What are networks?
Briefly speaking the act of networking brings a group (no fewer than two) of devices together for a range of tasks. Computing networks utilise both hardware and software. (see “fundamnetal computer network concepts” for further information regarding this area) There are many catagories for computer networks, however these remain a simple (albeit still large) subject, which basically breaks it into two metagrouops, “wide area networks” (WAN) and “local area networks” (LAN) which are quite simply fancier ways of categorising connections over a large geographic area and in the immediate vicinity respectively.
Networks also adhere to strict designs (Types Of Computer Networks) and these are commonly known as “topologies” which describe the layout of units in a network and defines how data flows. The various types of design can be seen further into the report. The way computers “talk” to each other over the network is also just as important, and can predefine the topology, this field of communication is known as a “protocol”. This report will cover “TCP/IP” (transmission control protocol/internet protocol) as it is the one of the more basic concepts in networking protocols. The use (or lack thereof) of cabling comes into question with networks, presenting a range of ways that data can travel. Covered in the section “The Physical Layer” various cables can present different outcomes and downfalls, for example a screened shielded twisted pair cable provides slightly more immunity to electromagnetic interferance (EMI) yet the flexability isnt as high as a, unshielded twisted pair of copper wires.
For the most part, modern networks use what is known as an OSI (open systems interconnection) model, which features 7 layers as seen in figure 1:
(figure 1 a graphical representation of the OSI 7 layer model)
Presented in analogical form, this 7 layer model can be viewed as the same process as making a cake where...