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Local Area Network (LAN) - LAN are Networks within a single Building

or campus of up to few kilometres in size. - They are widely used to connect personal computers and workstations in company Offices to share resources like files and printers - Traditional LANs run at speed of 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps Newer LANs operate at up to 10 Gbps

Metropolitan Area Network ( MAN)

- Refers to Network of computers with in a city

- An example will be cable networks

Wide Area Network (WAN)

- Wide area networking combines multiple LANs that are geographically separate. - This is accomplished by connecting the different LANs using services such as dedicated leased phone lines, dial-up phone lines (both synchronous and asynchronous), satellite links.

- Wide area networking can be as simple as a modem and remote access server for employees to dial into, or it can be as complex as hundreds of branch offices globally linked using special routing protocols and filters to minimize the expense of sending data sent over vast distances.


- The Internet is a system of linked networks that are worldwide in scope and facilitate data communication services such as remote login, file transfer, electronic mail, the World Wide Web and newsgroups.


- An intranet is a private network utilizing Internettype tools, but available only within that organization. For large organizations, an intranet provides an easy access mode to corporate information for employees.

Two Categories of Network - Peer to Peer - Server Based

In peer-to-peer networking there are no dedicated servers or hierarchy among the computers. All of the computers are equal and therefore known as peers. Normally each computer serves as Client/Server and there is no one assigned to be an administrator responsible for the entire network. The term Client/server refers to the concept of sharing the work involved in processing data between the client computer and the most powerful server computer.

Open System Interconnection (OSI) reference model has become an International standard and serves as a guide for networking. This model is the best known and most widely used guide to describe networking environments. Vendors design network products based on the specifications of the OSI model. It provides a description of how network hardware and software work together in a layered fashion to make communications possible

OSI Model Has Seven Layers

Physical Layer
- Physical layer is just that the physical parts of the network such as wires, cables, and there media along with the length. Also this layer takes note of the electrical signals that transmit data throughout system.

Data Link Layer

- Input datas are sent in data frames and transmit the frames sequentially

- this layer will allow and define the error detection and correction schemes that insure data was sent and received.

Network Layer
- Key design issue is determining how packets are routed

from source to destination

This layer provides the definition for the connection of two dissimilar networks.

Transport Layer
- Basic function of this layer is to accept data from above, split it up into smaller units if needed and pass to the network layer -This layer allows data to be broken into smaller packages for data to be distributed and addressed to other nodes (workstations).

Session Layer
- Session layer allows Users on different machines to
establish session between them - A session has to be made before we can transport information to another computer.

Presentation Layer
- This layer is responsible to code and decode data sent to the node
- Presentation layer is concerned with Syntax and semantics of the information transmitted

Application Layer
- this layer allows you to use an application that will communicate with say the operation system of a server

- Application layer contains a variety of protocols that are commonly needed for users - One widely used application protocol is HTTP (Hyper text transfer protocol which is basics for world wide web.
- Another example will be SMTP protocol (Simple mail transfer protocol), IMAP ( Internet Message Access protocol) POP3 (Post Office protocol used for Electronic Mail.

Magnetic Media
- Disks and tapes are one of the most popular methods of transmitting data from one computer to another fast. The problem is that the source and destination have to be very close together for this to be reasonable. If you need to transmit your data to another town in less time than it would take to drive there, then another method of transfer will be needed.

Twisted Pair - Twisted Pair wiring (Cat 3 and Cat 5) are popular methods of transferring data. They are especially prevalent in the LAN environment. The twists allow the signal to travel further than it could on a regular copper wire. The more twists per centimeter, the further the signal can travel. This is why Cat 5 wire (with more twists) is preferred over Cat 3 wire. Twisted pair wires consist of two strands of copper twisted together; the wires are unshielded, which is why Twisted Pair wire is also called Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP).

Coaxial Cable
- Coaxial Cable is an insulated copper wire covered with a mesh conductor, with a coating of plastic on top of that.

- One advantage of coax over other types of transmission line is that in an ideal coaxial cable the electromagnetic field carrying the signal exists only in the space between the inner and outer conductors.

Fiber Optics

Network topologies are categorized into the following basic types

Bus Ring

Tree Mesh

Bus -Bus network use a common backbone to connect all devices

- A device wanting to communicate with another device on the network sends a broadcast message onto the wire that all other devices see, but only the intended recipient actually accepts and processes the message.

Advantages of a Linear Bus Topology

- Easy to connect a computer or peripheral to a linear bus. - Requires less cable length than a star topology.

Disadvantages of a Linear Bus Topology

- Entire network shuts down if there is a break in the main cable. - Terminators are required at both ends of the backbone cable. - Difficult to identify the problem if the entire network shuts down. - Not meant to be used as a stand-alone solution in a large building.

- In a ring network, every device has exactly two neighbors
for communication purposes. All messages travel through a ring in the same direction (either "clockwise" or "counterclockwise"). - A failure in any cable or device breaks the loop and can take down the entire network. - Ring topologies are found in some office buildings or school campuses

- Many home networks use the star topology. A star network features a central connection point called a "hub" that may be a hub, switch or router.

Advantages of a Star Topology

- Easy to install and wire. - No disruptions to the network when connecting or removing devices. - Easy to detect faults and to remove parts.

Disadvantages of a Star Topology

- Requires more cable length than a linear topology. - If the hub or concentrator fails, nodes attached are disabled. - More expensive than linear bus topologies because of the cost of the concentrators.

Tree topologies integrate multiple star topologies together onto a bus. - In its simplest form, only hub devices connect directly to the tree bus, and each hub functions as the "root" of a tree of devices. This bus/star hybrid approach supports future expandability of the network much better than a bus

Advantages of a Tree Topology

- Point-to-point wiring for individual segments. - Supported by several hardware and software venders.

Disadvantages of a Tree Topology

- Overall length of each segment is limited by the type of cabling used. - If the backbone line breaks, the entire segment goes down. - More difficult to configure and wire than other topologies.

- Mesh topologies involve the concept of routes

- Messages sent on a mesh network can take any of several possible paths from source to destination.
- Some WANs, most notably the Internet, employ mesh routing.