What is networking? Learn Networking Very Basic



Suppose that your friend invited you to play “Need For Speed” with him, so you brought your laptop and brought your LAN cable and connected it to his computer to play.At this point you created a network, a very simple network (maybe the simplest at all) which called PAN or “Personal Area Network”, which can be either wired (as in this example) or even wireless such as Bluetooth for example.



Now suppose you enjoyed the game and wanted to invite more friends to share you the game. In this case you will have to use a switch that will connect all the devices together. (If you don’t know the switch, it is a device with multiple Ethernet ports, used to connect multiple devices together).

At this point, you created another type of networks which is LAN or “Local Area Network”. LANs are usually small networks, such as those found in offices, or on the level of a building for example.



Now you are a professional in “Need For Speed” as you beat all your friends and you want more challenge, so you decided to play online with other people from other countries.At this point, you are in WAN or “Wide Area Network” as you use the internet for communication.



Another type of networks, which is not often referred, is MAN or “Metropolitan Area Network” which includes the communication on the level of the city, such as WiMAX communication.Of course this is not the full picture, but I think that this had clarified, even a little, the idea of the classification of networks.


Elements of the network:

When you hear the expression “network”, three terms should immediately come into your mind, which are:

  • · End devices
  • · Communication devices
  • · Communication media

1- End devices:

They are the devices using the network, such as PCs, laptops, cell phones and printers.

2- Communication devices:

They are devices used to connect end devices together, such as hubs, switch (as previously mentioned), routers and access points.

3- Communication media:

Which is media used by communication devices to connect end devices.
And communication media is either wired or wireless.

Now let’s dive more in LANs and how its formation is.

LAN Topologies:

Topologies are divided according to the cables connections configuration as follows:


clip_image0101- Bus topology

In this topology, all devices share the same connection media. According to this, only one device can use the
media to send and all other devices will receive the signal. Of course this is not a good recommended topology as it leads to a lot of collisions if two devices tried to send at the same time.


2- clip_image012Ring topology:

This is a special case of the bus topology where it can be considered as a bus topology but with closed terminals.



3- Star topology:

In star topology (which you already done when you invited your friends) there is a central device, which may be a hub or switch, used to connect all the devices together.

4- clip_image016Mesh topology:

In this topology devices are directly connected to each other, and it is divided into two types: full mesh and partial mesh.

In full mesh every single device is connected to all devices in the LAN, where in partial mesh not all the devices are connected together.



In this article we learned what is networking and showed the main types of networks (PANs, LANs, MANs and WANs)

We defined the main elements of any network which are end devices, communication devices and communication media.

Finally we defined the main configurations of a LAN; the bus, ring, star and mesh topologies.

In our next article we are going to talk about the main seven layers in networking, what are the packets and how is its formation and the main communication devices.

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