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IEEE Standards
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) developed network standards through the project
number 802. This project was named 802, as this was launched in February 1980 (80/2). The standards
that have been recommended by this project are commonly named as IEEE 802.x.

Some examples of these IEEE Standards are:

IEEE 802.1: Defines standards for LAN/MAN architecture and internetworking among 802 LANs, MANs
and other wide area networks.
IEEE 802.2: Defines the Logical Link Control, which describes services for the transmission of data
between two devices.
IEEE 802.3: Defines the Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) access method
commonly referred to as Ethernet.
802.3c: Defines10 Mbps Ethernet.
802.3u: Defines100 Mbps Ethernet known as Fast Ethernet.
802.3x: Defines full duplex Ethernet.
802.3z: Defines specifications for 1000base-X fibre optic Gigabit Ethernet networks.
802.3ab: Defines specifications for 1000base-T Twisted-pair Gigabit Ethernet networks.
802.3ae: Defines10Gbps over different fibre optical cables up to 40Km (recently developed).
IEEE 802.4: Defines the token bus media access method.
IEEE 802.5: Defines the logical ring LAN that uses a token-passing media access method also known
as Token Ring.
IEEE 802.6: Defines metropolitan area networks (MANs).
IEEE 802.7: Defines broadband LANs (capable of delivering video, data, and voice traffic).
IEEE 802.8: Defines fibre optic technologies
IEEE 802.9: Defines Isochronous LANs that used in integrated voice and data networks.
IEEE 802.10: Defines standards for interoperable LAN/MAN security services
IEEE 802.11: Defines standards for wireless media access control and physical layer specifications.
802.11a: allows WLANs to transmit data at a speed of 54Mbps.
802.11b: allows WLANs to transmit data at a speed of 11Mbps.
802.11g: provides more security and backward compatibility to WLANs.
IEEE 802.12: Defines standards for the "demand priority" access method for 100Mbps LANs or high
speed LANs known also as 100 Base-VG or 100VG-AnyLAN.
IEEE 802.13: This standard is not defined by IEEE due to superstitious belief associated with number
IEEE 802.14: Defines a standard for bi-directional Hybrid Fibre-Coax Networks used in Cable-TV based
broadband communications.
IEEE 802.15: Defines standards for short distance wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs).
IEEE 802.16: Defines standards for the development and deployment of broadband Wireless
Metropolitan Area Networks (WMANs).
IEEE 802.17: Defines a Resilient Packet Ring Access Protocol for use in Local, Metropolitan and Wide
Area Networks for transfer of data packets at rates scalable to many gigabits per second.
IEEE 802.18: establishes a new Radio Regulatory Technical Advisory Group ("TAG").

Network Devices or Components

There are several types of components or connectivity devices that are used to set up a network (or
Internetwork i.e. Internet). These devices also control the flow of data across a network. Some of the
important network devices are described on the next page:

Network Interface Card

Network interface card (NIC) is a circuit board that is connected inside your computer/Laptop. This card
fits into the PCI slot in a computer or PCMCIA slot in a Laptop.

This device enables a computer to connect to a network and carries a unique address, called Media
Access Control (MAC) address. MAC addresses are 48-bit long and are represented in hexadecimal
numbers. An example of a MAC address is 00:02: AE: BF: C3:D9

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In this address, first six hexadecimal numbers (00:02: AE) are assigned to the manufacturer of the
network card and the last six hexadecimal numbers (BF: C3:D9) are assigned to a network card by the
Network card gets parallel data from a computer and converts it into serial data and vice versa. It also
converts data bits into a voltage level (or frequency level) that is acceptable for transmission through
the connected network cable (or wireless media). It also determines how to communicate, send and
receive data. The Network card receives the packet and passes it to the software on the network
device. Here the packet is stripped off and data is reassembled into readable information.

NIC works at the data link layer of the OSI model. Different network technologies like Ethernet, Token
ring, FDDI and Wireless use different types of network cards. It also depends upon the type of network
cable or media attached to a network.

More information about different types of network cards can be found at the following web sites:

A Repeater is a network device that is used to extend the length of a cable. Each network architecture
specification allows data transmission up to a certain length of media or cable. However, we can extend
the maximum distance of data transmission by using repeaters.

In a network, repeater is used to regenerate the signal. It amplifies the signal and cleans the noise
before retransmission. A repeater can’t connect two different types of networks together. It works at
the physical layer of the OSI model.

According to the IEEE 802.3 specifications, there is a 5-4-3 repeater’s rule. This rule states that:
1. Maximum 5 segments can be connected together to make a network.
2. Maximum 4 repeaters can be used in a network.
3. Maximum 3 segments out of the 5 segments can be populated i.e. can have computers connected.
The other two segments must be used to interconnect repeaters only i.e. no computers can be
connected to these two segments.

More information and live animations about repeaters can be found at the following web site:

A hub is a network device that is widely used to connect the other devices like computers, printers,
switches and routers to a network. A hub is also called a multi-port repeater. Hubs can have 4,8,16, 20
and 24 ports and each port is used to plug a cable from each network device. One port in a hub is
reserved to uplink connection to another hub in a network.
A hub receives the incoming packets, amplifies them and forwards them to each device across a

Three types of hubs are used in a network:

Passive hub: Passive hub provides the basic connectivity to each device across a network. It
does not amplify the signal.
Active hub: Active hub is like a repeater amplifies and regenerates the signal before
transmitting the packet on a network.
Intelligent hub: Intelligent hub acts as a switch to reduce the network traffic. It adds an
additional benefit that additional units can be placed on the top of each other to save the place.

Hub works at the physical layer of the OSI model and broadcasts data to all the ports. In this way hubs
create one collision domain and provide shared bandwidth.

Bandwidth: It represents how much information a network device can transfer in one second over a
transmission media. It is measured as bits per second (bps) in LANs/WLANs/WANs.

Hub provides shared bandwidth to the connected computers/devices. It means, if 10 devices (with a
network card of 100 Mbps speed) are connected to a Hub of speed 100 Mbps. The bandwidth available
to each device is only 10 Mbps.
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Shared Bandwidth = 100 Mbps (Speed of Hub) divided by 10 (Number of devices connected to hub)
Shared Bandwidth = 10 Mbps

In Wireless Local Area Networks, a device similar to hub is used to connect network devices. It is called
Access Point and will be explained later.

More information and live animations about hubs can be found at the following web site:

A bridge is an internetworking device. It is designed to connect two network segments. A network
segment is a smaller section of a larger network separated by a bridge/switch. Bridges reduce the
chances of data collision, as they never send broadcast to the other segments, if both source and
destination devices are on the same network segment.

It only forwards the packet if the address is on a different segment. Bridges make decisions on the
basis of MAC addresses (physical addresses). They contain the MAC addresses in their table, which are
used to forward the packet to a particular network segment. If a bridge doesn’t find a physical address
in the table, it transmits a network broadcast that can cause broadcast storm. Bridges work at data link
layer of the OSI model and create smaller collision domains.

More information and live animations about bridges can be found at the following web site:

A switch is widely used internetworking device, which is used to interconnect multiple network
segments. A switch looks similar to a hub and has multiple ports like a hub. A hub is used as a
connection point and broadcasts data to all the ports. Switch is used to receive, determine and forward
the packet to an appropriate destination address. Switches are faster than bridges because they only
look at the destination address. Switch works at the data link layer of the OSI model. They create
smaller collision domain and provides dedicated bandwidth (100 Mbps switch provides 100 Mbps
bandwidth to every connected device).

More information and live animations about switches can be found at the following web site:

A router is an internetworking device, which is used to connect different types of networks in the world.
This device uses network addresses (IP addresses) to decide the best path to forward the information.
A router contains a routing table, which is used to redirect a packet to another network. A router shares
routing table with the neighbouring routers and updates it frequently. Routers can also be configured to
filter the incoming/outgoing network traffic. Router works at the network layer of the OSI model.

More information and live animations about routers can be found at the following web site:

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