If you’re looking to learn about computer networks, then Networking Fundamentals is for you. The course teaches you about the basic concepts in computer networks and is appropriate for both novices and experienced professionals. While it may not be the most technical course, this introductory course can set a foundation for other courses. Handouts are provided for each module. The course will take approximately three to four hours. You’ll also learn how to maintain networks and troubleshoot common computer problems.
A network is made up of computers, servers, and other computing devices that are linked together. Networks are built by combining hardware and software. There are many different types of networks, including local area networks that link computers in one physical space. Wide Area Networks are broader networks that connect computers located in multiple buildings throughout a city or region. The Internet is the most common Wide Area Network (WAN).
Circuit switching and packet switching are two common types of network communication. The former is a dedicated communication path between nodes, ensuring full bandwidth throughout transmission. Packet switching, on the other hand, breaks data down into smaller components (packets), which make fewer demands on the network. Message switching, on the other hand, sends a single message from the source node, traveling from switch to switch until it reaches its destination.
The OSI protocol describes the specifics of data transmission. It defines the signals and rules that the devices use to communicate. Most networks use Ethernet, but some use IBM’s Token Ring protocol. Ethernet is an excellent choice for home and office networking. Another important concept in networking is architecture. There are two major types of network architecture: server-based networking and peer-to-peer networking. With this method, no server is needed. Computers share files.
Another kind of network is wireless. Wireless networks use radio frequencies from devices to communicate with each other. These can be ad-hoc or infrastructure networks. In either case, there are important differences between these two types. A network has many connections and different types of devices. Once a device is connected to a network, it can access the internet from other devices on that network. The protocol determines how much data can be transmitted and received through a network.
Another type of network is called a mesh network. This network is characterized by overlapping connections among nodes. A full mesh topology requires that all nodes connect to each other. In contrast, a partial mesh network only connects nodes with the greatest amount of data, thereby giving less redundancy. Neither type is ideal, but both types are effective. A few common types are shown below. You can study these types of networks by using the Webopedia’s What Are Network Topologies guide.