General Networking

Networking is a large subject to comprehend so it is best to break it down into a couple of areas. First, we are talking about data networking rather than phone type networking. VoIP(Voice over Internet Protocol) is considered data networking as well, but for this discussion lets just take two major types; LAN and WAN networking.

The LAN networking is easier for most people to comprehend right off the bat. Ethernet technologies are by far the most previlent type of LAN networking. There are some other types, but for a general understanding, it is best to just stick with this. Really, we are talking about the connectivity "stuff" that makes it work together. Specifically with Ethernet we are talking about switches. Switches have come down in price so much that we don't typically even acknowledge hubs anymore, but they "could" be a part of a network solution. Switches are inheirantly better for Ethernet networks than hubs.

There is a lot of "talking" on the wire than most people realize nowdays. "Managed" Ethernet switches give you more control over all this "talking" on the network. Talking between devices on a network, like a laptop to a server, is done with something called protocols. Protocols are like human language. If you and your friend both speak French, then you can communicate. If one person speaks French and the other person speaks English, then you can't communicate. The switch is like a room full of people speaking languages. A managed switch is like a room full of people speaking languages with a moderator controlling the conversations.


 

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