Network Hardware

The Physical Components of a Computer Network


Networking Hardware

There are many components involved in computer networking and to enumerate them all would make for a lengthy read. First, let's clarify the difference between a switch, a router and a hub. The basic difference is varying intelligence:


Figure 28: The Differences between Hubs, Switches and Routers

Hub Switch and Router

Figure 29: Hierarchy of Hubs, Switches and Routers

Now, to list a few more network hardware components: "Networking devices may include gateways, routers, network bridges, modems, wireless access points, networking cables, line drivers, switches, hubs, and repeaters; and may also include hybrid network devices such as multilayer switches, protocol converters, bridge routers, proxy servers, firewalls, network address translators, multiplexers, network interface controllers, wireless network interface controllers, ISDN terminal adapters and other related hardware." (Wikipedia)

The most basic piece of networking hardware is the ethernet adapter found at the back of most computers, old and new. These have ports facing outwards in order to be connected to other devices, and there are two kinds of cables utilised in order to do so: coaxial and twisted-pair. For more information on setting up a home network, visit this page.

© 2016-2020 Leo Coroneos
Certificate IV in Information Technology
South Regional TAFE, Albany WA Australia