Computer and Wireless Networking Basics
- Wireless Local Area Networking
- Internet Service
- TCP/IP and Other Internet Protocols
- Network Routing, Switching and Bridging
Fundamental Computer Networks Concepts
In the world of computers, networking is the practice of linking two or more computing devices together for the purpose of sharing data. Networks are built with a combination of computer hardware and computer software. Some explanations of networking found in books and tutorials are highly technical, designed for students and professionals, while others are geared more to home and business uses of computer networks.
- What Is Computer Networking?
- What Is Wireless Networking?
- Computer and Network Operating Systems
- Introduction to Information Technology (IT)
- The OSI Model
- Network Protocols
- World Wide Web (WWW)
- Common Misconceptions About Computer Networks
- Free Computer Networking Books for Students
Types of Computer Networks
Networks can be categorized in several different ways. One method defines the type of a network according to the geographic area it spans. Alternatively, networks can also be classified based on topology or on the types of protocols they support.
- Introduction to Network Topologies
- Introduction to Home Networking
- Introduction to Computer Networks for Businesses
Types of Network Equipment
The building blocks of a home computer network include adapters, routers and/or access points. Wired (and hybrid wired/wireless) networking also involves cables of varying types. Finally, large-scale enterprise networks in particular often employ other advanced equipment for specialized communication purposes.
- What Is a Network Router?
- Wi-Fi Equipment Gallery
- How to Buy Home Computer Network Equipment
- Routers vs. Hubs vs. Switches
- Network Adapters
- Introduction to Network Cables
- Introduction to Wireless Network Antennas
- What Is a Computer Port?
- What Is a Lag Switch?
Ethernet is a physical and data link layer technology for local area networks. Homes, schools and offices around the world all commonly use Ethernet standard cables and adapters to network personal computers.
Wireless Local Area Networking
Wi-Fi is the most popular wireless communication protocol for local area networks. Private home and business networks, and public hotspots, use Wi-Fi to networks computers and other wireless devices to each other and the Internet. Bluetooth is another wireless protocol commonly used in cellular phones and computer peripherals for short range network communication.
- Useful Facts About How Wi-Fi Works
- 802.11 Standards for Wi-Fi Networking
- Introduction to Wireless Hotspots
- How Does Using Wi-Fi Affect Computer Battery Life?
- Wireless Networking and Your Health
- What Is Bluetooth?
- GHz (Gigahertz) and MHz (Megahertz)
- Introduction to 60 GHz Wireless Network Protocols
- Wireless Spread Spectrum Communication
- dB / dBm (decibel)
The technologies used to connect to the Internet are different than those used for connecting devices on local area network. DSL, cable modem and fiber provide fixed broadband Internet service, while WiMax and LTE additionally support mobile connectivity. In geographic areas where these high-speed options are unavailable, subscribers are forced to use older cellular services, satellite or even dial-up Internet instead.
- Internet Connection Alternatives for Home Networks
- DSL vs. Cable Modem Internet
- Types of DSL
- T1 and T3 Lines
- Fiber Optic Cable
TCP/IP and Other Internet Protocols
TCP/IP is the primary network protocol of the Internet. A related family of protocols built on top of TCP/IP allows Web browsers, email and many other applications to communicate across networks globally. Applications and computers using TCP/IP identify each other with assigned IP addresses.
- Internet Protocol Tutorial
- Who Invented TCP/IP and the Internet?
- Internet Domain Names and Extensions
- What Is a DNS Server?
- ICMP - Internet Control Message Protocol
- HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol
- NTP - Network Time Protocol
- What Is Packet Switching?
Network Routing, Switching and Bridging
Most computer networks direct messages from source to destination devices using any of three techniques called routing, switching and bridging. Routers use certain network address information contained inside messages to send them ahead to their destination (often via other routers). Switches use much of the same technology as routers but typically support local area networks only. Bridging allows messages to flow between two different types of physical networks.