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Java™ Network Programming and Distributed Computing by Michael Reilly, David Reilly

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1.2. How Do Networks Communicate?

Networks consist of connections between computers and devices. These connections are most commonly physical connections, such as wires and cables, through which electricity is sent. However, many other media exist. For example, it is possible to use infrared and radio as a communication medium for transmitting data wirelessly, or fiber-optic cables that use light rather than electricity.

Such connections carry data between one point in the network and another. This data is represented as bits of information (either “on” or “off,” a “zero” or a “one”). Whether through a physical medium such as a cable, through the air, or using light, this raw data is passed across various points in the network called nodes; a ...

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