In this post I will be discussing the different devices that are used over a network this will include NIC, hub, switch, router, repeater, gateway and bridge are the devices that will be covered.
Network interface card or NIC is used for peer to peer networks it’s an expansion board that is inserted into the computer itself so it can connect to the network but most NICs are designed for a certain type of network, protocol, and media even some are capable of serving multiple networks.
HUBs are common connection points for most devices in a network and are more commonly used to connect segments of LAN. It contains multiple ports but to allow a number of devices to connect to it when a packet reaches one of the ports it is duplicated then sent through the other ports so all the segments of the LAN can view all the packets.
The switch is another network device that is similar to a HUB it sends packets of data between the segments of LAN but unlike a HUB the packets aren’t duplicated so they are only sent to one segment of the LAN.
This device like HUBs and switches forwards data packets along networks but a router is connected to at least two networks either two LANs or WANs. Routers can be located at gateways, the place where two or more networks connect. They headers and forwarding tables to find the best route for sending the packets of data plus they use protocols like ICMP (Interface Control Message Protocol) to communicate with one another to figure out the best route between any two hosts plus there is very little filtering of data done through routers.
The networking device known as a repeater is used to replicate/regenerate signals. They are used in transmission systems where they regenerate analog and digital signals that have been distorted by loss of transmission. The analog variant of the repeater frequently only able to amplify the signal but digital repeaters reconstruct a signal almost to its original quality. When used in networks repeaters relay messages between sub networks using different protocols or different types of cable. Unfortunately repeaters lack the intelligence to perform the intelligent routing of bridges and routers.
This device is a node and when used on a network it serves as a entrance to another network. The gateway is also the computer that routes traffic from workstations to outside networks but in homes it is the ISP that connects users to the internet. It often can act as a proxy server and firewall. Its also associated with routers that by using headers/forwarding tables to find out where packets are sent, and also switches that provide the path to lead the packet out of the gateway.
This networking device known as the bridge will connect two local are networks (LANs) or the two segments of the same LAN which use the same protocol like Ethernet or Token-Ring. So basically it allows interconnection between other bridges using the same protocol.
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