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ICND1 break down -- What is A Network

How internet works
How TCP/IP works

The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) designed "Advanced Research Projects Agency Network" (ARPANET) for the United States Department of Defense. It was the first computer network in the world in late 1960s and early 1970s.

By definition, a computer network is a connected collection of devices and end systems, such as computers and servers, that can communicate with each other. A computer network have four major categories of interconnected hardware devices.

  • Personal Computers (PCS) : The PCs include devices act as endpoints devices in the network, such as laptop, desktop, file servers, mobile phones.

  • Interconnections: The interconnections consist of components that provide a means for data to travel from one point to another point in the network, such as Network interface cards (NICs), Network media (cables or wireless media) and connectors.

  • Switches: Switches are devices that provide network attachment to the end systems and intelligent switching of the data within the local network.

  • Routers: Routers interconnect networks and choose the best paths between networks.

The main functions of computer networks is to enable end users to share both information and hardware resources. The major resources that are shared in a computer network include data and applications, physical resources, network storage and backup devices.

There are many applications that are aware of network communication mechanisms, the most common network applications are:

  • Email: Examples include Microsoft Outlook and Eudora by Qualcomm.

  • Web browser: Examples include Microsoft Internet Explore, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla, and Firefox.

  • Instant messaging: Examples include AOL and Yahoo!.

  • Collaboration: Collaboration allows individuals or groups on a network to work together on a project. Examples include Lotus Notes and wiki.

  • Database: Database enables users on a network to store information in central data servers so that others on the network can easily retrieve them. Examples include Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server.

Networks can be described and compared according to network performance and structure, as follows:

  • Speed: Speed is a measure of how fast data is transmitted over the network. People are often concerned about measuring the maximum data throughput rate or Bandwidth of a communications link or network access. A typical method of performing a measurement is to transfer a 'large' file and measure the time taken to do so. The throughput is then calculated by dividing the file size by the time. The throughput of communications links is measured in bits per second (bit/s or bps), kilobits per second (kbit/s or kbps), megabits per second (Mbit/s or mbps) and gigabits per second (Gbit/s or gbps). Here kilo, mega and giga are the standard S.I. prefixes indicating multiplication by 1,000 (kilo), 1,000,000 (mega), and 1,000,000,000 (giga). The throughput of a network is determined by factors such as network topology and number of users on the network.

  • Cost: The general cost of components, installation, and maintaenance of the network.

  • Security: Security indicates how secure the network is, including the data that is transmitted over the network.

  • Availability: A measure of the probability that the network will be available for use when required.

  • Scalability: Scalability is a measure of how well the network can accomodate more users and data transmission requirements.

  • Reliability: Reliability indicates how dependable the network components are.

  • Topology: Either physical topology, which is the arrangement of the cable, network devices and end systems, or the logical topology, which is the path that the data signals take through the physical topology.

Internet connectivity is a must in today's network. The most common methods to connect the small office to the Internet includes:

  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL): DSL use the existing telephone lines as the data signal carrying media.

  • Cable: Cable uses the cable television (CATV) as communication infrastructure.

  • Serial: Serial uses the classic digital local loops.

We will talk about these WAN connection types in detail in later lessons.

CCENT will test fundamentals of switches and routed internetworks. You must thoroughly understand the basic concepts of computer networks. Good luck for your CCENT and CCNA exam.

ICND1 and ICND2 break down


  1. Nice website, bookmarked for future reference.

  2. thanks, this is a very useful blog.