Any network infrastructure contains 3 types of network components which are Devices, Media, and Services. Data taking a path from source to destination can be as simple as a single connecting one device to another.
Devices and media are the physical network components also known as Hardware network components. We can touch or take some physical place such as the PC, switch, router, wireless access point, or the cabling used to connect the devices.
Services include many of the common network applications people use every day, like email hosting services and web hosting services. Additionally, processes give the functionality that directs and moves the messages through the network. Processes are less obvious to us but are critical to the operation of networks.
End devices are the first network components and either the source or destination of a message or data transmitted over the network. To differentiate one end device from another, each end device on a network is recognized by an address. When an end device initiates communication, it uses the address of the destination end device to specify where the message should be sent. Laptop, Desktop, Printer, IP Phone, tablet, and telepresence are examples of end devices.
Intermediary devices connect the individual end devices to the other network components. It can connect multiple networks to form an internetwork. These intermediary devices provide connectivity. These devices also make sure data flows across the network. Intermediary devices use the destination end device address, with information about the network interconnections, to decide the path that messages should take through the network. Router, Switch, Wireless router, and firewall are examples of intermediary devices. The most important intermediary devices are:
Hub is a network technology but is not really used in modern networks. In networking, it is just studied because it is helpful to understand a switch if somebody understands it then he can easily understand a switch. It is a device that simply copies data which received on any port to all its ports. So, if a packet of data arrives on interface 1 of a 5 port hub, It will blindly copy that data out the interfaces 2 through 5. It’s a common connection point for devices in a network. Different segments of LAN are commonly connected to the hub. It was a cheap and quick way to link up multiple computers in the early days.
The main issue with hubs though is that only one computer can talk at a time. So, If 2nd computers going to talk at the same time, their traffic would get joined as it was echoed out the other interfaces. This is called a collision, and it would corrupt the data being transmitted by both computers. So, each computer would have to try again, after a random time period. This becomes a real problem when the network gets busy or when more than a handful of computers are on a network. A switch solves the collision issue. Hub is a single broadcast and single collision domain.
An Ethernet Switch is a device that is used to connect multiple computers and devices within a LAN. It works at Layer Two (Data Link Layer) of the OSI model. Some switches also work at layer 3 ( Network Layer). These switches are referred to as Layer 3 switches or multilayered switches.
The basic Function of a Network Ethernet Switch and a Network Ethernet Hub are the same. That is to forward Layer 2 packets (Ethernet frames) from the source device to the destination device. But, a Network switch is more intelligent than a hub. Because an Ethernet switch uses MAC addresses to make forwarding decisions. It does not know about the protocol carried in the data portion such as an IPv4 packet. The switch makes its forwarding decisions based only on the Layer 2 Ethernet MAC addresses.
Unlike an Ethernet hub that repeats bits out all ports except the incoming port; an Ethernet switch consults a MAC address table to make a forwarding decision for each frame. The MAC address table is sometimes referred to as a content addressable memory (CAM) table. Moreover, Network Switches of different input and output bandwidths are available. Today’s Ethernet Network Switches can have bandwidths of 10, 100, 1000 or 10,000 Megabits per second.
Switch Features and Advantages
- Connect network devices together in a Local Area Network (LAN).
- It learns Layer 2 (MAC) addresses and forwards Layer 2 packets (Ethernet frames); to the exact destination with the help of device’s’s mac address
- It’s control of who has access to various parts of the network.
- Provision to monitor network usage.
- High-end switches have pluggable modules.
- Allow to connect multiple device and port can be managed VLAN can create security also can apply
- First broadcast; then unicast & multicast as needed.
- Switches use content-accessible memory CAM table which is typically accessed by ASIC (Application Specific integrated chips).
- Half/Full duplex
- Connecting two or more nodes in the same network or a different network
- The switch has one broadcast domain [unless VLAN is implemented]
The router is a network device. It selects the best path for a data packet. The router is located at any gateway (where one network meets another). It forwards data packets from one network to another based on the address of the destination network in the incoming packet and an internal routing table. It also determines which port (line) to send out the packet (ports typically connect to Ethernet cables).
Routers also require packets formatted in a routable protocol. The global standard is TCP/IP, or simply “IP.” Routers operate at Layer 3 (network layer) of the OSI model and it uses the destination IP address in a data packet to determine where to forward the packet. The router stores the IP address in the Routing table and maintains the address on its own.
Communication Medium is an important component of the network. If the medium works well and properly, then the speed of transferring data is good but if the medium is not working properly, then your data would be delayed or would not be sent or even can be lost during transmission wires, Optical fiber cable and, wireless is the main component of Media
1. What are End Devices, and how do they play a crucial role in a network?
- End devices are like the heart of a network! They are either the source or destination of messages. Think of your laptop, desktop, printer, or even your trusty tablet. They use addresses to communicate. Have you ever wondered how your data gets to the right place? These devices hold the answer!
2. Tell me more about Intermediary Devices. What’s their role in networking?
- Intermediary devices are like the architects of a network. They connect end devices and make data flow smoothly. Routers, switches, wireless routers, and firewalls are among them. Furthermore, they decide how messages travel, making sure they reach their destination.
3. What’s a Hub, and why do we need it in a network?
- Hubs might seem like ancient technology, but they’ve got a place in network history. They copied data to all their ports, which made them ideal for connecting multiple devices. However, they had a downside – only one device could talk at a time, causing collisions. That’s where switches came to the rescue!
4. What’s the deal with Network Switches, and why are they smarter than Hubs?
- Network switches are like the genius of networking. They work at the Data Link Layer and use MAC addresses to send data where it needs to go. Unlike hubs, they don’t repeat data to all ports, making them super efficient. Plus, they can handle varying bandwidths and create secure VLANs.
5. Why is a Router the ultimate network traffic director?
- Routers are like the GPS of the network world. They select the best path for data packets, ensuring they reach the right destination. Routers work at the network layer, and they make decisions based on the destination IP address. They’re the gatekeepers that connect different networks.
6. How does the Communication Medium impact the performance of a network?
- The communication medium is like the road for your network data. If it’s in top shape, your data will zoom through. But if it’s faulty, your data could be delayed, lost, or never sent. Wires, optical fiber cables, and wireless connections are the main components. They’re the unsung heroes that keep data flowing!
7. Can you explain more about Media’s role in network reliability and speed?
- Think of the communication medium as the lifeline of your network. When it’s working well, your data travels at lightning speed. But when it’s not, your data can face roadblocks. Wires, optical fiber cables, and wireless connections are the building blocks of network success.
8. How do Intermediary Devices impact network security and performance?
- Intermediary devices, like routers and firewalls, are the gatekeepers of your network. They not only ensure your data gets to the right place but also enhance network security. They use their routing tables and internal logic to make sure everything runs smoothly.
9. What makes a Network Switch smarter than a Hub, and how does it boost network efficiency?
- A Network Switch is like the brain of the operation. It uses MAC addresses to send data directly to the intended device, making it super efficient. Unlike Hubs, which blindly copy data to all ports, switches ensure that data gets to the right destination, eliminating collisions and boosting performance.
10. How does a Router enhance network connectivity and manage data traffic?
- A Router is the traffic director of your network. It decides the best path for data packets and sends them where they need to go. It operates at the network layer, using IP addresses to determine routes. Routers are essential for connecting different networks and ensuring data flows seamlessly.