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Basic computer network components

A computer network is a set of connected computers. Computers on a network are called nodes. The connection between computers can be done via cabling, most commonly the ethernet cable, or wirelessly through radio waves. Connected computers can share resources, like access to the internet, printers, file servers and others. A network is a multipurpose connection, which allows a single computer to do more.

Computer networks share common devices, functions and features including servers, clients, transmission media, shared data, shared printers and other hardware and software resources, network interface card (NIC), local operating system (LOS), ad the network operating system (NOS).

1. Hub – Hub is a device that splits a network connection into multiple computers. It is like a distribution centre. When a computer requests information from a network or a specific computer, it sends the request to the hub through a cable. The hub will receive the request and transmit it to the entire network. Each computer in the network should then figure out whether the broadcast data is for them or not.
2. Router – When we talk about computer network components, the other device that used to connect a LAN with an internet connection is called a router. When you have two distinct networks (LANs) or want to share a single internet connection to multiple computers, we use a router.
3. Network Interface Card – Each computer in a network has a special expansion card called a network interface card (NIC). The NIC prepares (formats) and sends data, receives data, and controls data flow between the computer and the network. On the transmit side, the NIC passes frames of data on to the physical layer, which transmits the data to the physical link. on the receiver’s side, the NIC processes bits received from the physical layer and processes the message based on its contents.
4. Clients – Clients are computers that access and use the network and shared network resources. Client computers are the customers (users) of the network, as they request and receive services from the serves.
5. Serves – Servers are computers that hold shared files, programs, and the network operating system. Servers provide access to network resources to all the users of the network. There are many different kinds of servers, and one server can provide several functions.
6. Transmission Media – Transmission media are the facilities used to interconnect computers in a network, such as twisted-pair wire, coaxial cable and optical fiber cable. Transmission media are sometimes called transmission medium channels, links or lines.
7. Shared printers and other peripherals – shared printers and peripherals are hardware resources provided to the users of the network by servers. Resources provided include data files, printers, software or any other items used by clients on the network.
8. Local operating system – A local operating system allows personal computers to access files, print to a local printer, and have and use one or more disk and CD drives that are located on the computer. Examples are MS-DOS, Unix etc. The network operating system is the software of the network. It serves a similar purpose that the OS serves in a stand-alone computer.
9. LAN Cable – A local area network cable is also known as a data cable or Ethernet cable which is a wired cable used to connect a device to the internet or other devices like computer, printers etc.
10. Network operating system – The network operating system is a program that runs on computers and servers that allows the computers to communicate over the network.

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