Components Of Computer Network

The computer network components are essential elements for the construction of a computer network. They are used to establish the connection between devices, in order to transfer information from one device to another.

Below are  some the components of computer network;

1. Switch

A network switch works by routing traffic based on the MAC addresses of connected devices. Each port on the switch receives a separate segment of the Ethernet cable.

Network switch

Network switches also have other features that make them useful for home use such as port-based security which allows you to lock down access based on IP address or MAC address of connected devices or even how many times they were accessed in a certain period of time.

2. Router

Routers relay packets between the various networks they connect, and they can be configured to send only certain types of packets over particular networks. Routers route data between two or more networks so that it does not have to pass through the same router twice.

Router

In most cases, routers are connected by a cable that runs from each LAN to the router’s serial interface, which is usually located on the back of the router. Serial interfaces do not use protocols such as TCP/IP, but instead communicate in raw binary form with the router firmware running on the CPU chip inside the router.

3. Hub

A hub is a device that connects multiple computers to a single network cable. The main purpose of a hub is to provide connectivity between two or more devices without requiring direct connection to each device. The hub connects each device to another device by sending signals through it and then back out onto the same wire or cable..

Hubs are often used in larger wired networks, but they can also be found in wireless networks.

4. Modem

 The modem is a device that converts digital signals into analog signals and vice versa. This can be done by using the software on your computer to translate between the two different types of signals. The modem allows you to connect your computer to another computer or a device over a phone line.

The modem network interface card (NIC) allows your computer to communicate with other computers on the same network, or with other computers that are connected to the Internet via an external modem. A NIC will also allow you to connect multiple devices, such as printers, scanners and modems, from one computer.

5. Bridge

A bridge is a device that forwards frames from one network segment to another. Bridges connect two or more LAN segments within a single building or campus. 

The bridge is the intermediary between the source and destination, and it passes information up and down the path.

6. Server

A server is a computer that hosts one or more web applications and provides network services to other computers on a local area network, or across the wider Internet. Servers typically hold application source code, static data (e.g., web pages), or both, and provide common services for application processes to use. A single server can serve many clients simultaneously.

server

The most common types of servers are:

  • Web server

Responsible for receiving requests from browsers and returning responses to users. Web servers are often assigned to individual websites by an administrator who may have limited control over the content of those sites, such as wordpress blog sites or forum websites.

  • Mail server

Responsible for accepting mail messages, forwarding them through to their intended recipients, and responding with an appropriate reply message if there is no recipient specified in the message header fields (e.g., “no such recipient”).

Email servers are often assigned to individual domains by an administrator who may have limited control over the content of those domains, such as googlemail accounts or gmail accounts with googlemail addresses

7. Client

A client is a computer that uses another computer’s resources to perform its tasks. Clients are the ones that make use of services provided by a server. A client is usually located on a local network, whereas a server can be located anywhere in the world. Clients and servers interact with each other through a network connection, which provides them with communication tools such as email and file transfer.

8. Transmission Media

Transmission media are the physical mechanisms through which data is transported from one point to another. They include the wires, cables, and wireless connections that carry information from one computer to another.

9. Access point

An access point is a networking device that provides connectivity to the wireless medium.

It allows multiple devices to connect to the same network and shares the connection with other devices on that network.

10. Network Interface Card

A NIC is an integral part of a computer’s networking hardware. It connects to a network, such as the Internet, and provides the necessary electrical connections and data processing capabilities to that network.

11. Network Operating System

A network operating system (NOS) is a software platform that coordinates and communicates with the various components of a computer network, including the computers and devices themselves, other computers on the network, and communication links.

The NOS provides features such as:

Network protocol stacks – protocols such as TCP/IP, IPX, Appletalk, NetBIOS, etc. can be implemented by an NOS.

Network access control – security functions such as access control lists (ACLs), authentication and authorization can be implemented by an NOS.

Network management – OSI Layer 2 Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) can be implemented by an NOS.

12. Protocol

A protocol is a set of standards and rules for communication between two or more systems. Protocols are applied to data structures, network connections, and software applications.

In computer networking, protocols describe how computers communicate with each other on the same network

13. LAN/ Ethernet Cable

LAN cable

LAN cable  is a network cable used for connecting computers and other devices, such as printers and modems, to a computer network. The most common types of LAN cables are:

Cat5e: A higher-speed version of the basic Cat5 cable that supports speeds up to 100Mbps (megabits per second). It has four wires instead of the usual five-wire configuration of basic Cat5, which reduces crosstalk on a twisted pair.

Cat6: The latest development in network cabling technology, Cat6 has four-pair cabling with 24AWG conductors and supports speeds up to 1000Mbps (gigabits per second).

Network Unique Identifiers

  • IP Address

IP address is a unique address that is used in a network to identify individual devices.

In computer networks, IP addresses are used to identify hosts on a network and direct traffic between them. The Internet Protocol (IP) is responsible for routing data across a network and assigning an appropriate address to each node.

  • Hostname

A hostname is the address of a computer system or server in a network. It is an easy-to-remember name that identifies a specific computer, server, or other device. The hostname is used to locate the device using TCP/IP, DNS, and other protocols.

  • MAC Address

The Media Access Control (MAC) address is a unique identifier for all network devices. The MAC address is a 48-bit number that is used to identify the network interface card (NIC) and gives the device an identity on the network.

  • DNS Server

A DNS server is a computer that provides the service of translating human-readable domain names into numeric IP addresses. For example, when you type in “www.google.com” into your browser, your browser asks a DNS server for the IP address corresponding to www.google.com so it can connect to that site’s server on the web.

  • Port

Port is a layer of communication between two computer devices. It is used to connect two different devices together so they can exchange information. Computers use ports to share files and other data, while printers use them to send and receive print jobs between the printer and the computer.

Recommended Reading: Types of Computer Networks

Frequently asked questions

What are the uses of computer networks?

-Storage and retrieval of data (e.g., storage of files on a server)

-Access to shared resources (e.g., Internet access, printers, scanners etc.)

-Data sharing (e.g., sharing information between computers)

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