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Computer Networks
Computer network is an interconnected collection of autonomous computers. A computer network is a system for communicating between two or more computers and associated devices. It is an interconnection of computers for the purposes of sharing information and resources. A popular example of a computer network is the internet, which allows millions of users to share information

Applications of networks:
Resource Sharing: Data can be shared with a computer in the next room or on a different continent E.g. the Internet Reliability: The presence of multiple computers means that if one computer becomes unavailable on the network (due to failure) another can be used to take over that computers work. Saving Money: Mainframe computers are 10 times faster but 100 times more expensive than PCs. Hence groups of PCs networked together can reduce costs (client-server model). Improved Communication: People can work together and share ideas. Asynchronous communication: email more productive that phone, electronic document interchange and video conferencing.

Terms related to Computer Network

Nodes(Workstation)- Node refers to the computers attached to a network and are seeking to share the resources of the network. Server- A computer that facilitates the sharing of data, software and hardware resources on the network is termed as a server. Server can be of two types: (i) Non-dedicated server - workstation can be double up as a server. (i) Resource sharing on small-scale (ii) Peer-to-Peer network (iii) Slower and requires more memory. (ii) Dedicated Server job of server is to help workstations access data, S/W and H/W resources. (i) Doesnot double up as a workstation (ii) MASTER-SLAVE networks/ Client-Server networks. (iii) Different type of servers file server,printer server and modem server. Network Interface Unit/Card(NIU)- It is an interpreter that helps to establish communication between the server and workstations. It is a device attached to workstation and server. It is also called Terminal Access Point(TAP). The MAC address refers to the physical address assigned by NIC manufacturer. Interspace : is a client/server software program that allows multiple users to communicate online with real-time audio, video and text chat in dynamic 3D environments. Node - A node is defined to be any device connected to the network. This could be a computer, a printer, a router, etc. Hub - A Hub is a networking device that connects multiple segments of the network together

Page 2 Types of Network:-

LAN- Local area network Privately owned networks Used to connect PCs and workstations within a building or computers in an area up to 10 kms of range. Speed of data, transmission is not very high. Very low error rate. Data rate of at least several mbps.

MAN-Metropolitan Area Network Bigger version of LAN May be private or public Covers a group of nearby offices or city

WAN-Wide Area Network Spans a large geographical area Public Network and owned by multiple organizations. Speed very high and very high error rates. Data rates less than 1 mbps.

Difference between LAN and WAN The distance between the nodes is limited. There is an upper limit of approx. 10 Km. and lower limit is 1 km. While WAN usually operates at speed of less than 1 mbps whereas LAN operate at between 1 and 10 mbps. Because of short distances in LAN error rates are low. Need for a network To break barriers of distance, cost & time

Page 3 Sharing of data & resources Problems in data transmission: Attenuation loss of energy as the signal moves forwards during transmission is called attenuation. Noise Unwanted energy from sources other than transmitter, which disturbs the signal, is called noise. Modes of data transmission: Analog or Broadband Transmission Signal is a radio frequency signal or analog i.e.- can consist of continuous electrical waves that are variable. Telephone network s use This type of transmission Requires modem for transmitting data over baseband medium. Digital or Baseband Transmission No special device for conversion of signal to be transmitted over baseband medium. Signal is a group of discrete electrical units, which is transmitted , in rapid succession. Parallel Communication When data is transmitted through multiple wires with each wire carrying each bit is called parallel communication Serial communication When bits are sent one after another in a series along wire, it is called serial communication 10001----------------10001 Synchronous or asynchronous Transmission When sender and receiver synchronize their checks before transmission i.e sender first sends control characters to the receiver and then sends the actual data, this is called Synchronous transmission .Advantage- Faster Disadvantage- Costly & complex setup required In asynchronous transmission data is proceeded and succeeded by a start bit and stop bit respectively. No synchronization is required. Advantage- Simple and cheap hardware required Disadvantage- Slower than synchronous mode NETWORK SWITCHING TECHNIQUES: Circuit Switching:- A complete physical connection between sender and receiver is established first before actual communication starts. Once circuit has been established, data is transferred at high speeds. But, there is a considerable overhead of establishing the circuit. It is used in telephone networks. Message Switching:- Here, sender sends data to switching office where it is kept in disk until a free link to another switching office or destination is found. On finding out a path , data is further transmitted. Due to its working principle, it is also called store and forward switching. The problem is that the messages are stored on hard disk. Packet Switching:- In message switching ,long messages block buffer in the switching office for which packet switching places an upper limit on message size. Another difference in Packet switching is that packets are stored on buffer not on disks as in message switching. For any type of network , we require a medium through which the objects in network can communicate. These are communication channels in computer network.

Page 4 Bandwidth determines the amount of data that a channel can carry. Baud rate refers to the number of times the condition of the line changes. This is equal to bits per second only if each signal corresponds to one bit of transmitted data.It is data transfer rate. Following communication channels are used in network:Guided Media Twisted Pair 1. Consists of two insulated copper wires arranged in a regular spiral pattern to minimize the electromagnetic interference between adjacent pairs 2. Used for mostly office telephone wiring. 3. Data transmission characteristics are not very good due to high attenuation. Types of Twisted Pair STP (shielded twisted pair) the pair is wrapped with metallic foil or braid to insulate the pair from electromagnetic interference UTP (unshielded twisted pair) each wire is insulated with plastic wrap, but the pair is encased in an outer covering


1. 2.

Simple and inexpensive Easy to install, because of physical flexibility, low weight and easy connectivity. 1. 2. 3. Signals loose energy due to attenuation, so repeaters are required. Bandwidth is low, so unsuitable for broadband application. Data transmission characteristics are not so good.


Coaxial cables a. Both conductors share a common center axial, hence the term co-axial b. Coaxial cables consist of two wires: The first, a copper wire, surrounded by an insulator, the second is surrounded by a metallic cylinder called the shield. This design provides the coaxial cable with a special advantage: electrical interference is reduced because the two conductors are shielded and confined separately c. Data transmission characteristics are better than twisted pair. d. Used for cable television, LANs, telephony


Advantages:- 1. High Bandwidth and can be used for broadband transmission. Excellent noise immunity

Page 5 Disadvantages:- 1. Expensive compared to twisted pair cables. 2. Not compatible with twisted pair cables. 1. 2. 3. 4. Types Thick net (used for connecting nodes upto 500 m long Thin net (maximum segment length of 185 meters Optical fibers These are then strands of glass or glass like material constructed to carry light from one source at one end fiber to a detector at other end Bandwidth potentially very high Data transmission rate is also high Very good transmission technology.

Advantages Very high bandwidth Reliable It is immune to electrical and magnetic interference. Disadvantages Very costly Installation and setup is very complex They are impossible to tap coz of noise immunity Unguided Media - Wireless Transmission transmission and reception are achieved by means of an antenna directional transmitting antenna puts out focused beam transmitter and receiver must be aligned omnidirectional signal spreads out in all directions can be received by many antennas Microwave 1. Used in wireless communication 2. Required for long distance communication 3. Parabolic antennas are mounted on towers to send a beam to other antenna. 4. Higher the antenna greater the range. Satellite Microwave Applications Television distribution Long-distance telephone transmission Private business networks Advantages Cheaper than lying cables over distances. It offers ease of communication over difficult terrain. It offers freedom from land acquisition rights that are required for laying, repairing the cables.

Page 6 Microwaves have the ability to communicate over oceans. Disadvantages Signals from a single antenna may split up and propogate by slightly different paths to receiving antenna. These out of phase signals combine, they interfere. Also affected by weather like rains, thunder storms etc. The cost of design, implementation and implementation of its links is high Repeaters are required. Radio wave Easy to generate Travel over long distances Used for communication both indoors and outdoors Waves are omni directional i.e.- travel in all directions from sources to source destination need not to be physically aligned. It is cheaper than microwave. Advantages Offers mobility Cheaper than guided media Ease of communication over diffcult terrain Disadvantages Signal frequency dependent At low frequency, signal pass through obstacles and power falls off. Subject to interference and weather conditions. Infra red transmission Used for small area and in remote controls. Infrared signals are highly modulated. As for microwave alignment between sender and receiver is required. It transmits data through the air but will not penetrate walls. It provides a secure transmission. Laser - The laser Transmission requires direct line-of-sight. It is Unidirectional like microwave, but has much higher speed than microwaves than microwaves. The laser transmission requires the use of a laser transmitter and a photo-sensitive receiver at each end. The laser transmission is point-to-point transmission typically between buildings. Satellite In this, there is a satellite & earth station communicating with the satellite. Earth station has a satellite dish, which transmits & receives the signal. Satellite transmission is similar in principle to the ordinary radio link. Instead of having all the stations earthbound, we send some up into the space. Communications Satellite rotate at almost exactly the same rate as the earth rotate. Compared to the radio link, the satellite has a considerable large range. They are used for both in the national network and in the international network. Advantages The area coverage is quite large. It proves to be best alternative where laying and maintenance of intercontinental cable is difficult and expensive. Disadvantage Costly Over crowding of available bandwidths due to low antenna gains.

Page 7 Technological limitations prevent the use of large high gain antennas on the satellite platform. Data communication technology Data channel is the medium used to carry information or data from one point to another. Baud is the unit of measurement for the information carrying capacity of a channel. It is bps (bits per second). Bandwidth refers to the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies of a transmission channel i.e. amount of digital information that can be pushed through a channel is bandwidth. High bandwidth channels are called broadband channels and low bandwidth channels are called narrow band channels. Data transfer rates represents the amount of data transfer per second by a communication channel or a computing or storage device. It is measured in bps, Bps, baud.

Network Devices


Repeater- The device regenerates the signal as the signal tends to loose energy
after moving through long distances.Repeaters are of two types:Amplifier and signal repeater.

2. 3. 4.

Backbone- is central interconnecting structure that connects one or more

networks just like the trunk or the spine of a human being. Gateway- The device that connects two dissimilar networks is gateway. It establishes an intelligent connection between a local network and external networks with completely different structure. Bridge- It connects similar networks. It is a device that establishes an intelligent connection between two local networks with the same standard but with different types of cables.

Page 8 i.


MODEM- Modulator/ DEModulator for computer to computer data

transmission. Telephone cables are used . Computers generate digital signals and telephone lines carries analog signals so for data transmission, analog to digital and digital to analog conversion is required. The device which carries modulation and demodulation i.e conversion of digital to analog and analog to digital is done by MODEM. Modems come in two varieties:

Internal Modem and External Modem


RJ45 Connector(Registered Jack-45) is an eight wire connector, which is

commonly used to connect computers on the local networks i.e LANs especially Ethernets


Ethernet-is a LAN architecture developed by Xerox Corp along with DEC and
Intel. Ethernet uses either a bus or star topology and supports data transfer rates of upto 10 Mbps.


Switch- It is a device that is used to segment networks into different sub

networks called subnets or LAN segments. The type of interface to which ISDN device is being attached. Segmenting the network into smaller subnets, prevents traffic overloading in a network.

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Router- is a network device that is used to separate different segments in a

network to improve performance and reliability. It works like bridge but can handle different protocols.


HUB- is a hardware device used to connect several computers together. Hubs

can be either active or passive Active Hubs electrically amplifies signals, used like repeaters Passive Hubs allow the signal to pass from one computer to another without any change.

Topology refers to the pattern of interconnection of nodes in a network. Factors affecting the topology used for a network areCOST- It imposes a limitation on the pattern of interconnection of nodes. b. FLEXIBILITY- Topology should be easily reconfigurable involving addition and movement of nodes. c. RELIABILITY Topology should provide reliable communication even if one or two nodes have failed. d. Fault Diagnosis. e. Fault Tolerance. Different Topologies are:1. BUS TOPOLOGY- Also known as linear or multidrop topology. It consists mainly of main trunk known as Bus/ Backbone. It is a long twisted pair cable or coaxial cable into which nodes and peripheral are attached using drop cables. The two ends of backbone are terminated by absorbers to absorb signals from the cable after it has passed all the devices. Advantages: Range of equipments can be attached. New node can be added easily Low cable costing as cable length is short and simple wiring layout Resilient Architecture. Disadvantages: Single message can travel at a time. Collision occurs in case of multiple transmission Low reliability Fault Diagnosis is difficult. Fault isolation is difficult.

Page 10 Repeater configuration and node must be intelligent. B BB A NODES D DB F C H Absorbers

Backbone 2. RING TOPOLOGY Also known as daisy chain, It is circular cable. All nodes are connected to exactly two nodes to form a ring. All nodes are connected in a ring and data passes across each node in the system. Advantages:Disadvantages: One node can transmit at a time. If one node fails network comes down. Repeaters not required. Each node must be intelligent to hold data transmitted by other nodes. Short cable length and no wiring closet space required. Difficult to diagnose faults Suitable for optical fibers. Network configuration is difficult. NODE B A


3. STAR TOPOLOGY Various nodes are connected to a directly wired central, dedicated computer known as Hub of star. The drop cables extend in all directions. All data transfer is via hub. Advantages: Disadvantages: Fault tolerant Long cable length Network management is easy. Difficult to expand Centralized control and easy problem diagnosis. Central node dependency. Simple access protocols.

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Central Work Stations

4. TREE TOPOLOGY Passive branches can be added to groups or individual nodes in the sense that the original bus splits into a number of separate branches. The structure is as follows: A

Other topologies are Graph,Mesh topology etc. Protocols Rules to govern communication on computer network are called protocols. Following are some of the protocols: HTTP(Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) Set of rules governing exchange of hypertext between two computers is commonly known as HTTP. It consists of two distinct items: A set of requests from browsers to servers A set of responses from server to browsers FTP(File Transfer Protocol) Set of rules, which enables files to be uploaded or downloaded on a network is known as FTP. It serves as client server process. The objectives of FTP are: i) to promote sharing of files(computer program/data) ii) to encourage indirect use of computers iii) to transfer data TCP/IP(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) It is a layered set of protocols being widely followed on internet. TCP is responsible for keeping track of what is being sent, how it is being sent and whether what has been sent is received properly at the other end or not. If not properly received, retransmission is controlled by TCP. TCP splits messages into fixed size datagram which are then tagged with destination address and sent to receiver where the datagram are merged to form proper message. IP is the protocol controlling addressing on the network. As and when any computer gets connected to the network, it must owe a unique address with which it will be identified by other systems. IP protocol assigns address to the different system on the network. SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol) It was the first protocol used on dialup lines for sending and receiving packets on the network. It does not have support for dynamic address assignment so is not used nowdays.

Page 12 PPP(Point- to Point protocol) It is currently used Internet protocol for data transfer on dial-up lines or leased lines. It consists of following protocolsi) LCP-Link Control Protocol. It is used for link establishment, configuration and testing. ii) NCP- After establishment of a link, one or more network connections can be used to transfer traffic on a line. PPP supports synchronized and asynchronized lines. SMTP( Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) SMTP is the protocol used for transfer of e-mail over the network. It requires both the sender and receiver to be online while sending or receiving the mail. The solution to this is provided by POP. POP(Post office protocol) It is a protocol for mail collection and distribution that allows creation of mailbox for each user to store the mail until they are collected.

Internet/ Network Terminology and concepts Remote Login- Using Remote login software, contents of distantly placed computer
can be accessed. This service is used with the help of a software known as Telnet.

ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects agency Network)

Predecessor of Internet, it was started by military operations agency ARPA in USA to connect military bases at the time of war. Seeing the usefulness, it was later on expanded to US colleges and universities and the expansion continued to what we see as Internet today. Internet is the global network of networks.

Wireless/ Mobile Communication

Across network, data is being transmitted via unguided or non-wired medium which is known as wireless/mobile communication. Wireless Communication is data communication without the use of landlines. Mobile computing means that the computing device is not continuously connected to the base or central network. GSM- Short for Global System for Mobile Communications, one of the leading digital cellular systems. GSM uses narrowband TDMA, which allows eight simultaneous calls on the same radio frequency.

CDMA- Code Division Multiple Access

It is a way to increase channel capacity by using code sequences as traffic channels in a common radio channel. Used in new mobiles and these mobiles also cover a large area. WLL- Wireless Local Loop- is a system that connects subscribers to the switched telephone network(PSTN) using radio signals as a substitute for other connecting media.

3G servicesSet of third generation services applied to wideband mobile communication.

SMS- Short Message Service

Service, which allows sending of short messages from mobile to mobile. This service is now facilitating messaging through internet on mobiles.

Voice Mail
Along with digital data, voice data can also sent on telephones and Internet. This is known as voice mailing.

Page 13 E-mail electronic way of sending and receiving mails. Ex. Advantages - Low cost, Speed, Waste reduction, Ease of Use , Record maintenance, Limitations Hardware requirement, Impermanent, A hasty medium, Hard to convey emotions Chat- The service which allows two or more users to exchange textual data is known as chatting by being online. Video Conferencing- As the name suggests, video conferencing is the service which allows two or more distantly placed users to exchange their views with live video and audio being transmitted as if they are conferencing in the same conference hall. Internetworking terms and Concepts World Wide Web WWW is the set of protocols that provide graphical, colorful and user friendly interface to the internet. TELNET Telnet is an internet utility that lets you log onto remote computer systems. Web Browser is a WWW client that navigates through the WWW and display web pages. Web Server is a www server that responds to the requests made by web browser. URL Uniform Resource Locator. Specifies the distinct address for each resource on the internet. An Internet address which is character based is called a Domain name. Domain Name- A group of computers that are part of a network and share a common directory database. A domain is administered as a unit with common rules and procedures. Each domain has a unique name known as domain name. IP Address Along with domain name, each website is given a unique number which consists of a 4 different numbers separated by three periods. This is defined as per rules of Internet Protocol (IP). The unique combination of numbers is known as IP Address. Some common Domain names commercial, .edu education , .gov government , .net network resources etc. Web Page A location on a net server is called a Web Site. A document that uses HTTP is called a Web Page. Home Page Top level web page of a web site. Web Portal It is a web site, which hosts other web sites, has hyperlinks to many other web sites. For ex., Web Hosting Web Hosting is a means of hosting web-server application on a computer system through which electronic content on the internet is readily available to any web browser client. Types of Web Hosting - Free Hosting, Virtual Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, Co-location Hosting Web Site- is a location on a net server. Web Server is a computer that is maintained by a system administrator or Internet service provider ( ISP) and that responds to requests from a users browser. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) Markup language is the one which uses mark ups(tags) to define how the data will be presented on the web page. This language is used to design and define how data will be presented on a web page. Extensible Markup Language(XML) a meta markup language that provides a format for describing structured data. This facilitates more precise declarations of content and more meaningful search results across multiple platforms. In addition , XML will enable a new generation of web based data viewing and manipulation applications.

Page 14 USENET-Also known as newsnet is a public network made up of thousands of newsgroups.A newsgroup is a bulletin board service on which various users post messages on a related topic. Archie- is a system of locating files on a FTP location. It is known as resource directory tool. Gopher is a menu driven tool for locating information. Telnet is an internet utility that lets you log onto remote computer systems. NETWORK SECURITY CONCEPTS Cyber Law - Law governing security on internet. Firewall - a combination of hardware and software that provides a security system, usually to prevent unauthorized access from outside to an internal network or intranet. A firewall prevents direct communication between network and external computers by routing communication through a proxy server outside of the network. The proxy server determines whether it is safe to let a file pass through to the network. A firewall is also called a security edge gateway. Cookies- Some web sites store information in a small text file on your computer. This file is called a cookie. They are messages that a web server transmits to a Web browser so that the Web server can keep track of the users activity on a specific Web site. Crackers are the malicious programmers who break into secure systems wheras HACKERS are more interested in gaining knowledge about computer systems and possibly using this knowledge for playful pranks.

Points related to 4 marks question (Networking/LAN Design)

Good Network Design 80-20 Rule 80 percent of the traffic on a given network segment is local and not more than 20 percent of the network traffic should need to move across a backbone LAN Hardware Repeaters ,Hubs,Bridges,Switches,Routers,Combining Hubs, Switches and routers USING Repeaters One basic rule of repeater is the 5-4-3 rule. The maximum path between two stations should not more than 5 segments with 4 repeaters. For long distance use repeaters in the cable. Using Bridges Bridges are used to connect separate segments of a network. Bridges filter the data. When to use Hubs/Bridges/Switches/Routers To establish a network between two computers is easy.Install NIC in both the computers and then attach using crossover cable. If you increase or decrease the distance between computers use REPEATERS. If more than two computers are needed to be attached for long distance, use multi-port repeater called HUB. Problem with HUBS Hubs share bandwidths among all attached devices. Hubs cannot filter traffic. They broadcast data to all devices. Solution to the problem is BRIDGE (Smarter Hub) which can filter data based on MAC address. Bridges will ensure that traffic goes only to intended segment and not to all segments as with the hubs. SWITCH(multiport Bridge) Gives a dedicated Bandwidth to each LAN segment Problem with Switch - Cannot stop traffic destined for a different LAN segment from travelling to all other LAN segments.

Page 15 Solution to the problem is Router - Routers filters network traffic based on IP address and routes up the data.