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Understanding Networking Components and Devices for the Network+ Exam

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This chapter covers the various networking devices used in modern networks with an eye toward passing the Network+ Exam. Sample questions with detailed answers are included to help you practice.
This chapter is from the book

Objectives

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

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

  • Hubs

  • Switches

  • Bridges

  • Routers

  • Gateways

  • CSU/DSU

  • Network interface cards (NICs)

  • ISDN adapters

  • Wireless access points (WAPs)

  • Modems

  • Transceivers (media converters)

  • Firewalls

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

2.1 Identify a MAC (Media Access Control) address and its parts.

  • MAC addresses are the means by which systems communicate at a base level. As a network administrator, you 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
  • Modems
    • Modem Connection Speeds
  • Network Interface Cards (NICs)
    • Types of Network Interfaces
    • Installing Network Cards
  • ISDN Terminal Adapters
  • Wireless Access Point (WAP)
  • Transceivers
  • Firewalls
    • Network Devices Summary
  • Identifying MAC Addresses
  • Chapter Summary
    • Key Terms
  • Apply Your Knowledge
    • Exercises
    • Exam Questions
    • Answers to Exam Questions
    • Suggested Readings and Resources

Study Strategies

  • Review the purpose, function, and key characteristics of the various networking components.

  • Review the component summary provided in Table 3.3.

  • Review the types of routing protocols, link state and distance vector.

  • Distinguish between RIP and OSPF as routing protocols.

  • Identify the protocols used within TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, and AppleTalk that provide routing functionality.

  • Practice identifying the MAC address of a network card using the appropriate utility.

  • Remember to review the Notes, Tips, Tables, and Exam Alerts in this chapter. Make sure that you understand the information in the Exam Alerts. If you don't understand the topic referenced in an Exam Alert, refer to the information in the chapter text and then read the Exam Alert 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 used to create networks.

Objective:

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

  • Hubs

  • Switches

  • Bridges

  • Routers

  • Gateways

  • CSU/DSU

  • Wireless access points (WAPs)

  • Modems

  • Network interface cards (NICs)

  • ISDN adapters

  • Transceivers

  • Firewalls

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.

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