7.1 Networks | Networks and internet technologies

CHAPTER OVERVIEW


image By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Describe local area networks (LANs)
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of LANs
  • Describe wireless local area networks (WLANs)
  • Describe the basic components of a network
  • Explain various types of connections
  • Discuss the basic components of a network, including workstations, servers and network devices
  • Describe how network connection speed is measured on wired and wireless networks
  • Explain how wired and wireless network communication works
  • Discuss the differences between the internet and an intranet
  • Define passwords in terms of basic network security
  • Discuss what usernames are
  • Describe what access rights are in terms of networks on web services
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various forms of online communication

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Something to know

In 1973, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the United States began researching the techniques and technologies needed to develop communication protocols that would allow computers in the same network to communicate with each other across multiple linked networks. This was called the “Internetting” project and it resulted in what we know as the internet today. This was also the first functioning example of LANs communicating with each other. Before this, computers could only communicate with each other if they were connected in the same network.

INTRODUCTION

In Grade 10, you learned about home area networks (HANs) and personal area networks (PANs). HANs are very small networks that usually cover a single home. PANs, on the other hand, are much smaller and are usually designed to serve a single user.

In this section, you will learn about local area networks and wide area networks and how they are generally used.

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NETWORKS AND INTERNET TECHNOLOGIES


UNIT
 7.1   Networks

In this unit, you will be focusing on:

  • LANs and WLANs
  • Basic network components
  • Network software
  • Network connections
  • Network communication

TYPES OF NETWORKS

LOCAL AREA NETWORKS

A local area network (LAN) is a small network of computers covering a small area, such as an office building or school. A wireless local area network (WLAN) is the same as a LAN but it has the ability to connect wireless devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets to the LAN.

LANs may serve only one or two users (for example in a home) or they can serve hundreds of users (in an office building or on a school campus). No matter how many users LANs serve, they are all designed to share resources such as internet connections, printers or server connections. Most LANs use either wireless or wired connections or a combination of the two to connect devices. For example, desktop computers and laptops can be connected to the network with cables while the printer and mobile devices are connected using wireless connections.


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Figure 7.1: A LAN in which
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