Most business networks today use switches to connect computers, printers and servers within a building or campus. A switch serves as a controller, enabling networked devices to talk to each other efficiently. Through information sharing and resource allocation, switches save businesses money and increase employee productivity. A network switch is a small hardware device that joins multiple computers together within one local area network (LAN). Technically, network switches operate at layer two (Data Link Layer) of the OSI model.
HUB is a common connection point for devices in a network. Hubs are commonly used to connect segments of a LAN. A hub contains multiple ports. When a packet arrives at one port, it is copied to the other ports so that all segments of the LAN can see all packets. A passive hub serves simply as a conduit for the data, enabling it to go from one device (or segment) to another. So-called intelligent hubs include additional features that enable an administrator to monitor the traffic passing through the hub and to configure each port in the hub. Intelligent hubs are also called manageable hubs.
IP (Internet Protocol)
IP (Internet Protocol) is the primary network protocol used on the Internet, developed in the 1970s. On the Internet and many other networks, IP is often used together with the Transport Control Protocol (TCP) and referred to interchangeably as TCP/IP. IP supports unique addressing for computers on a network. Most networks use the Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) standards that features IP addresses four bytes (32 bits) in length. The newer Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) standard features addresses 16 bytes (128 bits) in length.
A router is a device that forwards data packets between telecommunications networks, creating an overlay internetwork. A router is connected to two or more data lines from different networks. When data comes in on one of the lines, the router reads the address information in the packet to determine its ultimate destination.
Media Access Control address (MAC address)
A media access control address is a unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications on the physical network segment. MAC addresses are used for numerous network technologies and most IEEE 802 network technologies including Ethernet. Logically, MAC addresses are used in the Media Access Control protocol sub-layer of the OSI reference model.
Ethernet is a family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LAN). It defines a number of wiring and signaling standards for the Physical Layer of the standard networking model as well as a common addressing format and a variety of Media Access Control procedures at the lower part of the Data Link Layer.
RJ45 is a registered jack, which specifies the physical male and female connectors as well as the pin assignments of the wires in a telephone cable. The "RJ45" physical connector is standardized as the IEC 60603-7 8P8C modular connector with different "categories" of performance, with all eight conductors present but 8P8C is commonly known as RJ45.
UTP Cable, or Unshielded Twisted Pair, is a type of cable used in telecommunications and computer networks. It consists of different numbers of copper wire that have been twisted into matching pair. It differs from screened and shielded twisted pair, in that the individual pair is not protected with additional protection from interference. Each copper wire is insulated, and the groups of twisted pair have a sheathing holding them together, but no additional insulation is provided. UTP comes in many different types and sizes, and is primarily used as node cabling, meaning it runs from a backbone unit to the individual components on the network.
Category 5 cable (Cat 5)
Category 5 cable (Cat 5) is a twisted pair cable for carrying signals. This type of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet. It is also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video. The cable is commonly connected using punch down blocks and modular connectors. Most Category 5 cables are unshielded, relying on the twisted pair design and differential signaling for noise rejection. Category 5 has been superseded by the category 5e specification.
Category 6 cable
Category 6 cable, commonly referred to as Cat 6, is a cable standard for Gigabit Ethernet and other network physical layers that is backward compatible with the Category 5/5e and Category 3 cable standards. Compared with Cat 5 and Cat 5e, Cat 6 features more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise. The cable standard provides performance of up to 250 MHz and is suitable for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), 1000BASE-T/1000BASE-TX (Gigabit Ethernet) and 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet). Whereas Category 6 cable has a reduced maximum length when used for 10GBASE-T; Category 6a cable, or Augmented Category 6, is characterized to 500 MHz and has improved alien crosstalk characteristics, allowing 10GBASE-T to be run for the same distance as previous protocols.
The Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is a network protocol that ensures a loop-free topology for any bridged Ethernet local area network. The basic function of STP is to prevent bridge loops and ensuing broadcast radiation. Spanning tree also allows a network design to include spare (redundant) links to provide automatic backup paths if an active link fails, without the danger of bridge loops, or the need for manual enabling/disabling of these backup links.
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space. Information is carried by systematically changing (modulating) some property of the radiated waves, such as amplitude, frequency, phase, or pulse width. When radio waves pass an electrical conductor, the oscillating fields induce an alternating current in the conductor. This can be detected and transformed into sound or other signals that carry information.
Radio spectrum refers to the part of the electromagnetic spectrum corresponding to radio frequencies – that is, frequencies lower than around 300 GHz (or, equivalently, wavelengths longer than about 1 mm).Different parts of the radio spectrum are used for different radio transmission technologies and applications. Radio spectrum is typically government regulated in developed countries, and in some cases is sold or licensed to operators of private radio transmission systems (for example, cellular telephone operators or broadcast television stations). Ranges of allocated frequencies are often referred to by their provisioned use (for example, cellular spectrum or television spectrum)
Radio frequency (RF)
Radio frequency (RF) is a rate of oscillation in the range of about 3 KHz to 300 GHz, which corresponds to the frequency of radio waves, and the alternating currents which carry radio signals. RF usually refers to electrical rather than mechanical oscillations, although mechanical RF systems do exist (see mechanical filter and RF MEMS).