Can we meet? Can we get along? Pleased to meet you.
It all starts with communication, then an agreed-upon protocol to facilitate the exchange (communication) and networking to transport your message.
Networking gives you the means to communicate your message using proper and agreed-upon protocols.
Agreed Upon Protocol
A computer network is a telecommunications network that gives nodes the ability to share resources. The nodes exchange data using hardware connections between them. Data links are established using cables connected to a switch or wireless access point and routed via a router. A firewall provides encryption and packet inspection between nodes. You can think of a firewall as an inspector. All packets that flow through the network will be inspected by the Firewall.
Different Types of Networks
There are many varieties of computer networks but for the purposes of this brief and introductory discussion, we will only touch on the three basic types of computer networks. I strongly encourage you to do further reading in order to better familiarize yourself with computer networks.
Local Area Network – A local area network (LAN) is a network that communicates solely within an office.
Wide Area Network – A wide area network (WAN) is a network that connects a company’s offices together as one.
Wireless Network – A wireless network (WiFi) connects different nodes on a LAN without any ethernet or other hardware cables. Communication is facilitated using wireless cards, access points, and routers.
A WAN can consist of both a LAN and a wireless network. To connect offices that are far from each other, a router or a next-generation firewall is used. The router routes the routed protocol (TCP/IP) via a routing protocol (BGP or OSPF).
Wide Area Networks come in two types: dedicated connection and switched connection.
a private connection between an ISP and the customer’s premises. The bandwidth you purchase is for your use only and is not shared by any other customer.
A dedicated connection can be one or a combination of the following:
- Leased line – A point-to-point connection that goes through and Internet Service Provider (ISP).
- Fiber Optics – A connection using fiber optics between buildings or offices.
- Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) – A telephone broadband connection between an office and an ISP
A network in which a temporary connection is established from one point to another for either the duration of the session or for the transmission of one or more packets of data.
Circuit Switched Network
Circuit switching is a switching method in which a dedicated communication path in physical form between two nodes within a network is established, maintained and terminated for each communication session. It has three phases: circuit establishment, data transfer, and circuit disconnect. A perfect example is an analog telephone network.
Packet Switched Network
A packet-switched network (PSN) is a type of computer communications network that groups and sends data in the form of small chunks or packets. It enables the sending of data or network packets between a source and destination node over a network channel that is shared between multiple users and or applications. The nodes do not store the data. After receiving, an error check is performed to make sure it arrived at the right place, and then the node deletes the data.
Cell Switched Network
Cell switching operates in a similar way to packet switching but uses small fixed-length cells for data transport. Cell switching is typically a high bandwidth and high speed (up to 155 Mbps) technology. Cell switching is essentially an attempt to combine the best of circuit switching and packet switching.
Networking is the result of a “synchronized dance” choreographed with perfect timing where all pieces must function as agreed.
I hope that this blog series piques the interest of anyone who has an interest in becoming an Informational Technology (IT) professional. IT is an exciting field that has many branches that touch almost all if not all aspects of our lives both personally and professionally.