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ICGSE

Candidates should be able to: (a) describe a router and its purpose (b) describe the use of WIFI and Bluetooth in networks (c) describe how to set up a small network involving access to the internet, understanding the need to set up the use of a browser, email and an ISP (d) identify the advantages and disadvantages of using common network environments such as the internet (e) describe what is meant by the terms user id and password, stating their purpose and use (f) identify a variety of methods of communication such as fax, email, and tele/video conferencing (g) define the terms Local Area Network (LAN), Wireless Local Area Network and Wide Area Network (WAN) (h) describe the difference between LANs, WLANs and WANs, identifying their main characteristic

(i) describe the characteristics and purpose of common network environments, such as intranets and the internet
(j) describe other common network devices (including hubs, bridges, switches and proxy servers) (k) discuss the problems of confidentiality and security of data, including problems surrounding common network environments (l) identify the need for encryption, authentication techniques, including the use of user identification and passwords, when using common network environments such as the internet

A router links two or more networks together and is used so that data can be transferred from one network to another If you have a router at home is probably used to link your network to the world wide web (Internet). Usually PCs can be connected to routers by cables and wirelessly (wifi). In order to route data round a network, a router does the following: 1. Stores information about which PC is on which network 2. Router receives a network level packet. 3. Network destination address is checked. 4. Packet is sent to the appropriate network.

Note that, in the case of the Internet, the destination address is the IP address.

Wifi is a wireless technology for exchanging data over medium distances.

Advantages Easy to set up and inexpensive Unobtrusive no cables to trip over Flexible laptops can be moved and stay connected Disadvantage Security risk is higher than with cables Interference from devices like microwaves Slow when far from the access point

Bluetooth is a wireless technology for exchanging data over short distances. Using a special radio frequency to transmit data, it creates a short range network. It is very secure and can connect up to eight devices (items of electronic equipment) at the same time.

Browser piece of software that allows the user to access the (world wide) web /view web pages/surf the net Email communications software that can be used to send messages to people outside the network/home ISP Internet Service Provider is a company that provides Internet so that you can access the internet and send emails

Advantages include:

Resource sharing such as disk storage, printers Information / data sharing Communication with users of the network (e.g. e-mail) Log on to any PC to access work (hot-desking) Software sharing - a network licence can often work out cheaper than several individual licences

Disadvantages include: Keeping files secure is more difficult than standalone. Viruses can spread easily Hacking is more likely than standalone A fault on the network it can effect more than one station If the server is faulty the whole network will fail.

LAN Local Area Network Small geographical region like a building or site. Server/Hub, network interface cards and cables are used to connect the PCs. WAN Wide Area Network Large geographical region like a city, country or world. Telephone lines and modem / router used to connect PCs. Increased risk of security.

WLAN Wireless Local Area Network Small region connected with wireless network cards and an access point or router. Higher security risk than LAN.

Network interface card (NIC) a piece of hardware usually plugged into a PCI slot (PC) or PCMCIA slot (Laptop). Each PC in the network requires one. Cable a hardwired network uses cables to connect to the NICs.

Server or Hub a dedicated computer controls the network in a server-based network. In a peer-to-peer network a hub is used to attach the different cables.
Network Operating System NIC Drivers

The hardware and software required for a wide area network differs because the distances involved tend to be far greater than for a LAN. Modem (or Router) and PSTN (Public Switched telephone network) A modem is a modulator / demodulator and transfers an analogue signal into a digital signal and viseversa. Typical speeds of a modem is 56Kb. Broadband these cables are being placed all over the world to allow faster communication than modem. There are two main types: ADSL and DSL. Typical speeds include 512kb 100Mb. Network Operating System or Workstation Operating System Modem drivers software that controls the modem hardware.

The star network has a central microprocessor and a series of nodes. The central microprocessor controls the network and polls each station in turn to see if it has a signal to send.

Advantages Good performance even when the network traffic is heavy If one link fails the others are not affected. No problems with data collisions because each station has its own cable to the server Easy to add additional PCs without disrupting the network Reliable, less likely to develop faults Disadvantages Requires additional cabling which increases the overall cost of the network

The bus network uses a central cable that allows data to be transmitted in either direction from any PC to any other. The main problem with this topology is that data collision can occur if several PCs want to transmit simultaneously.

Advantages Inexpensive due to the small amount of cabling required Easy to add additional PCs without disrupting the network Simple to install Disadvantages Network performance degrades under heavy traffic If the main cable fails the entire network goes down Cable failure is difficult to isolate

The ring network uses a small packet called a token to pass data in this topology. If a computer has information to send it modifies the token, adds address information and the data then send it down the ring. Signals travel in one direction only:

Advantages Data can be sent quickly because no chance of collision Network resources are shared fairly Each computer is given equal opportunity to send data.

Disadvantages A typical single-ring fails if one computer fails Difficult to isolate problems with the network Signals can only travel in one direction

A hybrid topology is one that is a combination of the three standard topologies. Examples include: StarBus A Mesh network is one where every PC is connected to every other. It is the most expensive but the most fault-tolerant.

A network switch is a small hardware device that joins multiple computers together within one local area network (LAN). Unlike hubs, network switches are capable of inspecting data packets as they are received, determining the source and destination device of each packet, and forwarding them appropriately. It is not used in a WAN.

The message is split into a number of equal sized packets.

Each packet has a label saying where it is meant to be going and what number packet it is.
These packets are sent along communication lines towards the destination.

Each time a packet reaches a node on the network the node decides which direction to send it on. So, one packet in the message from A reaches node D. The obvious route to take is the one directly to C, but it is already in use for another message, so D decides to send it to E instead. The next packet arrives at D and, this time, the line to C is free, so the packet is sent direct to C.
When the message has all arrived at C it has to be reassembled in the correct order.

http://www.teachict.com/technology_explained/packet_ switching/packet_switching.html

Before the message is sent, the network reserves a route from A to C. The message can then be sent directly from A to C and will not need to be reassembled when it gets there. Packet switching allows optimum use of the connections around the network because as many routes are in use at one time as possible, whereas circuit switching means that the whole message is kept together so it does not need to be reassembled at the destination.
B

A
D

User access to applications and data files


and through a username and password.
Typically, users are assigned rights, sometimes as individuals, but more usually as members of a group. These rights relate to access to directories and files.

A common connection point for devices in a network. Hubs are commonly used to connect segments of a LAN. When a packet arrives at one port, it is copied to the other ports so that all segments of the LAN can see all packets. A passive hub serves simply as a conduit for the data. It does not route the data packets A hub is not used in a WAN

A server that sits between a client application, such as a Web browser, and a real server. It intercepts all requests to the real server to see if it can fulfil the requests itself. If not, it forwards the request to the real server. The proxy server can be a component of a firewall and offer additional security.

A hardware device that links two LANs or segments of a LAN together. It usually only has two ports. It is not used in a WAN.