To understand versatile communications and networking world that we see today, or for example – pass the C.C.N.A exam, you need to know how to configure and troubleshoot a network.
A network is simply a road for data to travel on. Instead of concrete to build the road, we need network equipment like routers and switches; these are the devices that are used to build the networks that we all use, including the Internet. The devices communicating on a network are end points like; computers and phones.
Figure 1: Typical network consisting of WAN, LAN and endpoints
For endpoints to communicate, they must be connected to a network. Devices like switches and wireless access points are used at the edge of a network to connect end point to a LAN.
Switches provide network ports that wired end point devices can use to connect to the network. Switches and access points have the ability to forward data with in a local LAN between end point devices but not to other LAN’s; this is where routers come into play.
Routers are used for routing end point traffic to other networks. The entire Internet network is actually made up of thousands of routers. Since, the Internet network is so large, it is considered to be a WAN. WAN’s are long distance networks that are used to interconnect LAN’s
So, now you’ve got to see some of the basic network devices that are used to build a network. Let’s use a Facebook post from a phone as an example of sending data on a network.
Once the endpoint makes a post in the Facebook application, data needs to be sent to the Facebook network to update their servers with your post for the rest of the world to see. So, as you can see without networks, it would not be possible for our end point devices to communicate.
We are starting series of new blog posts to guide you through all these concepts, and by the end of this series you will learn how to configure and deploy a network with devices just like we’ve seen here. But first, you need to learn the networking fundamentals to understand each networking layer.
In the post, we will learn about the structure of network data and how it is created and end point systems.