Networking Components


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Topology

A description of the physical construct or layout of a network.

Backbone

The primary connectivity mechanism of an Ethernet network. All systems that have connectivity on the backbone can have connectivity to each other.

Segment

A continous length of cable commonly joined with other segments.

Repeater

A device that amplifies and regenerates the data signal bit by bit in order to extend the distance of the transmission. A repeater read or interpret the data.

Bridge

A device that connects two or more network segments of the same physical media type. A bridge examines the hardware address fields of a network packet and the filters based on addresses from one network segment to another and vice versa.

Router

A device that has two or more network interfaces. It examines the software protocol (IP) address, selects an appropriate travel path ad forwards the packet accordingly between separate networks. Routers usually forward packets belonging to a single protocol family.

Gateway

A device that interconnects two or more communication networks based on different protocol suites. The gateway performes any necessary protocol conversion.

Switch

A multiport device which minimally functions as a bridge, and provides for the logical dynamic connection and disconnection between any two cable segments without operator intervention. The switch is a high-speed device because multiple data paths can be established and used simultaneously.

Concentrator

The central device through which all hosts in a twisted pair Ethernet installation are connected.

Hub

A central device through which various types of network packets can flow. The hub is often a multislotted device containing separate boards that can provide the functionality of a repeater, bridge, switch, router, gateway or concentrator. Therefor, the hub can provide multiple functions between cable segments and networks.