4 Common Network Hardware

Common Network HardwareA computer network is basically connecting different computers/devices with each other. There are a lot of benefits to having a home or office computer network, mainly, allowing different computers to communicate with each other and being able to transfer files from one device to another without needing flash drives or other external storage devices.

Whether it is a home or office network, most people can’t deny that having a computer network is just so much more efficient and convenient. With a continuous advancement in technology, one or two of the parts listed below (or some that are not listed, such as routers, and gateways, which basically work the same, and optical transceivers like the SFP-10G-SR which comes with multimode) may become obsolete in the near future.

Who knows? We may even see a true wireless network soon. But for the moment, OptDex notes, these parts make up the backbone of a computer network:

#1: Cables

Yes, cables. As basic as they may be, no computer network right now is completely wireless, even more so at home or office levels. Cables are the main pathways and main lines of communication between devices in a network.

#2: Network interface cards

Network interface cards or NICs  allow a computer to connect to a network and also allows it to be individually identified within said network.  While most modern motherboards have NICs built in, you can always purchase a dedicated card (usually connected to the motherboard via the PCI or PCIe slots) with the main difference would be a boost in speed and other features when using a dedicated card.

#3: Hubs and switches

A hub acts as a collection point and collects various computers or devices through a wired connection and groups them together therefore creating a LAN. Switches work the same way, the key difference being that if a hub receives a message or data, it will send it to all connected devices while switches checks which computer/device the message is addressed to and sends it to that computer.

#4: Modems

During the 90s and before the rise of broadband Internet, most computers connected to the web using a dial-up connection. For those who remember the oh so nostalgic sound of your computer “dialing” a line and producing a number of “screeches”, the computer used telephone lines to connect to the Internet itself. The main problem with this is that telephone lines are designed to carry analog signals but a computer produces digital signals. Enter the modem which converts the computer’s digital signals to analog and sends it forth, establishing a connection.

While scientists and engineers are hard at work making a truly wireless connection, these are the workhorses of the Internet age, without which there will be no emails, no Facebook, and most probably, no sedentary lifestyles.