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Networking Components and Devices

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This chapter is from the book

Master the CompTIA-specified objective for the "Media and Topologies" and "Protocols and Standards" sections of the Network+ certification exam: identify the purpose, features, and functions of a wide variety of network components.

Objectives

This chapter covers the following CompTIA-specified objectives for the "Media and Topologies" and "Protocols and Standards" sections of the Network+ exam:

Identify the purpose, features, and functions of the following network components:

  • Hubs

  • Switches

  • Bridges

  • Routers

  • Gateways

  • CSU/DSU

  • Network interface cards (NICs), ISDN adapters, and system area network cards

  • Wireless access points (WAPs)

  • Modems

A wide range of devices are used in modern networking. As a Network+ certified technician, you will need to have a good understanding of commonly used devices.

Given an example, identify a Media Access Control (MAC) address.

MAC addresses are the means by which systems communicate at a base level. As a network administrator, you will need to understand the purpose, function, and expression of MAC addresses.

Outline

  • Introduction
  • Hubs
  • Switches

    • Switching Methods

  • Working with Hubs and Switches

    • Hub and Switch Ports
    • Cables Connecting Hubs and Switches
    • Hub and Switch Indicator Lights
    • Rack Mount, Stackable, and Freestanding Devices
    • Managed Hubs and Switches

  • Bridges

    • Bridge Implementation Considerations
    • Types of Bridges

  • Routers

    • Routable Protocols and Routing Protocols
      • Routable Protocols
      • Routing Protocols
    • Dedicated Hardware Versus Server-Based Routers

  • Gateways
  • CSUs/DSUs
  • Wireless Access Point (WAPs)
  • Modems

    • Modem Connection Speeds

  • Network Cards (NICs)

    • Types of Network Interfaces
    • Installing Network Cards

  • ISDN Terminal Adapters
  • System Area Network Cards

    • Network Devices Summary

  • Identifying MAC Addresses
  • Chapter Summary
  • Apply Your Knowledge

Study Strategies

  • Read the objectives at the beginning of the chapter.

  • Study the information in this chapter, paying special attention to the tables, which summarize key information.

  • Review the objectives again.

  • Answer the exam questions at the end of the chapter and check your results.

  • Use the ExamGear test on the CD-ROM that accompanies this book to answer additional exam questions concerning this material.

  • Review the notes, tips, and exam tips in this chapter. Make sure you understand the information in the exam tips. If you don't understand the topic referenced in an exam tip, refer to the information in the chapter text and then read the exam tip again.

Introduction

So far this book has examined topologies, media access methods, networking standards, and cable types and connectors. To complete our examination of networking on a physical level, this chapter looks at the network devices that are used to create networks.

  • Identify the purpose, features, and functions of the following network components:

    • Hubs

    • Switches

    • Bridges

    • Routers

    • Gateways

    • CSU/DSU

    • Network interface cards (NICs), ISDN adapters, and system area network cards

    • Wireless access points (WAPs)

    • Modems

Each of these devices fulfills a specific role in a network; however, only the largest and most complex environments use all of them. We'll begin our discussion of networking devices with perhaps the most simple and common network device used today: the hub.

Repeaters

Traditionally, any discussion of networking components would include repeaters, but today repeaters are a little outdated. Repeaters were once used to increase the usable length of the cable, and they were most commonly associated with co-axial network configurations. Because coaxial networks have now fallen out of favor, and because the functionality of repeaters has been built in to other devices, such as hubs and switches, repeaters are rarely used. For this reason, CompTIA has elected to leave them out of the required knowledge for the Network+ exam.

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