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What are basic hardware components of networks? – Part 2

The quality, speed, efficiency etc. of a network all depend to a large extent on its basic hardware components. The hardware components used in networking are called networking equipment or networking hardware.

About Multi-layer Switch
– Now-a-days switches in addition to operating on OSI layer 2 can work up on other higher protocol layers.
– Such switches are called the multilayer switch.

About Protocol Converter
– In networking, a hardware device is required that can convert between two types of transmissions (for example, one may be synchronous and other might be asynchronous transmission).
– This purpose is served by a device called the protocol converter.

About Brouter
– A bridge and router when combined together form a device called Brouter (short for bridge router).
– This device possesses combined functionality of the bridge and the router.
– This is why this device is able to work on OSI layers 2 and 3.

Now we shall discuss about some components that are deployed on the point where different networks connect, that is to say between an external network and an internal network.
– Proxy server: This a a computer network service using which clients can connect indirectly to other network services.
– Firewall: This can be either software or a hardware that can be put on a network for preventing the connections that are not permitted by the network policy. It is known to provide both external and internal protection to one’s information.
– NAT or network address translator: This is a network service that may be software or hardware for the conversion of the external addresses to internal addresses and vice version.

There are some hardware components that play an important role in establishing dial – up connections such as network interface controller, multiplexer, liner driver and so on.

– Multiplexer is a device for combining various electrical signals in to one signal.
– Network Interface Controller : For a computer system to communicate to the network, an interface is required. This interface is provided by a piece of hardware called the network interface controller.
– Wireless Network interface controller: A computer system can communicate through LAN via a piece of hardware termed as wireless network interface controller.

About Modem
– The purpose of this device is to modulate the carrier signals which by nature are analog.
– The digital information is then encoded.
– Further, it also demodulates the carrier signals for decoding the information to be transmitted over the telephone network.

About ISDN terminal adapter and Line Driver
– ISDN has its own specialized gateway called TA or ISDN terminal adapter.
– During transmission, sometimes it is required to increase the distance of transmission.
– This can only be done by amplifying the signal.
– This is achieved through a device called the line driver.
– But it works only for the base – band networks.

More on Switches

Data packets are forwarded by the switch to destination with the help of a unique hardware address called the MAC address. Switch provides a point where you plug in storage arrays, cameras and so on. Switch will connect all of this and enable you to communicate. Switches are of various types as mentioned below:

– POE (power over Ethernet) switch: This kind of switch has got a built – in DC supply through which it obtains the standard power of 48v. This power is supplied through an RJ45 port. This also allows a POE to power up even if it is connected at a distance of 280’ on a CAT5 cable.

– Layer 3 switch: This is a type of converged network devices. Along with the abilities of a switch it combines the abilities of a router. This allows the switch to forward packets based up on both logical addresses and MAC addresses.

– Gigabit switch: This switch provides speed of 1000 mbps i.e., 1 gpbs.

– 10 gigabit switch: It uses the same concept of the single gigabit switch but provides much greater speed, up to 10,000 Mbps i.e., 10 Gbps.

Switches are better than hubs since they are more manageable, efficient and offer greater speed.

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