What is a Network?<br />When two or more computers are connected so that they are able to communicate and share resources with each other, it is called a network. <br />These resources might even include printers and software applications.<br />
LANs vs. WANs<br />Local Area Network<br />A local area network (LAN) only spans a small distance with not many computers connecting to the network. A good example of a LAN is your wireless network at home or Robinson I.S.D.s district network.<br />Wide Area Network<br />A wide area network (WAN) spans a much greater distance. We could be talking across a city, state or even the world. The Internet is the world’s largest WAN.<br />
Networking Components<br />Includes all computers, peripheral devices, and other equipment needed to communicate.<br />
File Servers and workstations are two key components of a network.<br />Picture compliments of Florida Center for Instructional Technology<br />http://fcit.usf.edu/network/chap3/chap3.htm<br />
Other networking components include:<br /><ul><li>Network Interface Cards
Repeaters</li></ul>This is a picture of a switch that is located in Mrs. Betke’s room at Robinson Jr. High, room #13.<br />
All networks have to be connected. Here are the types of cables used in networking.<br />Coaxial Cable<br />Unshielded Twisted Pair <br />(most popular)<br />More<br />
Fiber Optic Cable<br />Some networks are wireless meaning there are no cables connecting the computer network. These wireless networks use infrared light beams, high frequency radio signals, and even lasers to communicate between computers <br />
Wireless networks are easy to set up and relatively inexpensive.<br />When you have a wireless network you can access any computer, printer, or software application that is shared on the network.<br />Why go Wireless?<br />
Mobility – There are WiFi hotspots everywhere these days. That means you can surf the net while on the go at a moments notice on your laptop or on your phone.<br />Quick Access – Most computers are equipped with wireless adapters meaning that you are just a click away from being connect to a wireless network.<br />Wireless: Advantages<br />
Security – If you do not secure your wireless network with a password, you may have people piggy<br />Interference – Too many people trying to access your wireless network at once could cause you to lose your connection. Interference can also be caused by something blocking the path of the wireless transmission.<br />Wireless: Disadvantages<br />
Internet vs. Intranet<br />Internet<br />The Internet is an incredibly large network of computers giving you access to millions of computers worldwide.<br />Intranet<br />“Intra-” is a Latin word for “within”. An intranet is a type of network that is confined within a business or an organization. Robinson I.S.D. has their own little intranet. <br />
Glossary<br />Coaxial Cable - Cable consisting of a single copper conductor in the center surrounded by a plastic layer for insulation and a braided metal outer shield.<br />Fiber Optic Cable - A cable, consisting of a center glass core surrounded by layers of plastic, that transmits data using light rather than electricity. It has the ability to carry more information over much longer distances. <br />File Server - A computer connected to the network that contains primary files/applications and shares them as requested with the other computers on the network.<br />Intranet - Network internal to an organization that uses Internet protocols.<br />Internet - A global network of networks used to exchange information using the TCP/IP protocol. It allows for electronic mail and the accessing ad retrieval of information from remote sources. <br />Network Interface Card (NIC) - A board that provides network communication capabilities to and from a computer.<br />
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