Media and Topologies

Networking standards are the basis of any network implementation. Every network, small or large, is based on a networking topology and might use one or more types of cables. Each networking standard defines a certain physical layout of the components of the network. These include servers, desktops, printers, network devices, cables, and connectors. Network administrators have to decide on a networking topology and cabling before chalking out a network plan. For network technicians, a thorough understanding of networks, network standards, topologies and media is essential for keeping the network functional. This section covers a brief description of essential components of any network, media, and topologies.

Overview of Networks

A computer network refers to two or more computers linked together to share files, printers, and other resources. The computers may be linked through cables, telephone lines, satellite, radio frequencies, or Infrared beams. The network may be as small as just two or more computers linked together at home or in an office, or as big as a corporate network at multiple locations spanning across the globe. The following sections describe different types of networks and the concept of centralized and decentralized computing.

Local area network (LAN)

A local area network is a network of computers joined together in a local area such as a small office, a home, or a building. The area covered by a LAN is usually restricted to a single location. The ...

Get A+, Network+, Security+ Exams in a Nutshell now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.