Describing Network Components

To understand how networks work, it helps to have an appreciation of why they exist in the first place. As incredible as it may seem now, for a number of years, when computers first came into use, very few computers were networked. They operated as little islands of information with no connection to one another. Data had to be transferred between computers by copying it to a floppy disk, physically taking that floppy disk to the other computer, and copying the data to the destination machine. This process is now sometimes jokingly referred to as the sneakernet.

Modern networks can include many components. Some of the most basic components are computers, routers, and switches. Figure 1.1 shows some Cisco routers and ...

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