CIS*1000 Chapter Summaries – Chapter 7: Networking
1) What is a computer network?
• Two or more computers connected by software and
hardware that communicate with each other.
• Each device connected to a network is referred to as a
node. A node can take the form of:
o A computer
o A peripheral (such as a printer)
o A game console, etc.
2) What benefits are there to networking computers?
• Networks facilitate resource sharing, This means that
computers on the same network can often share:
o An internet connection
o Peripherals (like a shared home printer)
o Files (through public folders)
• Additionally, networks allow computers on the same
network running different operating systems (Windows vs.
OS X) to communicate.
3) What disadvantages are there to having computers networked?
• Cost (creating a network involves acquiring additional
• Network Administration - networks require maintenance
in the form of administration. Administration entails
o Installing new devices on the network
o Checking to make sure the network is running
o Updating software on the network
o Configuring network security
4) Network Architecture – how a network is designed. Can be
classified by a number of different characteristics:
• Through network administration:
o Networks can be administered locally or centrally:
Local administration means each node in a
network is taken care of separately.
• A peer-to-peer (P2P) network is a
good example of a locally administered
network. Each node on this type of
network communicates with any other
node on the network as an equal (or
Central administration (client/server
networks) – computers on a network are used
to perform certain tasks (these computers are the clients) and are managed centrally by
another computer called a server. Clients
communicate with the server to perform
network functions such as printing.
Client/server networks are better for managing
a large number of computers (like in a large
office), but P2P networks are more easily
configured and better for use at home.
• A home network server is used to
store and share media and back up files
on the network it is connected to. This
type of server can be installed on a P2P
network without changing the network’s
• Through distance:
o LAN or Local Area Network – all nodes on this type
of network are located within a small geographic
area. An example is a network in a school computer
A HAN is a LAN located in the home, or a
Home Area Network
o LANs can be connected over long distances to form a
WAN or Wide Area Network. This allows separate
LANs to communicate.
Wireless networks spanning large areas are
technically WANs, but are usually referred to as
a Metropolitan Area Network or MAN if
they are serving a city in particular.
5) Network Components
• All networks require:
o 1) A means of connecting nodes on the network
All network nodes are connected to each other
and the network through transmission media
– these establish communications between
nodes and can be wireless or wired
• Wireless networks utilize radio waves to
• Wired networks utilize cables or wires to
communicate. These include twisted-
pair cables (similar to those found in
normal telephone cables), coaxial
cables (found in cable TV connections)
and fiber-optic cables (made of plastic
or glass, transmit data very quickly; not
often seen within a home) o Wired vs. wireless: the type of
transmission media chosen is
dependent on user requirements.
Different types transmit data at
Data transfer rate
(bandwidth): the maximum
speed data can be
transmitted from one node to
Throughput: the actual
speed of data transmission,
always less than or equal to
data transfer rate.
o 2) Devices that allow for communication and data
Network adapters – devices within or
connected to network nodes that allow these
nodes to connect with each other and
communicate over a network.
• All computers sold today (and many
peripherals) contain a type of network
adapter referred to as a network
interface card (NIC). Many NICs are
configured to work wirelessly but many
can use wired media as well.
o Wireless vs. wired connections:
Wired connections sometimes