Networks: From The Ground Up Essay

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Networks: From The Ground Up

A network is merely a series of interrelated components, sharing information, linked by one common lifeline, spanning across a large area. When most people think of networks in the computer sense, cyberspace and the internet are usually types of networks that come to mind. However, these are just small pieces that complete the network puzzle. Many other types of networks include Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), and also wireless networks as well. This paper will provide some insight into the development, objectives, and impact of various network systems.


A local area network (LAN) is a
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The main local area network technologies are:

Ethernet (the most common for PC’s) • Token ring
• FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface)

The following characteristics differentiate one LAN from another:

• Topology: The geometric arrangement of devices on the network. For example, devices can be arranged in a ring or in a straight line.
• Protocols: The rules and encoding specifications for sending data. The protocols also determine whether the network uses a peer-to-peer or client/server architecture.
• Media: Devices can be connected by twisted-pair wire, coaxial cables, or fiber optic cables. Some networks do without connecting media altogether, communicating instead via radio waves.

LANS are typically identified by the following properties:

• Multiple systems attached to shared medium
• High total bandwidth (~ 10’s Mbd)
• Low delay
• Low error rate
• Broadcast/Multicast capability
• Limited Geography (1-2 km)
• Limited number of f stations
• Peer relationship between stations
• Confined to private property

The most common forms of LAN are those described by the IEEE standard 802. This standard describes operation up to and including OSI level 2. Individuals may build what they like on top of these basic protocols. A common set of higher-level protocols is called TCP/IP, which provides OSI levels 3 and 4 functionality, on top of this may be found a set of protocols

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