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Communication and internet technology

Client server model of networked computers

A server provides resource or service while a client requests for service. Client and servers communicate
over a computer network on separate hardware. Clients initiate communication sessions with servers
and await incoming requests.

Examples of computer applications that use the client server model are email, network printing and
World Wide Web.

Servers are classified by the services they provide e.web servers, serve WebPages and file server serves
computer files. Client and servers exchange messages in request-response-messaging pattern. The
language and rules of communication are defined in communication protocols.


When a bank customer accesses online banking services with a web browser (the client),it initiates a

request to bank’s web server. The customer’s login credentials may be stored in a database, and web
server accesses the database server as a client. An application server interprets the returned data by

applying the bank’s business logic and provides the output to the web server. Finally the web server
returns the result to the client web browser for display.
World Wide Web and internet
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www is a system of interlinked hypertext documents that are accessed via the internet. With a web

browser, one can view web pages that may contain text, images, video and other multimedia and

navigate between them via hyperlinks.


Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard protocol suit
(TCP/IP) to link several billion devices worldwide. It is an international network of networks that consist
of millions of private, public, academic, business and government packet switched networks, linked by

wireless and optical media.


Computer network or data network is a telecommunication network that allows computer to exchange
data. Data is transferred in the form of packets. The connections between nodes are established using
either cable media or wireless media. The bet known compute network is internet.

Network types

LAN-local area network

WAN-wide area network

LAN: it serves a small area, usually within a building or number of buildings within a small geographical
area. A LAN is used to share software, hardware and files of data.

WAN: it is formed by connecting a number of LANs through a router or a modem. It covers a much larger
geographical area than LAN.
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A router enables data to be routed between different networks, e.g between an Ethernet LAN and a
WAN of any description. It provides any necessary conversion of protocols from Ethernet to TCP/IP.

It can incorporate a firewall to provide network security. It stores information about which computer is
connected to which network. Router will inspect every packet of data being sent by any computer on
network connected to it. It connects at least two networks e.g. between LAN and WAN or a LAN and its


A gateway deals with different communication protocols between the receiving LAN and the other
networks. Gateway regulates traffic between two dissimilar networks while routers regulate traffic
between similar networks.e.g a device that allows a Windows NT network to communicate with a
NetWare network. Gateway acts as a network point that is entrance point to another network.


A network server is a computer designed to process requests and deliver data to other (client)

computers over a local network or the internet. Network servers are typically configured with additional
processing, memory and storage capacity to handle the load of servicing clients. Common types of
network servers include
 Web servers

 Proxy servers

 FTP Servers

Numerous computers use the client/server networking model. An alternate model, peer-to-peer
networking enables all computers to act as either a server or client as needed.

PSTN (Public service telephone network)


The public switched telephone network is the aggregate of the world’s circuit switched telephone
networks that are operated by national, regional or local telephony operators, providing infrastructure
and services for public telecommunication.PSTN consists of telephone lines, fiber optic cables,
microwave transmission links, cellular networks communication satellites and undersea telephone

In relation to the internet, the PSTN actually furnishes much of the internet’s long distance
infrastructure. Internet service providers (ISP) pay the PSTN for access to their infrastructure and share
the circuit among many users though packet switching. Users pay usage tolls to their ISPs.

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Benefits and drawbacks of using copper cables, fiber optic, radio waves, microwaves nd satellites

Copper cables

Common types are coaxial cable and twisted pair or unshielded twisted pair(UTP)


 Least expensive media for transmission for short distances

 Can be used for both analogue and digital data transmission


 More chances of electromagnetic interferences

 Can’t be used for long distance communication

Fiber optics

Consist of a large number of very fine glass strands down which pulses of light can be sent


Because means of communication is light rather than electrical signal, the data will remain
inference free
 They are also very difficult to hack into
 The cables do not corrode

 They have much greater bandwidth than metal cables



 Expensive to install but last longer than copper cables


 Can be broken or have transmission loses when wrapped around only a few centimeters
 Requires more protections around the cable compared to copper

Radio waves

Radio waves have lower frequencies and longer wavelengths than microwaves. They are used to
transmit television and radio programs. They cannot transmit a lot of data simultaneously because they
are low frequency. continued exposure to large amount of radio waves can cause health problems.
Despite these setbacks these can be used to transmit information from space t earth. Its frequency
ranges from 3 kHz to 300 kHz.

They travel at the speed of light in vacuum most commonly used in mobile radio communication,
computer networks, communication satellites, radar and broadcasting.


Microwaves are the electromagnetic or radio waves having higher frequencies so it can carry large
quantities of data. It is highly directional and transmits data between fixed positions. Wide bandwidth.
Less power requirement .some disadvantages include expensive towers and repeaters required also
subject to interference such as air plan, rain or building can disrupt microwave.

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It is a microwave repeater in space .it is a high bandwidth, coverage over a large geographical area and
can be cheaper over long distance.disadvantes include, huge initial cost, noise and interference,
propagation delay

Bit streaming

A bit stream is a contiguous sequence of bits representing a stream of data transmitted continuously
over a communication path, streams are provide by means of called “true streaming”. It
sends the information straight to the computer without saving the file to hard disk e.g. during a football

On-demand streaming is provide by means of “progressive streaming”. It saves the file to a hard disk
and then is played from that location.

Bandwidth and storage

A broadband speed of 2.5mbits/s or more is recommended for streaming movies. Storage size in

calculated from streaming bandwidth and length of media e.g.

Practical example: calculate the storage of one hour of video encoded at 300 Kbits/s

=128 MB

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(1.1.2) IP Addressing, Format of an IP address

An internet protocol address is a numerical label assigned to each device e.g. computer, priner in a
computer network that uses internet protocol for communication.

IP addresses are binary numbers but they are usually stored as text files and displayed in human
readable notations such as

The maximum address is practice these are not enough for all the possible computes
so other techniques are used e.g. local addressing and subnetting

IP address has two parts. The first part of an IP address is used as network address, the last part as a
host address e.g.

192.168.123.____ network

___.___.____.132 host

Public IP address

A public IP address is assigned to every compute that connects to the internet where each IP is unique.

User has no control over the public IP address that is assigned to the computer. It is assigned by an ISP
(internet service provider).A public IP can be either static or dynamic. A static IP address does not
change and is used primarily for hosting WebPages or services on the internet
A dynamic IP address is chosen from a pool of available addresses and changes each time one connects

to the internet

Private IP address

The internet assigned numbers authority (IANA) has reserved ranges of IP addresses for private

networks. Private IP addresses are used for numbering the computers in a private network including
home, school and business LANs in airports and hotels. Private IP addresses are used to exchange files

and share resources within the private network. Different private networks could use the same IP
addresses because computers in different networks don’t directly communicate. A network router
passes the data back and forth. The router is assigned a public IP address by ISP.tis single IP address
identifies the entire network on the internet.

How URL is used to locate resources on www and role of DNS

A URL is a formatted text string used by web browsers, email clients to identify a network resource on
the internt.URL string consists of three parts (sub strings)

I. Network protocol
II. Host name and address
III. File or resource location

E.g. protocol://host/location

The most commonly used protocols are http for viewing WebPages and FTP for transferring files over
the internet.

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A DNS server provides name resolution for TCP/IP based networks. It makes it possible to use name
rather than numeric IP addresses to identify remote hosts. A client computer sends the name of remote
host to a DNS server which responds with a corresponding IP address. If the DNS server does not have
an entry in its database for the remote host, it can respond to the client with the address of DNS sever
that is more likely to have information about that remote host or it can forward the request to a
different DNS server at next higher level in the hierarchy.

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