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Networks and Telecommunications

Learning Outcomes

Summarize the individual components of a computer network Describe the three main network topologies Explain the difference between the three main forms of network access methods Summarize the difference between guided media and unguided media Explain how a network operating system works List the transmitting and receiving devices used in a computer network Describe the function of TCP/IP Summarize the use of a VPN

introduces the concept of computer networks

Computer network (or network) - a group of two or more computer systems linked together using wires or radio waves over a geographical area Computer networks that do not use physical wires are called wireless

takes a detailed look at the key concepts

that are integrating computer networks and data communications


The Need for Networking

A network provides two principle benefits:

The ability to communicate The ability to share

Groupware - software that supports team

interactions and dynamics including calendaring, scheduling, and videoconferencing

is the most popular form of network communication

The Benefits of Computer Networking

Store virtually any kind of information at, and

retrieve it from, a central location on the network Combines the power and capabilities of diverse equipment providing a collaborative medium to combine the skills of different people, regardless of physical location Enables people to share information and ideas easily

They can work more efficiently and productively


Networking Basics
Networks are assembled according to certain

rules: Each cabling strand can only support a certain amount of network traffic, etc Topology - the actual physical organization of the computer devices including connections Bandwidth - indicates how much information can be carried in a given time period over a wired or wireless communications link

Networking Basics (continued)

The network industry refers to nearly every type of network as an area network Local Area Network (LAN) - connects network devices over a relatively short distance Sometimes one building will contain a few small LANs, and occasionally a LAN will span a group of nearby buildings Wide Area Network (WAN) - is a geographically dispersed telecommunications network Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) - interconnects users in a geographic area or region larger than a local area network, but smaller than a wide area network Example: A university may have a MAN that joins together many of their local area networks situated around its campus

Networks The Big Picture

A network is made up of many physical


Computers, printers, and other devices

The manner in which all these items are

connected is referred to as the network topology Network topologies are further subdivided into two categories:

Physical topologies Logical topologies


Physical Topologies
the actual physical organization of the computers on the network and its connections
Bus topology - all devices are connected to a central

cable Star topology - all devices are connected to a hub Ring topology - all devices are connected to one another in a closed loop Tree topology - combines the characteristics of the bus and star topologies Wireless topology - all devices are connected by a receiver/transmitter to a special network interface card that transmits signals between a computer and a server; all within an acceptable transmission range

Physical Topologies

Network Access Methods (Protocols)

Protocol - the predefined way that someone

(who wants to use a service) talks with or utilizes that service

The most popular LAN protocols include:

Token Ring Ethernet Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI)


Token Ring
Token ring network - a LAN in which all

computers are connected in a ring or star topology and a token-passing schema is used in order to prevent the collision of data between two computers that want to send messages at the same time
Second most widely used protocol on local area

Data transfer rates of either 4 or 16 megabits per


Ethernet is the most widely installed LAN access

method originally developed by Xerox

When it first began to be widely deployed in the

1980s, Ethernet supported a maximum data rate of 10 megabits per second (Mbps)
Fast Ethernet standards have extended

traditional Ethernet technology to 100 Mbps peak

Gigabit Ethernet technology extends

performance up to 1000 Mbps


Ethernet and Token Ring Network

Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI)

FDDI - a set of protocols for sending digital

data over fiber optic cable

FDDI networks are token-passing networks

that supports data rates of up to 100 megabits per second

FDDI networks are typically used as

backbones for wide area networks


Fiber Distributed Data Interface

Networking Hardware
To be sent from one location to another, a signal

must travel along a physical path

The physical path that is used to carry a signal

between a signal transmitter and a signal receiver is called the transmission medium

Network transmission media - the various types of media used to carry the signal between computers Two types of transmission media: Guided and Unguided

Guided media
Transmissions material manufactured so that signals

will be confined to a narrow path and will behave predictably Three common types of guided media are: twistedpair wiring, coaxial cable, and fiber optic cable


Twisted-Pair Wiring
a type of cable composed of four (or more) copper wires twisted around each other within a plastic sheath
The wires are twisted to reduce outside

electrical interference
The RJ-45 connectors on twisted-pair cables

resemble large telephone jacks


Coaxial Cable
cable that can carry a wide range of frequencies with low signal loss Consists of a metallic shield with a single wire placed along the center of a shield and isolated from the shield by an insulator Two different types Thinnet coaxial cable - similar to the cable used by cable television companies Thicknet coaxial cable - similar to thinnet except that it is larger in diameter

Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic (or "optical fiber") - the

technology associated with the transmission of information as light impulses along a glass or plastic wire or fiber
Optical fiber cable can transmit data over

long distances with little loss in data integrity

Optical fiber is not subject to interference


Cable Summary

Unguided Media
Unguided media - natural parts of the

Earths environment that can be used as physical paths to carry electrical signals
Examples include microwaves, infrared light

waves, and radio waves


Transmitting and Receiving Devices

Network adapters Microwave

Repeaters Wiring

Infrared and laser

Cellular transmitters
Wireless LAN

concentrators, hubs, and switches

Bridges, routers,


and gateways

Network Adapters
Network adapter - the hardware installed in

computers that enables them to communicate on a network

The most common form is designed to be

installed directly into a standard expansion slot inside a PC


Modems - provide the means to transmit digital

computer data typically over ordinary telephone lines The transmitting modem converts the encoded data signal to an audible signal and transmits it A modem connected at the other end of the line receives the audible signal and converts it back into a digital signal for the receiving computer Modems are commonly used for inexpensive communications between a network and geographically isolated computers


used to increase the distance over which a network signal can be propagated

A signal travels through a transmission

medium, it encounters resistance and gradually becomes weak and distorted

The repeater receives the network signal and

retransmits it at the original transmission strength


Concentrators, Hubs, and Switches

Concentrators, hubs, and switches -

provide a common physical connection point for computing devices

Most hubs and all wiring concentrators and

switches have built-in signal repeating capability to perform signal repair and retransmission


Bridges, Routers, and Gateways

used to interconnect network segments

Bridges and routers - generally used to connect networks that use similar protocols Gateways used to connect networks that use dissimilar protocols; examples includes TCP/IP and IPX


Microwave Transmitters & Receivers

commonly used to transmit network signals

over great distances


Infrared and Laser Transmitters

Infrared and laser transmitters - similar to

microwave systems: they use the atmosphere and outer space as transmission media
They require a line-of-sight transmission path

Useful for signaling across short distances

where it is impractical to lay cable


Cellular Transmitters
Cellular transmitters - radio transmissions and

therefore have the advantage of being able to penetrate solid objects A cellular base station at the center of each cell contains:

Low-power transmitters Receivers Antennas Common control computer equipment

Cellular devices are configured to operate at low

power to avoid interfering with other cellular devices in the area


Wireless LAN Transmitters

function like hubs and switches in a wired environment, only they propagate signals through radio waves or infrared light instead of wires


The Network Operating System

an operating system that includes special functions for connecting computers and devices into a local area network

Two categories:

Client-server Peer-to-peer


Client-Server Networks
a versatile, message-based, and modular infrastructure that is intended to improve usability, flexibility, interoperability, and scalability as compared to centralized, mainframe computing


Thin Client-Server Networks

Thin clients - similar to terminals connected

to mainframes, the server performs the bulk of the processing, and the client presents the interface
Thin clients are usually devoid of floppy

drives, expansion slots, and hard disks; consequently, the box or central processing unit is much smaller than that of a conventional PC

Peer-to-Peer Networks
Enable networked computers to function as both servers and workstations


Internet Technology
The worlds largest computer network

Two most influential technologies:

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite

World Wide Web (WWW)


TCP/IP - a group, or suite, of networking

protocols used to connect computers on the Internet Two main protocols in the suite are: TCP provides transport functions, ensuring, among other things, that the amount of data received is the same as the amount transmitted The IP part of TCP/IP provides the addressing and routing mechanism

The TCP/IP suite of applications

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) - allows files to be

downloaded off or uploaded onto a network Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) - TCP/IPs own messaging system for e-mail Telnet protocol - provides terminal emulation Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) - allows Web browsers and servers to send and receive Web pages Simple Network Management Protocol (SNTP) allows the management of networked nodes to be managed from a single point

The TCP/IP Protocol Suite

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web is a client-server

Information is managed through Web sites on

computers called Web servers

Accessing Web sites is done through the use of

client software (i.e., a browser) and the Internets HTTP

Computers and Web sites on the Internet are

linked through documents called Web pages written in HTML


Intranet vs. Extranet

Intranet an internalized portion of the Internet,

protected from outside access, that allows an organization to provide access to information and application software to only its employees
Extranet - a private network that uses the

Internet protocol and the public telecommunication system to securely share part of a business's information or operations with suppliers, vendors, partners, customers, or other businesses

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPN - a private WAN that uses the Internet as a low-

cost WAN backbone to transport data between two or more geographically separate sites
Advantages that a VPN has over a dedicated-line


The cost of implementation No need to lay cable or lease dedicated lines between the remote sites needing to connect

Businesses can network remote offices into one large WAN and provide access to the Internet


Intranet, Extranet, and VPN Technologies