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Data Communications Networking Devices: Operation, Utilization and Lan and Wan Internetworking, 4th Edition by Gilbert Held

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3

LOCAL AREA NETWORKS

To obtain an appreciation for the role of different networking devices we must have a firm understanding of the operational characteristics of both wide area and local area networks. Since the first two chapters in this book were oriented towards wide area network concepts and different types of WANs, we will now turn our attention to local area networks. In doing so we will first briefly examine the origins and major benefits derived from the utilization of local area networks and their relationship to typical network applications. In doing so we will compare and contrast LANs and WANs to obtain a better understanding of the similarities and differences between the two types of networks. Next, we will look at the major areas of local area network technology and the effect these areas have upon the efficiency and operational capability of such networks. Here, our examination will focus upon network topology, transmission media and the major access methods employed in LANs. Using the previous material as a base, we will then focus our attention upon the operation of several types of local area networks.

3.1 OVERVIEW

This chapter, in conjunction with the first two chapters in this book and along with Chapter 4, provides the foundation for Chapter 5 which is focused upon the detailed operation and utilization of internetworking devices. Those devices connect LANs together, both directly when they are located in close proximity to one another, and indirectly via ...

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