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IT Essentials I v. 3.

Module 10
Networking Fundamentals 

© 2004, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. 2

Module 10
Networking Fundamentals 

10.1 – Introduction to PC Networking

10.2 – Types of Networks
10.3 – Adding a Network Interface Card (NIC)
10.4 – Physical Components of a Network
10.5 – LAN Architectures
10.6 – Networking Protocols and the OSI Model
10.7 – TCP/IP Utilities
10.8 – Connecting to the Internet
Introduction to PC Networking
Defining a Computer Network

• A computer network allows

users to communicate with
other users on the same
network by transmitting data
on the cables used to connect
• A computer network is defined
as having two or more devices
(such as workstations,
printers, or servers) that are
linked together for the purpose
of sharing information,
resources, or both.
Defining a Computer Network

• A network consists of
many overlapping
systems, such as cabling,
addressing schemes, or
• The layers work together
to transmit and receive
• The Open Systems
Interconnection (OSI)
reference model, was
created to define these
multiple layers.
File, Print, and Application Services

• Computer networks offer file

and print services.
• In networks, different
computers take on specialized
roles or functions.
• Once connected, one or more
computers in the network can
function as network file
• The server is a repository for
files that can be accessed and
shared across the network by
many users.
File, Print, and Application Services

• All network operating

systems offer file and print
• Sharing information,
collaborating on projects,
and providing access to
input and output devices
are common services of
computer networks.
Mail Services

• E-mail services work like the

postal system, with one computer
taking on the function of post
• The user e-mail account operates
like a post office box, where mail
is held for the user until it is
picked up over the network by an
e-mail client program running in
the user system.
• The e-mail is sent from the client
computer to the server, which
acts as the post office. The server
sends it to the e-mail address.
Directory and Name Services

• To enable users and

systems on the network to
find the services they
require, computer networks
make use of directories and
name services.
Directory and Name Services

• Directory and name

services make a network
easier to use.
• After the initial setup of the
directory or name service,
this translation takes place
• In addition to their ease of
use, they also make the
network more flexible.
The Internet

• The Internet is a
worldwide public network
of networks,
interconnecting thousands
of smaller networks to
form one large “web” of
• The Internet functions like
a highway to facilitate
exchange between
geographically separated
users, organizations, and
branches of companies.
The Internet

• The phrase “information

superhighway” describes
the benefit of the Internet to
business and private
• The Internet breaks down
barriers of time and space,
enabling the sharing of
information around the
globe almost
Types of Networks

• By using local-area network (LAN) and wide-area

network (WAN) technologies, many computers are
interconnected to provide services to their users.

• In providing services, networked computers take on

different roles or functions in relation to each other.

• Some types of applications require computers to

function as equal partners. Other types of
applications distribute work so that one computer
functions to serve a number of others in an unequal
Peer-to-Peer Networks

• In a peer-to-peer network,
the networked computers
act as equal partners, or
peers, to each other.

• As peers, each computer

can take on the client
function or the server
function alternately.
Client/Server Networks

• In a client/server network
arrangement, network
services are located in a
dedicated computer whose
only function is to respond to
the requests of clients.

• The server contains the file,

print, application, security,
and other services in a
central computer that is
continuously available to
respond to client requests.
Local-Area Networks (LANs)

• A local-area network (LAN)

can connect many
computers in a relatively
small geographical area
such as a home, an office,
or a campus.

• It allows users to access

high bandwidth media like
the Internet and allows
users to share devices such
as printers.
Local-Area Networks (LANs)

• The general shape or layout

of a LAN is called its

• Topology defines the

structure of the network.
This includes the physical
topology which is the actual
layout of the wire or media,
and the logical topology
which is how the media is
accessed by the hosts.
Wide-Area Networks (WANs)

• A WAN, as the name implies, is

designed to work over a larger
area than a LAN.

• A WAN uses point-to-point or

point to multipoint, serial
communications lines.

• Point-to-point lines connect only

two locations, one on each side
of the line. Point-to-multipoint
lines connect one location on
one side of the line to multiple
locations on the other side.
Wide-Area Networks (WANs)

• The following are some of the more

common WAN technologies:
– Modems
– Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
– Digital subscriber line (DSL)
– Frame Relay
– Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
– The T (US) and E (Europe) Carrier series (T1,
E1, T3, E3, and so on)
– Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)
Wide-Area Networks (WANs)

• Connections across WAN lines

may be temporary or
• Telephone or dialup lines, might
make a temporary connection to
a remote network from a
computer in a home or small
• In both temporary and
permanent cases, computers
that connect over wide area
circuits must use a modem or
channel service unit/data
service unit (CSU/DSU) at each
end of the connection.
Wide-Area Networks (WANs)

• The public telephone system,

sometimes referred to as plain
old telephone service (POTS), is
a circuit-switched
communications network.
• When a telephone call is placed
in this type of network, only one
physical path is used between
the telephones for the duration
of that call.
• This pathway is maintained for
the exclusive use of the call,
until the connection is ended
and the telephone is hung up.
Wide-Area Networks (WANs)

• In a packet-switched
network, each individual
packet of data can take a
different route and no
dedicated pathway or circuit
is established.
Adding a Network Interface Card (NIC)
What is a NIC?

• A network interface card

(NIC) is a device that plugs
into a motherboard and
provides ports for the
network cable connections.
• It is the computer interface
with the LAN.
• The NIC communicates
with the network through
serial connections and
communicates with the
computer through parallel
Physical Components of a Network
Network Topologies

• The network topology

defines the way in which
computers, printers, and
other devices are connected.
A network topology
describes the layout of the
wire and devices as well as
the paths used by data
• Commonly referred to as a
linear bus, all the devices on
a bus topology are
connected by one single
Network Topologies

• The star topology is the most

commonly used architecture in
Ethernet LANs.
• When installed, the star topology
resembles spokes in a bicycle
• Larger networks use the
extended star topology. When
used with network devices that
filter frames or packets, like
bridges, switches, and routers,
this topology significantly
reduces the traffic on the wires
by sending packets only to the
wires of the destination host. 
Network Topologies

• A frame travels around the ring,

stopping at each node. If a node
wants to transmit data, it adds
the data as well as the
destination address to the frame.
• The frame then continues around
the ring until it finds the
destination node, which takes
the data out of the frame.
– Single ring – All the devices on the 
network share a single cable
– Dual ring – The dual ring topology 
allows data to be sent in both 
directions although only one ring is 
used at a time. 
Network Topologies

• The mesh topology

connects all devices
(nodes) to each other for
redundancy and fault
• It is used in WANs to
interconnect LANs and for
mission critical networks
like those used by
• Implementing the mesh
topology is expensive and
Physical versus Logical Topology

• Networks have both a

physical and logical
– Physical topology –the
layout of the devices and
– Logical topology – the
paths that signals travel
from one point on the
network to another.
– The way in which data
accesses media and
transmits packets across it.
Networking Media

• Networking media can be

defined simply as the means by
which signals (data) are sent
from one computer to another
(either by cable or wireless
• Coaxial cable is a copper-cored
cable surrounded by a heavy
shielding and is used to connect
computers in a network.
• There are several types of
coaxial cable, including thicknet,
thinnet, RG-59 (standard cable
for cable TV), and RG-6 (used in
video distribution).
Networking Media

• Twisted-pair is a type of cabling

that is used for telephone
communications and most
modern Ethernet networks.
• A pair of wires forms a circuit
that can transmit data. The pairs
are twisted to provide protection
against crosstalk, the noise
generated by adjacent pairs.
• There are two basic types,
shielded twisted-pair (STP) and
unshielded twisted-pair (UTP).
Networking Media

• UTP comes in several categories that are based on

the number of wires and number of twists in those

• Category 3 is the wiring used primarily for telephone


• Category 5 and Category 5e are currently the most

common Ethernet cables used.
Networking Media

• Fiber-optic cable is a
networking medium capable
of conducting modulated
light transmissions.
• Fiber-optic refers to cabling
that has a core of strands of
glass or plastic (instead of
copper), through which light
pulses carry signals.
• Signals that represent data
are converted into beams of
Networking Media

• If the cost of running cables is

too high or computers need
to be movable without being
tethered to cables, wireless is
an alternative method of
connecting a LAN.
• Wireless networks use radio
frequency (RF), laser,
infrared (IR), and
satellite/microwaves to carry
signals from one computer to
another without a permanent
cable connection. 
Common Networking Devices

• A hub is a device that is

used to extend an Ethernet
wire to allow more devices
to communicate with each
• Hubs are most commonly
used in Ethernet 10BASE-T
or 100BASE-T networks,
although there are other
network architectures that
use them.
Common Networking Devices

• Bridges connect network

• The basic functionality of the
bridge resides in its ability to
make intelligent decisions about
whether to pass signals on to
the next segment of a network.
• A switch is a more sophisticated
device than a bridge, although
the basic function of the switch
is deceptively simple.
• Ethernet switches are becoming
popular connectivity solutions
because they increase network
Common Networking Devices

• Routers are slower than

bridges and switches, but
make “smart” decisions on
how to route (or send)
packets received on one
port to a network on
another port.
• Routers contain tables of
network addresses along
with optimal destination
routes to other networks. 
Server Components

• Server components are

those components that are
used exclusively with the
network server. End users
depend on the server to
provide the services
• To keep the server running
at it is optimal performance,
a higher level of preventive
maintenance must be
LAN Architectures

• The Ethernet architecture is based on the IEEE 802.3

standard. The IEEE 802.3 standard specifies that a
network implements the Carrier Sense Multiple
Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) access
control method.
• Standard transfer rates are 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps,
but new standards provide for gigabit Ethernet, which
are capable of attaining speeds up to 1 Gbps over
fiber-optic cable or other high-speed media.

• 10BASE-T uses a star

• The 10 stands for the
common transmission
speed of 10 MBps, the
"BASE" stands for
baseband mode, and the
"T" stands for twisted pair

• 100BASE-X comes in
several different varieties.
• It can be implemented over
4-pair Category 3, 4, or 5
UTP (100BASE-T).
• It can also be implemented
over 4-pair Category 5 UTP
or Shielded Twisted Pair
(STP) (100BASE-TX), or as
Ethernet over 2-strand fiber-
optic cable (100BASE-FX).

• 1000BASE-T is Gigabit Ethernet.

• This architecture supports data transfer rates of 1

Token Ring

• The Token Ring standards are

defined in IEEE 802.5.
• A Token Ring network uses a
token (that is, a special signal)
to control access to the cable.
– A token is initially generated
when the first computer on the
network comes online.
– When a computer wants to
transmit, it waits for and then
takes control of the token when
it comes its way.
– The token can travel in either
direction around the ring, but
only in one direction at a time.
Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI)

• FDDI is a type of Token

Ring network.
• It runs on fiber-optic cable,
and thus combines high-
speed performance with the
advantages of the token-
passing ring topology.
• It runs at 100 Mbps, and its
topology is a dual ring.
• The outer ring is called the
primary ring and the inner
ring is called the secondary
Networking Protocols and the OSI Model
OSI Model Overview

• The Open Systems

Interconnection (OSI)
reference model is an
industry standard
framework that is used to
divide the functions of
networking into seven
distinct layers.
• Each layer provides
specific services to the
layers above and below it
in order for the network to
work effectively.
What is a Protocol?

• Protocol is a controlled
sequence of messages that
is exchanged between two
or more systems to
accomplish a given task.
• Protocol specifications
define this sequence
together with the format or
layout of the messages that
are exchanged.
Connecting to the Internet
Synchronous and Asynchronous Serial
• Synchronous serial
transmission – Data bits are
sent together with a
synchronizing clock pulse. Built-
in timing mechanism
coordinates the clocks of the
sending and receiving devices.
• Asynchronous serial
transmission – Data bits are
sent without a synchronizing
clock pulse. Uses a start bit at
the beginning of each message.
When the receiving device gets
the start bit, it can synchronize
its internal clock with the sender

• The modem is an electronic

device that is used for
computer communications
through telephone lines.
• It allows data transfer
between one computer and
• There are four main types
of modems:
– Expansion cards
– External modems
– Built-in modems
Dial-Up Networking,
Modem Standards, AT Commands
• When computers use the
public telephone system or
network to communicate, it is
called Dial-Up Networking
• All modems require software to
control the communication
• The set of commands that
most modem software uses
are known as the Hayes-
compatible command set. The
Hayes command set is based
on a group of instructions that
always begins with a set of
attention characters (AT).
ISPs and Internet Backbone Providers

• Services of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) are

required to surf the Internet.

• An ISP is a company that connects computers to

the Internet and World Wide Web.

• The actual connection to the Internet is tiered.

• The ISP may link to a larger regional ISP, which in

turn might connect to one of a number of
nationwide computer centers.
ISPs and Internet Backbone Providers

• The current U.S. Internet

infrastructure consists of a
commercial backbone and a
high-speed service known as
the Very High-Speed Backbone
Network Service (vBNS).
• The vBNS connects five
supercomputer networks across
the country:
– UUNET - a division of
– Cable & Wireless USA
– Sprint
– AT&T
– BBN Planet
ISPs and Internet Backbone Providers

• The ISP that cannot connect

directly to the national
backbone is charged a fee to
connect to a regional
provider that links to the
national backbone through a
Network Access Point (NAP).
• Not all the Internet traffic
goes through NAPs.
• Some ISPs that are in the
same geographic area make
their own interconnections
and peering agreements.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

• Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is an always-on

technology. This means there is no need to dial up
each time to connect to the Internet.

• DSL comes in several varieties:

– Asymmetric DSL (ADSL)
– High Data Rate DSL (HDSL)
– Symmetric DSL (SDSL)
– Very High Data Rate DSL (VDSL)
Cable Modems

• A cable modem acts like a

LAN interface by connecting
a computer to the Internet.

• The cable modem connects

a computer to the cable
company network through
the same coaxial cabling
that feeds cable TV (CATV)
signals to a television set.
Cable Modem versus
DSL Internet Technologies

• When it comes to
comparing cable modem
and DSL Internet
technologies, both have
their pros and cons.

• Another alternative to using

analog telephones lines to
establish a connection is ISDN.
• Speed is one advantage ISDN
has over telephone line
• ISDN uses a pair of 64Kbps
digital lines to connect, which
provides a total of 128Kbps
• A telephone line connects at a
maximum speed of 56Kbps, and
in some areas, doesn’t even
reach that.

• Satellite is an option for users in

rural areas or with no other
access to high speed Internet
• Satellite Internet does not require
a phone line or cable. Two‑way
communication, for upload and
download, is achieved with the
use of a satellite dish.
• Download speed is up to 500
kbps while the upload speed is
one‑tenth of that of that.