Networking Basics

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Computer Networking Basics Guide

-Ever wanted to know what the heck is going on with all this networking jargon? Networks can get pretty complicated as you will see but are a real necessity to the PC. To say the least a networked PC gets both of two worlds. When you dial up to the Internet you are getting inside the biggest network there is to be had. Now wouldn't it be nice to have a nice little Internet or actually called intranet in the office or home? Networking office computers or at home is easy with the later operating sysytems. Many people are doing it these days and it's becoming the best way to share information and devices.

The Basic PC Networking

-The basic network is made up of the following:

  • Server or client workstation
  • Networking Interface Card's (NIC)
  • Cabling
  • Networking Operating System such as Windows NT/2000

Terms Of Networking

-First off we need to be familiar with some basic terms in networking. There are many out there but only a few that most of us should be concerned with.

  • Peer-to-Peer, this is commonly two PC connected together to share files or a printer.
  • Local Area Network (LAN), this is probably the most popular in smaller applications. This comes down to many computers interconnected in an office or home. This can be anywhere from two computers or hundreds in one physical area.
  •  Wide Area Network (WAN), boils down to computer networks that are far apart and connect via phone, satellite, and so forth.
  • Node, this is just another name for the client computer or the computer using the network. You are in essence a node right now using this website which is located on a server over the Internet. Bet you didn't node that did you? Ok, I know that was lame but what the hey!
  • Topology, is the geometric arrangement of the network. This is more or less how the network is arranged. We will discuss this one more later on.
  • Protocol, the protocol is a ways of communication for the network. Think of it as trying to speak French to an English computer. We need a protocol so they can understand one another.
  • Data Packets, messages of data that has been sent over your network.
  • Architecture's, this comes down to peer to peer or the client server applications. In the peer to peer we share resources of each other's computers equally and the client server is one computer with all the host files and data. Right now you are connecting to my server for this web page as a client/server architecture.
  • Media, this amounts to how your network is physically connected. Most LAN's connect with a copper wire or cable coaxial. Some newer technologies also allow you to connect wireless using your existing power outlets.

-Something to note about WAN and LAN is they really are not the opposite of each other but one of the same. In a sense you need a bunch of LAN's to make a WAN. 


-Networking Basics
-NIC Cards
-NIC Architectures
-More Cables

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