Understanding the Components of Computer Network is important for the effective management and operation of any enterprise network. The components of computer network are hardware devices such as computers, printed circuit boards (PCBs), motherboards, USB and Ethernet cards. Other components of computer network are routers, switches, access servers, VoIP devices, virtual private LANs (VPLs), and more. The components of computer network are used together with software components such as Microsoft Windows, Cisco IOS, Linux, and FreeBSD. All these components work in tandem to deliver a unified network.
Components of computer network are usually divided into logical and physical components. The logical components refer to computers, other network devices, or network providers. Physical components include servers, routers, switches, storage areas, and more. Layers are applied in physical networking.
Layers are used to separate logical computers from each other and from components of network. For instance, in the case of a router, there is a layer on the network bus between the input and output devices. On the other hand, in the case of a hub, there is a layer above the input devices and below the output devices. Based on the design of a router or a hub, you can determine whether it is a client or a server. Clients are those computers that connect to a hub and servers are those that directly connect to routers or hubs. All other connections are called bridged mode.
The components of computer networks include servers. The term server can also be used to refer to workstations like desktop, laptop, printer units, fax machines, modems, and others. Workstations are the ones used to operate applications. There are two types of servers: dedicated and collocated. A server has one application whereas a workstation has many. A system administrator is in charge of maintaining the security of a network.
Components of computer networking hardware include routers, switch ports, internal modems, and hubs. They are connected via hubs and routers provide fast intra-site connections. On the other hand, internal modems and dedicated ports are the hardware components of computer networking that are soldered into a specific manufacturer’s chips.
One of the components of computer network hardware that is vital is the PC bus. It provides a common port for all the peripheral components of computer networking. The PC bus is found in all desktop computers and laptops. It connects multiple computers through a USB or parallel port and transfers the data from one computer to another.
The PC bus can be powered by a PCI (PCIe) or an AGP (AGP). It can also be powered by a ribbon cable or by a star port. The latter is found on most motherboards while the former is present on most switches and hubs. The speed of transfer is determined by the bus speed of a computer. It can connect many machines at the same time and so it is used as a central switch or hub. A hub can connect multiple computers through a USB or parallel port while a switch connects only one at a time.
Components of computer networking hardware include firewalls and anti-virus programs. They prevent unauthorized access and maintain the security of networks. Many campus area networks now also use intrusion detection systems for tracking hackers. These systems help administrators determine which computers have been compromised and can be closed down immediately.
Networks often have backup servers that are connected to PCs and then to routers, to storage servers and so forth. These servers hold all the computers that are part of the network resources. Backup servers are connected through cables. This saves energy since no wires are involved. In case of a disaster, these backup servers help recover data and computers quickly.
Components of computer network hardware include PCs, laptops, router, access servers, storage area networks, storage controllers and so on. A computer can be divided into components depending on the function it performs. A laptop is a mini-computer that can only perform its basic functions. On the other hand, a router is a device that allows computers within a local area network to connect to one another. LANs, as these LANs are known, are complex networks that use internal switches and thus require more sophisticated hardware and software components.
The components of computer hardware can be categorized further. Interprocessors include microprocessors like the ones in Sun Microsystems’ Sun Multicore CPU and Motorola’s Turbo chipset. Integrated logic devices include digital electronic circuit (DIC) devices like the ones manufactured by chipmakers like Intel. Computer peripherals like disk drives, printers, modems and scanners are also part of the network. A computer network comprises all the components of a computer that are connected together. All the devices must be connected to a router or a central server for the system to operate.