3 Basic Network Component – Exclusive explanation

Any network infrastructure contains three components: devices, Media, and Services. Moving data from source to destination can be as simple as 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 typical network applications people use daily, like email and web hosting services. Additionally, processes provide functionality that directs and moves messages through the network. Processes are less evident to us but are critical to the operation of networks.

End Devices

End devices are the first network components and the source or destination of a message or data transmitted over the network. An address recognizes each end device on a network to differentiate one end device from another. When an end device initiates communication, it uses the address of the destination end device to specify where the message should be sent. Laptops, Desktops, Printers, IP Phones, tablets, and telepresence are examples of end devices.

Intermediary 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 messages should take through the network. Routers, switches, wireless routers, and firewalls are examples of intermediary devices. The most essential intermediary devices are:


Hub is a network technology but is not 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 copies data 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 from 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 multiple computers in the early days.

The main issue with hubs is that only one computer can talk at a time.  So, If 2nd computers are going to speak simultaneously, their traffic would get joined as it 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 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 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 Essential Functions of a Network Ethernet Switch and a Network Ethernet Hub are the same: forwarding Layer 2 packets (Ethernet frames) from the source device to the destination device. However, 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 in the data portion, such as an IPv4 packet. The switch makes forwarding decisions based only on the Layer 2 Ethernet MAC addresses.

Unlike an Ethernet hub that repeats bits from 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 called a content addressable memory (CAM) table. Moreover, network switches for 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.

network component

Switch Features and Advantages

  • Connect network devices 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 the device’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.
  • It allows multiple devices and ports to be connected and managed. VLAN can create security and also apply
  • First broadcast; then unicast & multicast as needed.
  • Switches use content-accessible memory CAM table, 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 that selects the best path for a data packet. It is located at any gateway (where one network meets another) and 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 the packet out (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 they use 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 it on its own.


Communication Medium is an essential component of the network. The data transfer speed is good if the medium works well and correctly. Still, if the medium is not working correctly, then your data will be delayed or will 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 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, ensuring 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 have 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 more intelligent 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 decide 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 your data could be delayed, lost, or never sent if it’s faulty. 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 ensure your data gets to the right place and enhance network security. They use their routing tables and internal logic to ensure 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 data gets to the correct destination, eliminating collisions and boosting performance.

10. How does a Router enhance network connectivity and manage data traffic?

  • A Router is your network’s traffic director. 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.