Networking Fundamentals

Welcome to the exciting world of Cisco internetworking. On these pages, we will be focusing on how to configure and connect networks together using Cisco routers and switches.

The emphasis of this site will be on the Cisco CCENT and/or CCNA Routing and Switching (CCNA R/S) objectives you’ll need a solid grasp on in order to succeed in getting your certifications.

What is computer networking?

When you connect two or more computer networks via a router and configure a logical network addressing scheme with a protocol such as IP or IPv6; you have created a network!

Computer Networking is a type of connection that allows computers to exchange data with each other or various telecommunication devices.

For a network to function, the devices must be interconnected. Network connections can be wired or wireless.

All networks are connected to enable communication with different kinds of media (wire or cables), which includes, twisted-pair copper wire cable, coaxial cable, optical fiber, power lines and various wireless technologies.

The devices can be separated by a few meters (e.g. via Bluetooth) or nearly unlimited distances (e.g. via the interconnections of the Internet).

In Wired networks, the medium is either copper, which carries electrical signals, or optical fiber, which carries light signals.

In Wireless networks, the medium of connection or mode of transmitting is radio waves, space, or microwaves.

Wireless networks may include the home wireless connection between a wireless router and a computer with a wireless network card, the global wireless connection between two ground stations, or the communication between devices on earth and satellites then received via the internet.

Examples of Networks are:

Local Area Network. (LAN), This is usually a small network constrained to a small geographic area. It is usually within an organization or a college campus.

Wide Area Network. (WAN) that is usually a larger network that covers a large geographic area. An example of this is an organization that uses a WAN to interconnect their offices in different countries. The largest and best example of a WAN is the Internet, which is a network of networks, composed of many smaller networks. The Internet is considered the largest network in the world.

Wireless LANs and WANs. (WLAN & WWAN) are the wireless equivalent of the LAN and WAN.

But there are no wires between end devices and servers. Communication or data is transferred over sets of radio transceivers or waves. These types of networks are beneficial when it is too costly or inconvenient to run the necessary cables. The media access protocols for LANs come from the IEEE.

Components of the Network

The path that a message takes from source to destination can be as simple as a single cable connecting one computer to another or as complex as a network that literally spans the globe. This network infrastructure is the platform that supports our human network.

It provides the stable and reliable channel over which our communications can occur.

Devices and Media

Devices and media are the physical elements or hardware of the network. Hardware is often the visible components of the network platform such as a laptop, a PC, game consoles, a Switch, router or the cabling used to connect the devices.

Occasionally, some components may not be so visible. In the case of wireless media, messages are transmitted through the air using invisible radio frequency or infrared waves.

CCNA – Past Questions & Answers with Explanation

End Devices and their Role on the Network

Wireless Networking

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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