Network devices are what connect computers and various other electronic devices together. This connection allows the devices to share files or use resources like printers and fax machines.
Devices that are used to make up a local area network (LAN) are most common with the public. To complete a LAN connection, one must have a hub, router, cabling or radio technology, networks cards, and a high-speed modem. The modem is only needed is someone wants online access. This may sound like a lot of complicated components, but the process of connecting them all can be quite simple.
Within a network, one computer is the server and the others are the clients. Both clients and the server connect to an external hub. Once everyone is connected, then they can send signals between each other. Directing these signals is the router that is within the hub. Routers govern the data traffic between the computers. In order to differentiate between the computers, each one must have its own network card with a unique address.
In hard-wired networks, there has to be a special cable included called Ethernet. This cable runs from the network card to the hub. Within a wireless network, the network cards, router, and hub can communicate with each other using radio waves. Network cards have the ability to identify themselves within a network because of their unique address. All the requests that are sent to the router will also contain that address.
When receiving a request, the router determines where the request was from and where it’s going. Some local networks can broadcast the request to all computers involved, but only the one that sent the request can respond.
With online access, a router can act as a gateway to the internet. It handles all data traffic, but sometimes that data can be trapped by unwanted parties. It’s important for all network devices to be compatible when creating a LAN. With a hard-wired LAN, the devices must have an Ethernet port. With a wireless LAN, devices should have the same wireless language or protocols.
Wireless network devices can have Wi-Fi certification. This means that all the standards and protocols have been met for a certain product. Some of these devices are compatible with multiple protocols, but don’t have the certification. Having a guaranteed certification is useful when creating a LAN for business purposes, but isn’t as important for person and home use.
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