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iEEE 802 standard

A set of network standards developed by the IEEE. They include:

 IEEE 802.1: Standards related to network management.
 IEEE 802.2: General standard for the data link layer in the OSI Reference Model.
The IEEE divides this layer into two sublayers -- the logical link control (LLC) layer and
the media access control (MAC) layer. The MAC layer varies for different network types
and is defined by standards IEEE 802.3 through IEEE 802.5.
 IEEE 802.3: Defines the MAC layer for bus networks that use CSMA/CD. This is
the basis of the Ethernet standard. Also see the Ethernet Designations chart in the Quick
Reference section of Webopedia.
 IEEE 802.4: Defines the MAC layer for bus networks that use a token-passing
mechanism (token bus networks).
 IEEE 802.5: Defines the MAC layer for token-ring networks.
 IEEE 802.6: Standard for Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs).

The IEEE 802 family of standards is maintained by the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards
Committee (LMSC). The most widely used standards are for the Ethernet family, Token Ring,
Wireless LAN, Bridging and Virtual Bridged LANs. An individual Working Group provides the
focus for each area.

See its working groups:

name description note

IEEE 802.1 Bridging (networking) and Network Management
IEEE 802.2 Logical link control inactive
IEEE 802.3 Ethernet
IEEE 802.4 Token bus disbanded
IEEE 802.5 Defines the MAC layer for a Token Ring inactive
IEEE 802.6 Metropolitan Area Networks disbanded
IEEE 802.7 Broadband LAN using Coaxial Cable disbanded
IEEE 802.8 Fiber Optic TAG disbanded
IEEE 802.9 Integrated Services LAN disbanded
IEEE 802.10 Interoperable LAN Security disbanded
IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n Wireless LAN & Mesh (Wi-Fi certification)
IEEE 802.12 demand priority disbanded
IEEE 802.13 Not used (officially)
IEEE 802.14 Cable modems disbanded
IEEE 802.15 Wireless PAN
IEEE 802.15.1 Bluetooth certification
IEEE 802.15.4 ZigBee certification
IEEE 802.16 Broadband Wireless Access (WiMAX certification)
IEEE 802.16e (Mobile) Broadband Wireless Access
IEEE 802.16.1 Local Multipoint Distribution Service
IEEE 802.17 Resilient packet ring
IEEE 802.18 Radio Regulatory TAG
IEEE 802.19 Coexistence TAG
IEEE 802.20 Mobile Broadband Wireless Access
IEEE 802.21 Media Independent Handoff
IEEE 802.22 Wireless Regional Area Network
IEEE 802.23 Broadband ISDN system experimentalh


A network address serves as a unique identifier for a computer on a network. When set up
correctly, computers can determine the addresses of other computers on the network and use
these addresses to send messages to each other.

One of the best known form of network addressing is the Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP
addresses consist of four bytes (32 bits) that uniquely identify all computers on the public

Another popular form of address is the Media Access Control (MAC) address. MAC addresses
are six bytes (48 bits) that manufacturers of network adapters burn into their products to uniquely
identify them.

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical identification and logical address that is
assigned to devices participating in a computer network utilizing the Internet Protocol for
communication between its nodes.[1] Although IP addresses are stored as binary numbers, they are
usually displayed in human-readable notations, such as (for IPv4), and
2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:1:1 (for IPv6). The role of the IP address has been characterized as
follows: "A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how
to get there."[2]

The original designers of TCP/IP defined an IP address as a 32-bit number[1] and this system, now
named Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4), is still in use today. However, due to the enormous
growth of the Internet and the resulting depletion of the address space, a new addressing system
(IPv6), using 128 bits for the address, was developed in 1995[3] and last standardized by RFC
2460 in 1998.[4]

The Internet Protocol also has the task of routing data packets between networks, and IP
addresses specify the locations of the source and destination nodes in the topology of the routing
system. For this purpose, some of the bits in an IP address are used to designate a subnetwork.
The number of these bits is indicated in CIDR notation, appended to the IP address, e.g.,


• Gateway: device sitting at a network node for interfacing with another network that uses
different protocols. Works on OSI layers 4 to 7.
• Router: a specialized network device that determines the next network point to which to
forward a data packet toward its destination. Unlike a gateway, it cannot interface
different protocols. Works on OSI layer 3.
• Bridge: a device that connects multiple network segments along the data link layer.
Works on OSI layer 2.
• Switch: a device that allocates traffic from one network segment to certain lines (intended
destination(s)) which connect the segment to another network segment. So unlike a hub a
switch splits the network traffic and sends it to different destinations rather than to all
systems on the network. Works on OSI layer 2.
• Hub: connects multiple Ethernet segments together making them act as a single segment.
When using a hub, every attached device shares the same broadcast domain and the same
collision domain. Therefore, only one computer connected to the hub is able to transmit
at a time. Depending on the network topology, the hub provides a basic level 1 OSI
model connection among the network objects (workstations, servers, etc). It provides
bandwidth which is shared among all the objects, compared to switches, which provide a
dedicated connection between individual nodes. Works on OSI layer 1.
• Repeater: device to amplify or regenerate digital signals received while setting them from
one part of a network into another. Works on OSI layer 1.

Network Interface Card (NIC):

The Network Interface Card (NIC) used connect the computer to the
external network. It will normally have a PCI connector (Edge connector) to
connect to one of the PC expansion slots, and an RJ-45 connector to connect
to external Ethernet. Note that the interface connectors may differ depending
upon the expansion bus being used (for example, PCI, ISA, EISA, USB etc.),
and the networking media being used (for example, 10Base2, 10Base5,
10BaseT, etc.). Each of these have their own interface specifications. Almost
all NICs have LED indicators showing the network connectivity.

Network Interface Card



A Hub connects all the nodes of a network using Twisted Pair (UTP or STP)
cables. In a Hub, the signals received on one port are transmitted to all other
ports, and vice versa. All nodes (work stations) connected using a Hub can
listen to one another all the time. The advantage of using a Hub is low cost,
and easy integration. The disadvantage is reduced bandwidth,and data



A Switch, on the otherhand, do not distribute signals without verifying

whether it really needs to propagate to a given port or ports. It decides it
based on its internal configuration settings. We can say that a Switch is a Hub
with some intelligence.

48-port Switch


A Bridge functions very similar to a Switch. It segments a given network

according to the requirements. Segmentation using a Bridge enables keeping
un-intended traffic from entering different segments of a network. Both
Bridge, and Switch are OSI layer-2 devices. Bridges filter traffic based on the
destination address of the frame. If a frame's destination is a node on the
same segment where it originated, it is not forwarded. If it is destined for a
node on another LAN, it is connected to corresponding bridge port and
forwarded to that port.


Transceivers are commonly used with co-axial media using 10Base2 or

10Base5 networking standards. It allows a Network Interface Card to connect
to a coax, providing necessary translation of signals.

Wireless Access Points (WAP):

A wireless access point allows mobile users to connect to a central

network node without using any wires . Wireless connectivity is useful for
mobile workstations, since there is no wiring involved. The wireless access
standards are broadly divided into 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g. 802.11g
is most popular among these due to high bandwidth that it provides, and the
availability of hardware. A commercially available wireless access point is
shown in the figure below.

A WAP device Back-panel


A router is used to route data packets between two networks. It reads the information in each
packet to tell where it is going. A Router connects multiple networks, and uses
routing to forward packets. It is a OSI Layer-3 device and works on the logical
address of a host or a node. Compare this with a Switch which works on the
physical address (such as MAC address) of a host or a node. A simple DSL
router is shown in the figure below.


Gateways are the most complex devices with respect to the

functionality. They typically work at the upper most layers of
OSI model. A gateway is used to connect two different
environments, such as a Frame-Relay network and an X.25
network. Gateway

A gateway can translate information between different network data formats or network
architectures. It can translate TCP/IP to AppleTalk so computers supporting TCP/IP can
communicate with Apple brand computers. Most gateways operate at the application layer, but
can operate at the network or session layer of the OSI model. Gateways will start at the lower
level and strip information until it gets to the required level and repackage the information and
work its way back toward the hardware layer of the OSI model. To confuse issues, when talking
about a router that is used to interface to another network, the word gateway is often used. This
does not mean the routing machine is a gateway as defined here, although it could be

Network Repeater

A repeater connects two segments of your network cable. It retimes and regenerates the signals to
proper amplitudes and sends them to the other segments. When talking about, ethernet topology,
you are probably talking about using a hub as a repeater. Repeaters require a small amount of
time to regenerate the signal. This can cause a propagation delay which can affect network
communication when there are several repeaters in a row. Many network architectures limit the
number of repeaters that can be used in a row. Repeaters work only at the physical layer of the
OSI network model.


There is a device called a brouter which will function similar to a bridge for network transport
protocols that are not routable, and will function as a router for routable protocols. It functions at
the network and data link layers of the OSI network model.

.Network Cables and Cabling

While wireless may be the wave of the future, most computer networks today still utilize
• Direct Cable Connection CAT5 and CAT6 Cables (6)
• Patch Cables
A patch cable connects two network devices. Network patch cables are typically CAT5 or
CAT5e Ethernet cables linking a computer to a nearby hub, switch or router.
• Ethernet Crossover Cables
A crossover cable directly connects two network devices of the same type to each other
over Ethernet. Crossover cables are useful for temporary networking of devices when a
network router, switch or hub is not present.
• Null Modem Cables
A null modem cable connects two standard serial ports for the purpose of computer-to-
computer networking. Null modem cables enable data transfer between two computers
with a minimum of setup required.
• RJ-45 Connectors and Cables
RJ45 is a standard type of connector for network cables such as those used in Ethernet
networks. RJ45 connectors feature eight pins to which cables interface electrically.
• Fiber Optic Cable
Fiber optic cables carry information using pulses of light. These cables are designed for
long distance network communications, although fiber to the home installations are
becoming more common.
• What Are T1 Lines and T3 Lines?
T1 and T3 lines are reserved circuits typically used by organizations to connect two
geographically separated offices for private voice and/or data telecommunication service.
• Network Cable and Connection Technologies Practice Exam
This interactive test presents questions and answers on common cabling technologies for
home networks.
• Leased Line
A leased line is a cable connecting two specific locations for voice and/or data network
service. Leased lines most commonly are rented by businesses to connect branch offices.
• RS-232 Pinouts
These pinout diagrams illustrate the 9-pin and 25-pin serial line RS-232 standard network
• AWG - American Wire Gage
This reference table for the AWG specification lists wire diameters in millimeters and
inches for wire gages 10 through 36.
• Wire Gage Calculator
Convert between gage numbers and wire sizes in inches. Uses AWG or any of the other
major wire gage standards.
• Cable Testing Help
Many products and techniques exist for testing network cables to ensure they meet
specifications for speed and quality. Learn about the engineering principles behind
network cable testing explained clearly with diagrams.
• 66 Blocks - Punch Down Blocks
The "66 punch down block" still serves a purpose on a few types of networks, but they
have become something of a historical curiousity now.

What is Network Cabling?

Cable is the medium through which information usually moves from one network device
to another. There are several types of cable which are commonly used with LANs. In
some cases, a network will utilize only one type of cable, other networks will use a
variety of cable types. The type of cable chosen for a network is related to the network's
topology, protocol, and size. Understanding the characteristics of different types of cable
and how they relate to other aspects of a network is necessary for the development of a
successful network.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cable

Twisted pair cabling comes in two varieties: shielded and unshielded. Unshielded twisted
pair (UTP) is the most popular and is generally the best option for school networks (See
fig. 1).

Unshielded twisted pair

The quality of UTP may vary from telephone-grade wire to extremely high-speed cable.
The cable has four pairs of wires inside the jacket. Each pair is twisted with a different
number of twists per inch to help eliminate interference from adjacent pairs and other
electrical devices.

Categories of Unshielded Twisted Pair

Type Use

Category 1 Voice Only (Telephone Wire)

Category 2 Data to 4 Mbps (LocalTalk)

Category 3 Data to 10 Mbps (Ethernet)

Category 4 Data to 20 Mbps (16 Mbps Token Ring)

Category 5 Data to 100 Mbps (Fast Ethernet)

Buy the best cable you can afford; most schools purchase Category 3 or Category 5. If you are
designing a 10 Mbps Ethernet network and are considering the cost savings of buying Category 3
wire instead of Category 5, remember that the Category 5 cable will provide more "room to
grow" as transmission technologies increase. Both Category 3 and Category 5 UTP have a
maximum segment length of 100 meters. In Florida, Category 5 cable is required for retrofit
grants. 10BaseT refers to the specifications for unshielded twisted pair cable (Category 3, 4, or 5)
carrying Ethernet signals. Category 6 is relatively new and is used for gigabit connections.

Unshielded Twisted Pair Connector

The standard connector for unshielded twisted pair cabling is an RJ-45 connector. This is a plastic
connector that looks like a large telephone-style connector (See fig. 2). A slot allows the RJ-45 to
be inserted only one way. RJ stands for Registered Jack, implying that the connector follows a
standard borrowed from the telephone industry. This standard designates which wire goes with
each pin inside the connector.

Fig. 2. RJ-45 connector

Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cable

A disadvantage of UTP is that it may be susceptible to radio and electrical frequency interference.
Shielded twisted pair (STP) is suitable for environments with electrical interference; however, the
extra shielding can make the cables quite bulky. Shielded twisted pair is often used on networks
using Token Ring topology.

Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cabling has a single copper conductor at its center. A plastic layer provides insulation
between the center conductor and a braided metal shield (See fig. 3). The metal shield helps to
block any outside interference from fluorescent lights, motors, and other computers.
Fig. 3. Coaxial cable

Although coaxial cabling is difficult to install, it is highly resistant to signal interference. In

addition, it can support greater cable lengths between network devices than twisted pair cable.
The two types of coaxial cabling are thick coaxial and thin coaxial.

Thin coaxial cable is also referred to as thinnet. 10Base2 refers to the specifications for thin
coaxial cable carrying Ethernet signals. The 2 refers to the approximate maximum segment length
being 200 meters. In actual fact the maximum segment length is 185 meters. Thin coaxial cable is
popular in school networks, especially linear bus networks.

Thick coaxial cable is also referred to as thicknet. 10Base5 refers to the specifications for thick
coaxial cable carrying Ethernet signals. The 5 refers to the maximum segment length being 500
meters. Thick coaxial cable has an extra protective plastic cover that helps keep moisture away
from the center conductor..

Coaxial Cable Connectors

The most common type of connector used with coaxial cables is the Bayone-Neill-Concelman
(BNC) connector (See fig. 4). Different types of adapters are available for BNC connectors,
including a T-connector, barrel connector, and terminator. Connectors on the cable are the
weakest points in any network. To help avoid problems with your network, always use the BNC
connectors that crimp, rather than screw, onto the cable.

Fig. 4. BNC connector

Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic cabling consists of a center glass core surrounded by several layers of protective
materials (See fig. 5). It transmits light rather than electronic signals eliminating the problem of
electrical interference. This makes it ideal for certain environments that contain a large amount of
electrical interference. It has also made it the standard for connecting networks between
buildings, due to its immunity to the effects of moisture and lighting.

Fiber optic cable has the ability to transmit signals over much longer distances than coaxial and
twisted pair. It also has the capability to carry information at vastly greater speeds. This capacity
broadens communication possibilities to include services such as video conferencing and
interactive services. The cost of fiber optic cabling is comparable to copper cabling; however, it is
more difficult to install and modify. 10BaseF refers to the specifications for fiber optic cable
carrying Ethernet signals.
Fig.5. Fiber optic cable

Facts about fiber optic cables:

• Outer insulating jacket is made of Teflon or PVC.

• Kevlar fiber helps to strengthen the cable and prevent breakage.
• A plastic coating is used to cushion the fiber center.

Fiber Optic Connector

The most common connector used with fiber optic cable is an ST connector. It is barrel shaped,
similar to a BNC connector. A newer connector, the SC, is becoming more popular. It has a
squared face and is easier to connect in a confined space.

Ethernet Cable Summary

Specification Cable Type Maximum length

10BaseT Unshielded Twisted Pair 100 meters

10Base2 Thin Coaxial 185 meters

10Base5 Thick Coaxial 500 meters

10BaseF Fiber Optic 2000 meters

100BaseT Unshielded Twisted Pair 100 meters

100BaseTX Unshielded Twisted Pair 220 meters

Wireless LANs

Not all networks are connected with cabling; some networks are wireless. Wireless LANs use
high frequency radio signals, infrared light beams, or lasers to communicate between the
workstations and the file server or hubs. Each workstation and file server on a wireless network
has some sort of transceiver/antenna to send and receive the data. Information is relayed between
transceivers as if they were physically connected. For longer distance, wireless communications
can also take place through cellular telephone technology, microwave transmission, or by

Wireless networks are great for allowing laptop computers or remote computers to connect to the
LAN. Wireless networks are also beneficial in older buildings where it may be difficult or
impossible to install cables.

The two most common types of infrared communications used in schools are line-of-sight and
scattered broadcast. Line-of-sight communication means that there must be an unblocked direct
line between the workstation and the transceiver. If a person walks within the line-of-sight while
there is a transmission, the information would need to be sent again. This kind of obstruction can
slow down the wireless network.

Scattered infrared communication is a broadcast of infrared transmissions sent out in multiple

directions that bounces off walls and ceilings until it eventually hits the receiver. Networking
communications with laser are virtually the same as line-of-sight infrared networks.

Wireless LANs have several disadvantages. They provide poor security, and are susceptible to
interference from lights and electronic devices. They are also slower than LANs using cabling.

Installing Cable - Some Guidelines

When running cable, it is best to follow a few simple rules:

• Always use more cable than you need. Leave plenty of slack.
• Test every part of a network as you install it. Even if it is brand new, it may have
problems that will be difficult to isolate later.
• Stay at least 3 feet away from fluorescent light boxes and other sources of electrical
• If it is necessary to run cable across the floor, cover the cable with cable protectors.
• Label both ends of each cable.
• Use cable ties (not tape) to keep cables in the same location together.


Network Categories

TDP/IP includes a wide range of protocols which are used for a variety of
purposes on the network. The set of protocols that are a part of TCP/IP is called
the TCP/IP protocol stack or the TCP/IP suite of protocols.

Considering the many protocols, message types, levels, and services that TCP/IP
networking supports, I believe it would be very helpful to categorize the various
protocols that support TCP/IP networking and define their respective
contribution to the operation of networking. Unfortunately I have never seen this
done to any real extent, but believe it would be worthwhile to help those
learning networking understand it faster and better. I cannot guarantee that
experts will agree with the categorizations that will be provided here, but they
should help the reader get the big picture on the various protocols, and thus
clarify what the reason or need is for each protocol.

As mentioned previously, there are four TCP/IP layers. They are link, network,
transport, and application. The link layer is the hardware layer that provides
ability to send messages between multiple locations. In the case of this
document, ethernet provides this capability. Below I define several categories
some of which fit into the 4 layer protocol levels described earlier. I also define
a relative fundamental importance to the ability of the network to function at all.
Importance includes essential, critical, important, advanced, useful.

1. Essential - Without this all other categories are irrelevant.

2. Critical - The network, as designed, is useless without this ability.
3. Important - The network could function, but would be difficult to use
and manage.
4. Advanced - Includes enhancements that make the network easier to use
and manage.
5. Useful - Functionality that you would like to be able to use as a network
user. Applications or some functionality is supported here. Without this,
why build a network?

The categories are:

Name(layer) Importance Names of protocols What it does
ethernet, SLIP, PPP, Allows messages to be packaged and
Hardware(link) Essential
Token Ring, ARCnet sent between physical locations.
Manages movement of messages and
Package reports errors. It uses message
Essential IP, ICMP
management(network) protocols and software to manage this
process. (includes routing)
Communicates between layers to allow
Inter layer one layer to get information to support
Essential ARP
communication another layer. This includes
Controls the management of service
Service between computers. Based on values in
Critical TCP, UDP
control(transport) TCP and UDP messages a server
knows what service is being requested.
DNS provides address to name
Application and user translation for locations and network
Important DNS, RPC
support cards. RPC allows remote computer to
perform functions on other computers.
DHCP, IGMP, Enhances network management and
Network Management Advanced
SNMP,RIP, OSPF, increases functionality
Utility(Application) Useful FTP, TFTP, SMTP, Provides direct services to the user.
Telnet, NFS, ping,

There are exceptions to my categorizations that don't fit into the normal layering scheme, such as
IGMP is normally part of the link layer, but I have tried to list these categorizations according to
network functions and their relative importance to the operation of the network. Also note that
ethernet, which is not really a protocol, but an IEEE standard along with PPP, SLIP, TokenRing,
and ArcNet are not TCP/IP protocols but may support TCP/IP at the hardware or link layer,
depending on the network topology.

The list below gives a brief description of each protocol

• ethernet - Provides for transport of information between physical locations on ethernet

cable. Data is passed in ethernet packets
• SLIP - Serial line IP (SLIP), a form of data encapsulation for serial lines.
• PPP - Point to point protocol (PPP). A form of serial line data encapsulation that is an
improvement over SLIP.
• IP - Internet Protocol (IP). Except for ARP and RARP all protocols' data packets will be
packaged into an IP data packet. Provides the mechanism to use software to address and
manage data packets being sent to computers.
• ICMP - Internet control message protocol (ICMP) provides management and error
reporting to help manage the process of sending data between computers.
• ARP - Address resolution protocol (ARP) enables the packaging of IP data into ethernet
packages. It is the system and messaging protocol that is used to find the ethernet
(hardware) address from a specific IP number. Without this protocol, the ethernet
package could not be generated from the IP package, because the ethernet address could
not be determined.
• TCP - A reliable connection oriented protocol used to control the management of
application level services between computers.
• UDP - An unreliable connection less protocol used to control the management of
application level services between computers.
• DNS - Domain Name Service, allows the network to determine IP addresses from names
and vice versa.
• RARP - Reverse address resolution protocol (RARP) is used to allow a computer without
a local permanent data storage media to determine its IP address from its ethernet
• BOOTP - Bootstrap protocol is used to assign an IP address to diskless computers and
tell it what server and file to load which will provide it with an operating system.
• DHCP - Dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) is a method of assigning and
controlling the IP addresses of computers on a given network. It is a server based service
that automatically assigns IP numbers when a computer boots. This way the IP address of
a computer does not need to be assigned manually. This makes changing networks easier
to manage. DHCP can perform all the functions of BOOTP.
• IGMP - Internet Group Management Protocol used to support multicasting.
• SNMP - Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). Used to manage all types of
network elements based on various data sent and received.
• RIP - Routing Information Protocol (RIP), used to dynamically update router tables on
WANs or the internet.
• OSPF - Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) dynamic routing protocol.
• BGP - Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). A dynamic router protocol to communicate
between routers on different systems.
• CIDR - Classless Interdomain Routing (CIDR).
• FTP - File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Allows file transfer between two computers with
login required.
• TFTP - Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP). Allows file transfer between two
computers with no login required. It is limited, and is intended for diskless stations.
• SMTP - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).
• NFS - Network File System (NFS). A protocol that allows UNIX and Linux systems
remotely mount each other's file systems.
• Telnet - A method of opening a user session on a remote host.
• Ping - A program that uses ICMP to send diagnostic messages to other computers to tell
if they are reachable over the network.
• Rlogin - Remote login between UNIX hosts. This is outdated and is replaced by Telnet.

Each protocol ultimately has it's data packets wrapped in an ethernet, SLIP, or PPP packet (at the
link level) in order to be sent over the ethernet cable. Some protocol data packets are wrapped
sequentially multiple times before being sent. For example FTP data is wrapped in a TCP packet
which is wrapped in a IP packet which is wrapped in a link packet (normally ethernet). The
diagram below shows the relationship between the protocols' sequential wrapping of data packets.