Network Fundamentals Introduction#

At the most basic level, a “network” is defined as a group of systems interconnected to share resources. You can find examples of such systems and resources in a social network to share work experience or personal events or a computer network to share file storage, printer access, or internet connectivity.

A network connects computers, mobile phones, peripherals, and even IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Switches, routers, and wireless access points (APs) are the essential networking basics. Through them, devices connected to your network can communicate with one another and with other networks, such as the internet, which is a global system of interconnected computer networks.

A network of computers and other components that are located relatively close together in a limited area is often referred to as a LAN. Every LAN has specific components, including hardware, interconnections, and software. WAN communication occurs between geographically separated areas. It is typically provided by different telecommunication providers using various technologies using different media such as fiber, copper, cable, Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), or wireless links. In enterprise internetworks, WANs connect the main office, branches, Small Office Home Office (SOHO), and mobile users.

Here are a few skills that will be covered in the networking fundamental section:

  • Explain the functions, characteristics, and common components of a network.

  • Read a network diagram, including comparing and contrasting the logical and physical topologies.

  • Describe the impact of user applications on the network.