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Why have networks?

Advantages of networks

  • Resource sharing
  • Communication

Disadvantages of networks

  • Cost
  • Security
  • Complexity

network

Client / Server Model

Servers

The job of a server is to provide services to the clients on the network.

The services that a server might provide include:

  • User Authentication
  • File Storage
  • Internet Access
  • Hardware sharing ( printers, scanners,etc)

Client

The job of the client is to provide a workstation for networks users to use.

When a user logs in to a client they are usually provided with access to:

  • a private files storage area
  • a shared file storage
  • the internet and the organisation’s intranet.
  • Network hardware resources, such as printers and scanners.
clientservermodel
The Client Server Model. Source: Wikipedia

Network Interface Controller / Card

All servers and clients need to have a network interface card to access the network.

Network interface cards a machine to connect to a network using an Ethernet cable.

nic

Switches and hubs

 

With a small network you might get away with connecting all of your clients directly to the server, but larger networks require hubs/switches in between to control the flow of data within the network.

switch

Router

The job of a router is to connect two different types of network together. Within most organisations a router is used to connect the internal Local Area Network to the Internet.

Home networking

You home broadband often comes with what the broadband companies call a ‘router’, these are actually composite devices that combine:

  • A Router
  • A Firewall
  • A Wireless Network Access Point
  • A Wired Network Switch