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Networking Basics A network is a group of computers, printers, and other devices that are connected together with cables.

Information travels over the cables, allowing network users to exchange documents & data with each other, print to the same printers, and generally share any hardware or software that is connected to the network. Each computer, printer, or other peripheral device that is connected to the network is called a node. Networks can have tens, thousands, or even millions of nodes. ike most things, networks are are assembled according to certain rules. !abling, for example, has to be a certain length, each cabling strand can only support a certain amount of network traffic, etc. "he rules that govern how a network is set up is called its topology. "he most popular topology in use today is called Ethernet, which consists of computers and peripherals cabled together in specific ways. Ethernet is relatively inexpensive, easy to set up and use, and very, very fast. Ethernet networks are categori#ed by how fast they can move information. $peed is expressed in megabits per second %or Mbps&, where one 'bit' is e(ual to )*+th of a character, letter, or number. "here are currently two Ethernet speed categories. Standard Ethernet operates at a fast ),-bps, which is (uick enough for most networking tasks. Fast Ethernet, by contrast, races along at a blistering ),,-bps, making it ideal for desktop video, multimedia, and other speed.hungry applications. "he new technology behind /ast Ethernet, which was introduced in the beginning of )001, is not readily compatible with standard Ethernet. -aking the two 'talk' with each other re(uires special e(uipment %see switching hub below& and some knowledge of internetworking. If you2re building your first network, decide whether to go with standard or /ast Ethernet before you begin shopping around for network hardware and software. 3nless you plan on using video, multimedia, or heavy graphics software, plan on using standard Ethernet. For more information on standard and Fast Ethernet, see the Cabling & Hubs section. Cabling 4asics "he two most popular types of network cabling are twisted-pair %also known as 10BaseT& and thin coa %also known as 10Base!&. ),4ase" cabling looks like ordinary telephone wire, except that it has + wires inside instead of 5. "hin coax looks like the copper coaxial cabling that2s often used to connect a 6!7 to a "6 set. 8hich type of cabling is best for you9 "hin coax and ),4ase" can both be used exclusively or together, depending on the type of network that you2re putting together. $mall networks, for example, may want to use ),4ase" cabling by itself, because it2s inexpensive, flexible, and ideal for going short distances. arger networks %usually with ), or more computers& may use a thin coax backbone with small clusters of ),4ase" cabling that branch off from it at regular intervals. Network Adapters A network computer is connected to the network cabling with a network inter"ace card, %also called a 'NI!', 'nick', or network adapter&. $ome NI!s are installed inside of a computer: the ;! is opened up and a network card is plugged directly into one of the computer2s internal expansion slots. <+=, >+=, and many 5+= computers have 1#-bit slots, so a )=. bit NI! is needed. /aster computers, like high.speed 5+=s and ;entiums, often have $!-bit, or %C& slots. "hese ;!s re(uire ><.bit NI!s to achieve the fastest networking speeds possible for speed.critical applications like desktop video, multimedia, publishing, and databases. And if a computer is going to be used with a /ast Ethernet network, it will need a network adapter that supports ),,-bps data speeds as well. If a ;! lacks expansion slots %which is true with portable ;!s&, special network adapters are used. A PCMCIA network adapter connects a ;! to a network if the ;! has a credit card.si#ed ;!-!IA expansion slot, while a pocket adapter connects a ;! to a network through its printer port. '(bs "he last piece of the networking pu##le is called a hub. A hub is a box that is used to gather groups of ;!s together at a central location with ),4ase" cabling. If you2re networking a small group of computers together, you may be able to get by with a hub, some ),4ase" cables, and a handful of network adapters. arger networks often use a thin coax 'backbone' that connects a row of ),4ase" hubs together. Each hub, in turn, may connect a handful of computer together

using ),4ase" cabling, which allows you to build networks of tens, hundreds, or thousands of nodes. ike network cards, hubs are available in both standard %),-bps& and /ast Ethernet %),,-bps& versions. Client Ser)er )s* %eer-to-%eer Every network re(uires special software to control the flow of information between users. A Network +perating System, or N+S, is installed onto each ;! that re(uires network access. "he N?$ is like a traffic cop that monitors the exchange and flow of files, electronic mail, and other network information. Network ?perating $ystems are usually classified according to whether they are peer-to-peer or client-ser)er N?$s. ;eer.to.peer N?$s like 8indows 01 and 8indows for 8orkgroups are best for home & small office use..they2re great for sharing applications, data, printers, and other locali#ed resources across a handful of ;!s. !lient.server N?$s like 8indows N" and Net8are are ideal for large.scale organi#ations that re(uire fast network access for video, publishing, multimedia, spreadsheet, database, and accounting operations. %eer-to-%eer Networks A peer.to.peer network allows two or more ;!s to pool their resources together. Individual resources like disk drives, !@. 7?- drives, and even printers are transformed into shared, collective resources that are accessible from every ;!. 3nlike client.server networks, where network information is stored on a centrali#ed file server ;! and made available to tens, hundreds, or thousands client ;!s, the information stored across peer.to.peer networks is uni(uely decentrali#ed. 4ecause peer.to.peer ;!s have their own hard disk drives that are accessible by all computers, each ;! acts as both a client %information re(uestor& and a ser)er %information provider&. In the diagram below, three peer-to-peer workstations are shown. Although not capable of handling the same amount of information flow that a client-server network might, all three computers can communicate directly with each other and share one another's resources. A peer.to.peer network can be built with either ),4ase" cabling and a hub or with a thin coax backbone. ),4ase" is best for small workgroups of )= or fewer users that don2t span long distances, or for workgroups that have one or more portable computers that may be disconnected from the network from time to time. After the networking hardware has been installed, a peer.to.peer network software package must be installed onto all of the ;!s. $uch a package allows information to be transferred back and forth between the ;!s, hard disks, and other devices when users re(uest it. ;opular peer.to.peer N?$ software includes ,indows -., ,indows "or ,orkgro(ps, /rtiso"t 0/Ntastic, and Net,are 0ite. -ost N?$s allow each peer.to.peer user to determine which resources will be available for use by other users. $pecific hard & floppy disk drives, directories or files, printers, and other resources can be attached or detached from the network via software. 8hen one user2s disk has been configured so that it is 'sharable', it will usually appear as a new drive to the other users. In other words, if user A has an / and C drive on his computer, and user 4 configures his entire C drive as sharable, user A will suddenly have an /, C, and 1 drive %user A2s 1 drive is actually user 42s C drive&. @irectories work in a similar fashion. If user A has an / & C drive, and user 4 configures his '!:A8IN@?8$' and '!:A@?$' directories as sharable, user A may suddenly have an /, C, 1, and E drive %user A2s 1 is user 42s !:A8IN@?8$, and E is user 42s !:A@?$&. @id you get all of that9 4ecause drives can be easily shared between peer.to.peer ;!s, applications only need to be installed on one computer.. not two or three. If users have one copy of -icrosoft 8ord, for example, it can be installed on user A2s computer..and still used by user 4. "he advantages of peer.to.peer over client.server N?$s include: No need for a network administrator Network is fast*inexpensive to setup & maintain Each ;! can make backup copies of its data to other ;!s for security. 4y far the easiest type of network to build, peer.to.peer is perfect for both home and office use.

Client-$erver Networks In a client.server environment like ,indows NT or No)ell Net,are, files are stored on a centrali#ed, high speed "ile ser)er ;! that is made available to client ;!s. Network access speeds are usually faster than those found on peer.to. peer networks, which is reasonable given the vast numbers of clients that this architecture can support. Nearly all network

services like printing and electronic mail are routed through the file server, which allows networking tasks to be tracked. Inefficient network segments can be reworked to make them faster, and users2 activities can be closely monitored. ;ublic data and applications are stored on the file server, where they are run from client ;!s2 locations, which makes upgrading software a simple task..network administrators can simply upgrade the applications stored on the file server, rather than having to physically upgrade each client ;!. In the client-server diagram below, the client !s are shown to be separate and subordinate to the file server. "he clients' primary applications and files are stored in a common location. File servers are often set up so that each user on the network has access to his or her #own# directory, along with a range of #public# directories where applications are stored. If the two clients below want to communicate with each other, they must go through the file server to do it. A message from one client to another is first sent to the file server, where it is then routed to its destination. $ith tens or hundreds of client !s, a file server is the only way to manage the often comple% and simultaneous operations that large networks re&uire. Network ;rinting In client.server networks, network printing is normally handled by a print server, a small box with at least two connectors: one for a printer, and another that attaches directly to the network cabling. $ome print servers have more than two ports.. they may, for example, support <, >, or 5 printers simultaneously. 8hen a user sends a print Bob, it travels over the network cabling to the file server where it is stored. 8hen the print server senses that the Bob is waiting, it moves it from the file server to its attached printer. 8hen the Bob is finished, the print server returns a result message to the file server, indicating that the process is complete. In the diagram below, the laptop client ! sends a 'ob to the file server. "he file server, in turn, forwards the 'ob to the print server, which sends it to the laser printer when it's available. Any client on the network can access the printer in this fashion, and it's &uite fast. "he print server can be placed anywhere on the network, and a network can have more than one print server--possibly one in an office's accounting department, another in marketing, and so on. ;rint $ervers are available for both client.server and peer.to.peer networks. "hey2re incredibly convenient because they let you put a printer anywhere along your network even if there isn2t a computer nearby. Cowever, users often opt not to use a print.server with their peer.to.peer network. 8hy9 4ecause every computer2s resources are available to everyone on the network, $ally can print a Bob on Dohn2s printer..Bust as if $ally had a printer attached to her computer. In this e%ample, the printer is attached to the computer on the right. $hen the ! on the left sends a 'ob, it #thinks# that it is printing to a printer of its own. In actuality, the 'ob travels over the network cables to the ! on the right, which stores and prints the 'ob in the background. "he user at the ! with the printer is never interrupted while his computer processes and prints the 'ob transparently. 2emote /ccess & -odem $haring 8hen a client.server network needs a gateway to the world, the network administrator usually installs a remote.node server, which serves up two functions: remote access and modem sharing. -ost remote.node servers attach directly to the network cablingE they provide a bridge between the network, a modem, and a telephone line. 2emote access allows users to dial into their home networks from anywhere in the world. ?nce a connection has been established over ordinary phone lines by modem, users can access any programs or data on the network Bust as if they were seated at one of its local workstations. $ome remote access servers only provide access to a file server2s disk drives. ?thers can provide access to both the file server and direct access to any ;!2s hard disk on the network. "his saves time because it allows a remote user to communicate directly with any network user without having to go through the file server. Modem sharing lets local network users dial out from their individual network computers to access the Internet, bulletin boards, America ?n. ine, and more. After firing up their favorite communications software, local users establish a link with the remote.node server over the network, which opens up an outgoing telephone line. 3sers2 individual ;!s don2t need modems, which is a big money saver..only a single modem & phone line are re(uired for tens or hundreds of users. In the case of peer.to.peer networks, by contrast, every ;! re(uires its own modem for access to the outside world. /ll /bo(t Cabling /ll About !abling

"he two most popular types of network cabling are twisted-pair %also known as 10BaseT& and thin coa %also known as 10Base!&. ),4ase" cabling looks like ordinary telephone wire, except that it has + wires inside instead of 5. "hin coax looks like the copper coaxial cabling that2s often used to connect a 6!7 to a "6 set.

10BaseT !abling 8hen ),4ase" cabling is used, a strand of cabling is inserted between each computer and a hub. If you have 1 computers, you2ll need 1 cables. Each cable cannot exceed ><1 feet in length. 4ecause the cables from all of the ;!s converge at a common point, a ),4ase" network forms a star con"ig(ration, or geometric design, when viewed from above. In the figure below, three computers are connected together with ()*ase" cabling and a hub . A ),4ase" hub is basically a box with a row of ),4ase" Backs. -ost hubs have 1, +, )<, or )= Backs, but some may have more. -ost hubs also have an (plink port, which is a special ),4ase" or thin coax port that allows the hub to be connected to either %)& other hubs, or %<& a thin coax backbone % see below for information on backbones&. 4y uplinking multiple hubs together, you can add additional computers to your network whenever you need to. ),4ase" cabling is available in different grades or categories. $ome grades, or 'cats', are re(uired for /ast Ethernet networks, while others are perfectly acceptable for standard ),-bps networks..and less expensive, too. About +1F of the networks in the 3.$. use standard (nshielded twisted-pair 34T%5 Category . ),4ase" cabling because it offers a performance advantage over lower grades. If you are using a ),-bps network, category > is fine. If you plan on building a /ast Ethernet network at some time in the future, it2s best to install !ategory 1 cabling. ),4ase" !ategory 8hat It2s 3sed /or ....................................................... 1 /ast Ethernet %and everything below& 5 Networks other than Ethernet > ),-bps ),4ase" < Alarms, telephone voice lines ) 3nknown %not rated for anything specific& If possible, decide whether you2ll be using standard Ethernet or /ast Ethernet technology before you begin building your network. If you2re not sure which technology you2ll eventually use, choose to install !ategory 1 cabling. 7emember, /ast Ethernet network adapters and hubs are not directly compatible with each other. It is possible to have both ),-bps and ),,-bps segments on the same network, provided you have a switching hub between them that allows them to communicate. ,ant to know more abo(t 10BaseT wiring con"ig(rations6 !heck out our wiring g(ide. Thin !oax !abling "he geometric design that is formed when thin coax cabling is used is called a linear or backbone configuration. "he reason for this is that thin coax is always arranged in a straight line of ;!s, hubs, or other devices. "hin coax networks always re(uire termination, which is the act of 'plugging up' both ends of the network. Instead of inserting an incoming thin coax cable directly into a ;!, a ".connector is inserted instead, splitting the network adapter2s input port into two separate ports. ?ne port receives an incoming network cableE the other receives an outgoing network cable. If the ;! is at the end of the network chain, a terminator plug is inserted into the empty hole of the ".connector. "hin coax is only used with ),-bps Ethernet networks. /ast Ethernet networks, which are ), times faster than standard Ethernet, use category 1 ),4ase" cabling. "he figure below shows three !s connected together in a backbone configuration. +ote that the backbone has termination at both ends, and each #"# connector plugs directly into a !, where it allows for an incoming and outgoing connection. "he ma%imum length for any thin coa% segment is ,)- feet.

Mi ing ),4ase" & !oax /inally, thin coax backbones and ),4ase" cabling & hubs can be connected together to allow for a wide variety of expansion options. In the more comple% e%ample below, a thin coa% backbone connects two ()*ase" hubs together, along with a computer in-between. Each hub, in turn, branches off to still more computers with ()*ase" cabling. +ote that the ends of the thin coa% backbone are properly terminated.

'ow to ;ick !abling "here are two things to consider when deciding on the type of cable to use for your network. 1* 'ow many %Cs do yo( want to link together6 !* 'ow long 3in "eet5 is yo(r network going to be6 "he answers to these two (uestions will determine the cabling that2s best for you, and whether or not you2ll need a hub. 4se thin coa cabling i" yo(*** ................................................ have fewer than ), ;!s, don2t have any portable computers, and don2t plan to expand 4se 10BaseT cabling with a h(b i" yo(*** ................................................ have )= or fewer ;!s within a ><1 foot radius of each have portable computers, and7or you plan to expand 4se both thin coa and 10BaseT together i"*** ................................................ you have more than )= computers, or the radius of your workgroup is more than >,, feet other,

Common ;roblems & $olutions Cere are some ways to avoid the most common cabling pitfalls that network installers face. /)oid &nter"erence Network cabling can be run under floors, around office dividers, or over dropped ceilings. 8hen planning your wiring layout, try to keep cables away from power outlets, florescent lighting fixtures, uninterruptable power supplies, and other sources of strong electromagnetic interference. !oiling up cables can also cause interference. Thin Coa Cabling 8hen using thin coax cabling, you must always use a ".connector at each ;! and termination at both ends of the network, even if you2re only connecting a couple of computers together. 10BaseT Cabling 8hen using ),4ase" cabling, you m(st use a hub..even if you2re only networking < ;!s together. -any first time networkers forego a hub and simply plug a ),4ase" cable between two ;!s2 network cards. $uch an installation is guaranteed to either %)& not work, or %<& be unreliable.

The Big %ict(re

The Big ;icture 1ecide on a peer-to-peer or client-ser)er N+S* !hoose one or the other depending on the si#e & complexity of your network. ;eer.to.peer allows individual ;!s to share each other2s hard disks, printers, and other resources. It2s perfect for small networks with )= or fewer users, or for workgroups with one or more portable ;!s. ;opular packages include 8indows 01 and 8indows for 8orkgroups. !lient. server N?$s, by contrast, can handle heavier and more complex traffic loads than peer.to.peer, and are designed for large networks or speed.critical applications like video and multimedia. ;opular packages include 8indows N" and Novell Net8are. %lan yo(r cabling layo(t* After you2ve decided on a network operating system software package, diagram how your network will go together. ;lan on running cables under floors, over ceilings, or around dividers. If you2re installing a small network over a short distance, use ),4ase" with one or more hubs. If you2ll be running long distances %the radius of the network is more than ><1 feet&, plan on using thin coax cabling, possibly in combination with ),4ase" hubs. Make a hardware 8 so"tware checklist* Get each of the items shown below. 4e especially careful when choosing a network adapter for your ;!s. Get ones that support your ;!2s ;!-!IA, parallel port, or internal bus slots, as well as your network software. "hey should have both ),4ase" and thin coax ports on.board for flexibility. And if you2ll be using /ast Ethernet, be sure they support ),,-bps speeds. If you plan to install a ),4ase" hub, make sure that it2s expandable, and that it has enough ports to service all of your ;!s. If you2ll be using the hub in conBunction with a thin coax backbone, make sure that it has both ),4ase" and thin coax ports on.board. Get the correct hub for the type of Ethernet network that you2re installing..either standard ),-bps Ethernet or /ast ),,-bps Ethernet. If you2ll be Boining standard and /ast Ethernet segments together, you2ll need a switching hub in.between. After obtaining the network software, adapters, cabling, and hub%s& %if any&, install the network cabling first, followed by the network adapters, and finally, the network software. Cere2s what you need: a peer.to.peer or client.server N?$ software package a ;!-!IA, pocket, or internal network adapter for each ;! If you2re using ),4ase"... one !ategory > or 1 ),4ase" cable for each ;! %max length: ><1 feet& one expandable ),4ase" hub with enough ports to service all of your ;!s If you2re using thin coax... one 7G1+*3 thin coax cable for each ;! %max length: =,H feet& one ".connector for each ;! two 1,.ohm terminators %one for each end of the network&

Introducing the &nstant Ethernet $eries from inksys. inksys is one of the world2s leading manufacturers of networking hardware, with a complete line of high performance network interface adapters, hubs, print servers, and remote.access servers.

%rice9 %er"ormance9 and 2eliability -aBor industry publications like ! $eek, ! .aga/ine, and $indows 0ources agree that our hardware offers the best values in price*performance that networking dollars can buy. Every network product includes both ),4ase" & ),4ase< ports, high speed logic, buffering, extensive software suites, free technical support and software upgrades, and complete documentation. Easy &nstallations ?ur products are designed to get you running right out of the box. All of our network adapters, for example, re(uire no hardware settings and are fully plug.and.play compatible and software.configurable. Dust plug them in. ,ide %C 8 Networking +perating System S(pport inksys products are guaranteed to run with your network software and all of your computers. Every product comes ready.to.run with an ama#ing number of ;!s and networks, including 8indows 01, 8indows for 8orkgroups, Net8are, 8indows N", ANtastic, 4anyan 6ines, AN -anager, ;!.N/$, "!;*I;, and most others. +ld Fashioned C(stomer Ser)ice inksys makes customer service its highest priority. Every product that we sell is backed by a full, limited warranty, free, unlimited technical support, and free software upgrades. &ntro to Fast Ethernet 8elcome to the inksys /ast Ethernet information centerI 8hether you2re building a network from scratch and want mind. bending speed, or if you2re simply expanding an existing /ast Ethernet network, inksys has a full line of screaming 100Mbps hardware that2s ripe for video conferencing, multimedia, graphics, and other speed.intensive applications. B(ilding a Fast Ethernet Network "rom Scratch B(ild a Fast Ethernet Network From Scratch 4uilding a fast ethernet ),,-bps network is a cinch .. all you need are a few desktop or lap top networkadapters , a fast ethernet hub, and a !ategory 1 network cable for each computer. "o make things easier, your local retailer carries networkstarterkits that come with everything you need to connect two computers together. "he /ast Ethernet $tarter Jit from inksys shown here, for example, includes two ><.bit desktop network cards, two !ategory 1 network cables, and a high speed 5.port hub, making it ideal for home or small office use. E:%/NS&+N M/1E E/S; Expanding a /ast Ethernet network amounts to nothing more than plugging in additional hubs and network cards. /ast Ethernet networking rules allow no more than two hubs to be connected together in one area. "his is called the twoh(b r(le. "his is fine if you don2t plan on expanding too muchE you could connect two <5.port hubs together, for example, and you2d be set to handle up to 5+ users. A standard Fast Ethernet h(b is perfect for this task Cowever, as your needs grow, you might find yourself needing to handle fifty, sixty, or even hundreds of usersI /ast Ethernet2s solution for this problem is the stacking h(b. A stacking hub is a specially designed hub that can 'stack' to other hubs Bust like it. Cere2s the trick: once a stack of stackable hubs have been connected together, they act as a single hub, effectively fooling the network into thinking that only one hub is presentI "he expansion possibilities are enormousI /or example, if you connect six stacking hubs together, and each hub has ten ports, you2re given a total of sixty ports.. and the stack acts as one hub, which doesn2t violate /ast Ethernet2s <.hub rule.

This entire stack o" stackable h(bs is acting as a single h(b<

8hen considering a new hub for your /ast Ethernet network, consider how much you2re going to need to grow in the future. If you plan on extensive growth, choose a stackable hub so you can add other hubs to it without reaching the <.hub rule. If, on the other hand, you only expect modest network growth in the near future, a standard /ast Ethernet hub will more than meet your needs.

'ow to Speed 4p an E isting Fast Ethernet Network Cow to $peed 3p an Existing /ast Ethernet Network

"his 1.;ort switch is small enough to fit on any small office desk. /ast Ethernet networks normally operate with shared bandwidth, which means that the network2s overall speed is spread out across the available number of nodes. If you have a hub with 1 nodes attached to it, and the total bandwidth of the network is ),,-bps, then each node receives ),,*1, or <,-bps, of bandwidth. If you have only a few nodes, shared bandwidth isn2t a problem. Cowever, imagine spreading ),,-bps across >, nodes .. even at /ast Ethernet speeds, the network could slow to a crawl during peak traffic periods. /ast Ethernet2s answer to the problem of shared bandwidth is a /ast Ethernet switch. A switch transforms a shared network into a switched network, whereby each node gets access to the network at the maximum bandwidth speed. If you have five ports, for example, each port receives ),,-bps access, provided you have a switch installed. $witches also speed up network access because of their advanced addressing technology. In a shared network, data packets bounce around the network until they finally find their destination, which is not particularly efficient. $witches, on the other hand, examine each data packet individually, and direct them only to their intended destinations. "he difference between shared and switched networks is like the difference between a shotgun and a laser. Not only can switching improve a /ast Ethernet network2s efficiency, but when used in conBunction with a ),4ase" network, it can reduce wasted bandwidth there as well, sometimes with performance increases as high as 5,F. $witches come in all shapes and si#es. Dust like hubs, they are available in both desktop and rack mountable versions that can be integrated with both network adapters and hubs effortlessly. If your network demands optimum speed for video, multimedia, graphics, or other intensive applications, the extra boost that switches provide might be well worth the purchase. ,hat is a Switch 8ithout a switch installed, a network can get bogged down (uickly as traffic rises. "raffic Bams happen because data is forced to wander the entire network in search of its destination. / switch corrects tra""ic =am problems by ens(ring that data goes straight "rom its origin to its proper

"his EtherFast 1(al-Speed 107100 1#%ort Switch is the ideal centerpiece for any high.performance network. destination9 with no wandering in-between* $witches remember the address of every node on the network, and anticipate where data needs to go. Nodes connected to a switch can expect an immediate 5,F.=,F increase in performance. A switch can also connect networks of different speeds together. A ),,-bps network, for example, could be connected to a slower ),-bps network by inserting a switch between the two networks. In this way, switches are good for migrating to faster network speeds without having to discard older legacy network hardware.

&S M; NET,+2> / ?++1 C/N1&1/TE F+2 / S,&TC'6 If you do more than simple file and printer sharing, you should definitely consider a switch. $witch prices have fallen drastically since fall of )00+, and many are priced only slightly higher than regular hubs .. and since most hubs can2t offer the performance benefits of switching, buying a switch is a smart move for any network, even if you have only a few users. In short, if your network needs maximum bandwidth and speedy performance, buy switches instead of hubs.

In the picture above, the switch ties a file server, a high. powered ;!, a print server, and a hub together for maximum bandwidth. "he switch gives the hub %and hence, the workgroup connected to it& extremely fast access to the print server and file server. Access could be improved even more if the hub was replaced with another switch.

In short, if your network needs maximum bandwidth and speedy performance, b(y switches instead o" h(bs* ,'/T >&N1 +F S,&TC'ES 1+ES 0&N>S;S +FFE26 inksys offers a full line of ),*),, switches. "hese high.powered performers are built to run with ),4ase" or ),,4ase"K networks, or both. @rop one in to speed things up, or use a inksys switch to connect a ),-bps network to a faster ),,-bps AN. inksy switches are available in <, 5, =, +, ),, )<, )=, and <5.port models for desktop and*or rack mounting use. !hoose a desktop switch for home, small office, or departmental use where speed increases are needed. 7ack mountable switches are best for wiring closets and enterprise deploymen where Internet, AN, and internetworking connections need all of the speed they can getI / Strictly Fiber 1iet ),,4ase/K fiber cabling is the ultimate in speed.intensive incredible levels of bandwidth, expandability, and data integrity over distances of up to =1,, feetI Get your fiber hereI !lick on any of the links at right to learn more. &ntro to Fiber Networking

&ntrod(ction to Fiber Networking /iber cabling is the best way to get the ultimate in speed.intensive performance from your ),,-bps /ast Ethernet network. Also known as 100BaseF:, fiber optics can serve up incredible levels of bandwidth, expandability, data integrity that can span distances of up to <,,, meters %=1=, ft.& without signal degradation. inksys offers ),,4ase/K add-on mod(les for many of its Ether/ast ),*),, $witches, $tack;ro II ),*),, @ual.$peed Cubs, ),*),, Auto.$ensing Cubs, and /ast Ethernet hubs. "he modules can be used to uplink your hardware to high.

speed "iber backbones, or allow communication between hubs and switches across great distances. Jeep reading to find out which add.on module is best for your fiber networking needs.LM /iber is commonly used for: 0ong ha(ls of a thousand feet or more between buildings or ANs, especially in school, university, and business campus settings. /iber serves as a backbone between hubs that, in turn, branch off to workgroups with hubs and twisted.pair cabling 'igh-bandwidth applications like video or multimedia ?igabit %),,,-bps& networking

/iber optic networking re(uires a great deal of planning before the cabling is installed. /actors such as noise loss, connection type, and cabling distance must be calculated in order to ensure a fail.safe networking environment. If you have never worked with fiber before, seek the help of a professional who is familiar with the medium.

,hat /bo(t the Cabling6 ike thin coax, fiber optic cabling is used primarily for network backbones. -ade from flexible, optically efficient strands of glass coated with a layer of rubber tubing, fiber uses photons of light instead of electrons for sending and receiving data. Although fiber is physically capable of carrying "erabits %I& of data per second, the signaling hardware on the market today can handle no more than a few gigabits of information per second. /iber cables come in different shapes and si#es with different connector types. "he most commonly used fiber optic cable

is a m(lti-mode "iber cable 3MMF5 with a =<.1 micron fiber optic core .. this is the kind of cabling that all inksys products use. Single-mode "iber, another kind of cabling, is more efficient than multi.mode, but far more expensive. /iber network segments always re(uire two fiber cables: one for transmitting data, and one for receiving. Each end of a fiber cable is fitted with a plug that can be inserted into a network adapter, hub, or switch. In the 3nited $tates, most cables use a s(uare SC connector that slides and locks into place when inserted into a node or connected to another fiber cableE Europeans use a round ST connector instead. $ince light tends to dissipate (uickly when moving from one material to another, keeping the number of connections, or hops, along a network path to a minimum is essential. "he more connectors you have and the longer your fiber link cable is, the higher the optical loss will be. ?ptical loss is measured with fiber optic test instruments that can tell exactly how much optical loss there may be on a given segment at a given wavelength of light. A standard grade fiber optic cable operating at +1, nms %nanometers per second& will have something in the neighborhood of from 5 d4 to 1 d4 loss per ),,, meters. SC or ST Connectors6 /irst, you need to decide which type of fiber connectors you will be using. SC-type connectors are s(uare in shape and are most common in North America. ST-type connectors are round and are more common in Europe and some parts of Asia. 4oth connectors offer the same features as far as distance and reliability, but it is best to choose one type of connector and stick with it over your entire network. !onnectors of different types can communicate with the use of adapters or couplers. 8henever you need to change a connector type or if you re(uire any $!.$" conversion adapters, always seek the help of a professional, as special tools need to be used.

F(ll 1(ple or 'al" 1(ple 6 3nlike an 7D.51 port, a single "iber port is actually divided into two separate uni.directional ports. ?ne port sends data and the other port recei)es data. $ome fiber add.on modules are capable of sending and receiving data at the same time. "his is known as "(ll d(ple 3F1:5 operation. ?ther add.on modules are only capable of either sending or receiving data at any given time and cannot do both at once. "his is known as hal" d(ple 3'1:5. As you might guess, /@K is the faster of the two. If you are adding fiber capabilities to an Ether/ast ),*),, $witch, a $tack;ro II ),*),, @ual.$peed hub, or other device capable of handling a full duplex connection, you should always go with a full duplex fiber add.on module. If you are using a fiber add.on module on a ),*),, Auto.$ensing Cub, /ast Ethernet hub, or other fixed half duplex device, then you fiber optic options will be limited to half.duplex connections. ?f course, a half duplex connection will not allow the distance of a full duplex connection. If long distance is of great importance to you, you should consider upgrading your hardware to allow support for a full duplex connection. Also, it is always b est to match the duplex operation of any two devices that are communicating with one another. 8hen a full duplex device tries to communicate with a half duplex device, unstable network connections will result. 1istance E tender or Transcei)er6 /iber optic distance extender add.on modules can send data much farther than transceiver add.on modules. $ome hub models are only capable of communicating with a transceiver, and transceivers only run at half duplex. If your device is compatible with a distance extender, always choose a distance extender first.

'ow Far Can My Connection ?o6 "his chart shows the precise measurements for fiber optic cabling distances. Type o" 1istance @istance Extender to @istance Extender %/@K& @istance Extender to @istance Extender %C@K& @istance Extender to "ransceiver %C@K& "ransceiver to "ransceiver %C@K& 1istance <,,, meters %=1=, feet& 5)< meters %)>>, feet& <,+ meters %=H< feet& )= meters %1, feet&

Notes@ -odule type refers to whether a module is a transceiver or a distance extender. -ost modules are distance extenders, which can send & receive data over distances of thousands of feet. "ransceivers have shorter ranges. "o learn more, see our &ntrod(ction. All ports labeled "iber are ),,4ase/K. All modules support both half and full duplex unless otherwise notedE modules with support for both can be configured via on.board Bumpers. 7emember that each "iber r(n between two points uses two fiber cables: one for transmitting and one for receiving. If a fiber module above is listed as having ) fiber port, it actually means that the module has two fiber connectors .. one for transmission, and one for reception .. in order to make a single fiber run.