'arp' command manages the Address Resolution Protocol cache. The ARP cache maintains a list of computer names and their corresponding IP addresses. In some situations, primarily on school or corporate networks, an administrator may need to view or modify the contents of the ARP cache. 'Arp' is considered an advanced network administration tool.
Another advanced network administration tool on Windows XP, 'route' supports manipulation and viewing of a computer's routing table. 'Route' can be used on school or corporate networks to diagnose cases where a computer cannot reach another computer on the LAN.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is a technology for bringing high- bandwidth information to homes and small businesses over ordinary copper telephone lines. xDSL refers to different variations of DSL, such as ADSL, HDSL, and RADSL. Assuming your home or small business is close enough to a telephone company central office that offers DSL service, you may be able to receive data at rates up to 6.1 megabits (millions of bits) per second (of a theoretical 8.448 megabits per second), enabling continuous transmission of motion video, audio, and even 3-D effects. More typically, individual connections will provide from 1.544 Mbps to 512 Kbps downstream and about 128 Kbps upstream. A DSL line can carry both data and voice signals and the data part of the line is continuously connected. DSL installations began in 1998 and will continue at a greatly increased pace through the next decade in a number of communities in the U.S. and elsewhere. Compaq, Intel, and Microsoft working with telephone companies have developed a standard and easier-to-install form of ADSL called G.Lite that is accelerating deployment. DSL is expected to replace ISDN in many areas and to compete with the cable modem in bringing multimedia and 3-D to homes and small businesses.
How It Works
Traditional phone service (sometimes called POTS for "plain old telephone service") connects your home or small business to a telephone company office over copper wires that are wound around each other and called twisted pair . Traditional phone service was created to let you exchange voice information with other phone users and the type of signal used for this kind of transmission is called an analog signal. An input device such as a phone set takes an acoustic signal (which is a natural analog signal) and converts it into an electrical equivalent in terms of volume (signal amplitude) and pitch (frequency of wave change). Since the telephone company's signalling is already set up for this analog wave transmission, it's easier for it to use that as the way to get information back and forth between your telephone and the telephone company. That's why your computer has to have a modem - so that it can demodulate the analog signal and turn its values into the string of 0 and 1 values that is called digital information. Because analog transmission only uses a small portion of the available amount of information that could be transmitted over copper wires, the maximum amount of data that you can receive using ordinary modems is about 56 Kbps (thousands of bits per second). (With ISDN , which one might think of as a limited precursor to DSL, you can receive up to 128 Kbps.) The ability of your computer to receive information is constrained by the fact that the telephone company filters information that arrives as digital data, puts it into analog form for your telephone line, and requires your modem to change it back into digital. In other words, the analog transmission between your home or business and the phone company is a bandwidth bottleneck.
Splitter-based vs. Splitterless DSL
Most DSL technologies require that a signal splitter be installed at a home or business, requiring the expense of a phone company visit and installation. However, it is possible to manage the splitting remotely from the central office. This is known as splitterless DSL, "DSL Lite," G.Lite, or Universal ADSL and has recently been made a standard.
Factors Affecting the Experienced Data Rate
DSL modems follow the data rate multiples established by North American and European standards. In general, the maximum range for DSL without a repeater is 5.5 km (18,000 feet). As distance decreases toward the telephone company office, the data rate increases. Another factor is the gauge of the copper wire. The heavier 24 gauge wire carries the same data rate farther than 26 gauge wire. If you live beyond the 5.5 kilometer range, you may still be able to have DSL if your phone company has extended the local loop with optical fiber cable.
Types of DSL
The variation called ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is the form of DSL that will become most familiar to home and small business users. ADSL is called "asymmetric" because most of its two-way or duplex bandwidth is devoted to the downstream direction, sending data to the user. Only a small portion of bandwidth is available for upstream or user-interaction messages. However, most Internet and especially graphics- or multi-media intensive Web data need lots of downstream bandwidth, but user requests and responses are small and require little upstream bandwidth. Using ADSL, up to 6.1 megabits per second of data can be sent downstream and up to 640 Kbps upstream. The high downstream bandwidth means that your telephone line will be able to bring motion video, audio, and 3-D images to your computer or hooked-in TV set.
CDSL (Consumer DSL) is a version of DSL, trademarked by Rockwell Corp., that is somewhat slower than ADSL (1 Mbps downstream, probably less upstream) and has the advantage that a "splitter" does not need to be installed at the user's end. Rockwell no longer provides information about CSDL at its Web site and does not appear to be marketing it.
G.Lite or DSL Lite
G.Lite (also known as DSL Lite, splitterless ADSL, and Universal ADSL) is essentially a slower ADSL that doesn't require splitting of the line at the user end but manages to split it for the user remotely at the telephone company. This saves the cost of what the phone companies call "the truck roll." G.Lite, officially ITU-T standard G-992.2, provides a data rate from 1.544 Mbps to 6 Mpbs downstream and from 128 Kbps to 384 Kbps upstream. G.Lite is expected to become the most widely installed form of DSL.
HDSL (High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line), one of the earliest forms of DSL, is used for wideband digital transmission within a corporate site and between the telephone company and a customer. The main characteristic of HDSL is that it is symmetrical: an equal amount of bandwidth is available in both directions. HDSL can carry as much on a single wire of twisted-pair cable as can be carried on a T1 line (up to 1.544 Mbps) in North America or an E1 line (up to 2.048 Mbps) in Europe over a somewhat longer range and is considered an alternative to a T1 or E1 connection.
IDSL (ISDN DSL) is somewhat of a misnomer since it's really closer to ISDN data rates and service at 128 Kbps than to the much higher rates of ADSL.
RADSL (Rate-Adaptive DSL) is an ADSL technology from Westell in which software is able to determine the rate at which signals can be transmitted on a given customer phone line and adjust the delivery rate accordingly.
SDSL (Symmetric DSL) is similar to HDSL with a single twisted-pair line, carrying 1.544 Mbps (U.S. and Canada) or 2.048 Mbps (Europe) each direction on a duplex line. It's symmetric because the data rate is the same in both directions.
UDSL (Unidirectional DSL) is a proposal from a European company. It's a unidirectional version of HDSL.
VDSL (Very high data rate DSL) is a developing technology that promises much higher data rates over relatively short distances (between 51 and 55 Mbps over lines up to 1,000 feet or 300 meters in length). It's envisioned that VDSL may emerge somewhat after
x2/DSL is a modem from 3Com that supports 56 Kbps modem communication but is upgradeable through new software installation to ADSL when it becomes available in the user's area. 3Com calls it "the last modem you will ever need."