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What Makes Up a Computer Network?

Posted on February 19, 2020 Sara Lewis What Makes Up a Computer Network?
A computer network is a good example of something being greater than the sum of its parts. The combination of servers, workstations, network interface cards, active & passive hubs, routers, bridges, and much more create a network of operating parts that put the world at a user’s fingertips. Each of these parts has an important task in the function of the computer network. This blog will explain what a computer networking system is and many of the smaller parts it consists of.
Servers and clients are the two components making an exchange within the network. A server, the most powerful component of a network, is a computer that holds shared files, programs, and the network operating system. Servers provide access to resources to any user of a given network. Servers come in varying types and configurations, and a single server can provide multiple services. Servers are sometimes referred to as host computers. A client in this case is a computer that accesses the server, network, and shared network resources. Client computers are essentially the user of the network. For example, if you are playing an online video game, your gaming console is the client of the game’s network. Clients are also sometimes referred to as workstations. To function, a client must be equipped with the hardware and software necessary to connect to a LAN (local area network) whether it be wireless internet or a wired connection.
The servers, clients, and network as a whole are controlled by the network operating systems (NOS). The NOS is the component that controls communications and shared resources on the network, as well as provides distributing processing ability. Current NOSs provide the basis for client/server applications, integration of all types of computers, and connection of workgroups. The operating system works in tandem with the computer’s operating system. Each client needs an additional card known as a network interface card (NIC). The NIC’s job is to move signals from from the network to the data stream inside the PC via network cables. It can also format data and control the flow of data from the client to the network and vice versa.
The heart of any network is called the hub. The hub is a centralized distribution point for all data transmission in a network. The hub receives transmissions and rebroadcasts them to the other clients connected to the network. In most cases, the hub is a passive device, meaning it does not know the destination of the data it receives and instead sends copies to all connections. Similar to the hub, the switch is a telecommunication device like a hub but with more advanced features. Switches use physical device addresses in incoming messages to identify the right destination or port to which the message must be delivered.
The router is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks. Routers direct information sent through the internet, such as a web page or email, from one router to another until the data reaches its destination. They are connected to two or more data lines sourced from IP networks. When data comes in, the router reads the network address to determine the final destination before directing the data to the next network.
Each of these parts plays an important role in the function of a computer network and communication system. At ASAP IT Technology, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the network hardware parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-714-705-4780.

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