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Networking hardware, also known as network equipment or computer networking devices, are electronic devices which are required for communication and interaction between devices on a computer network. Specifically, they mediate data transmission in a computer network.Units which are the last receiver or generate data are called hosts or data terminal equipment.
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.
The most common kind of networking hardware today is a copper-based Ethernet adapter which is a standard inclusion on most modern computer systems. Wireless networking has become increasingly popular, especially for portable and handheld devices.
Other networking hardware used in computers includes data center equipment (such as file servers, database servers and storage areas), network services (such as DNS, DHCP, email, etc.) as well as devices which assure content delivery.
Taking a wider view, mobile phones, tablet computers and devices associated with the internet of things may also be considered networking hardware. As technology advances and IP-based networks are integrated into building infrastructure and household utilities, network hardware will become an ambiguous term owing to the vastly increasing number of network capable endpoints.
Network hardware can be classified by its location and role in the network.
Core network components interconnect other network components.
Hybrid components can be found in the core or border of a network.
Hardware or software components which typically sit on the connection point of different networks (for example, between an internal network and an external network) include:
Other hardware devices used for establishing networks or dial-up connections include:
Ethernet is a family of computer networking technologies commonly used in local area networks (LAN), metropolitan area networks (MAN) and wide area networks (WAN). It was commercially introduced in 1980 and first standardized in 1983 as IEEE 802.3. Ethernet has since retained a good deal of backward compatibility and has been refined to support higher bit rates, a greater number of nodes, and longer link distances. Over time, Ethernet has largely replaced competing wired LAN technologies such as Token Ring, FDDI and ARCNET.
Internetworking is "the concept of interconnecting different types of networks" such that any pair of connected hosts in the networks can exchange packets.
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a set of communication standards for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network services over the traditional circuits of the public switched telephone network. It was first defined Prior to ISDN, the telephone system was viewed as a way to transport voice, with some special services available for data. The key feature of ISDN is that it integrates speech and data on the same lines, adding features that were not available in the classic telephone system. The ISDN standards define several kinds of access interfaces, such as Basic Rate Interface (BRI), Primary Rate Interface (PRI), Narrowband ISDN (N-ISDN), and Broadband ISDN (B-ISDN).
The protocol stack or network stack is an implementation of a computer networking protocol suite or protocol family. Some of these terms are used interchangeably but strictly speaking, the suite is the definition of the communication protocols, and the stack is the software implementation of them.
A network switch is networking hardware that connects devices on a computer network by using packet switching to receive and forward data to the destination device.
Network topology is the arrangement of the elements of a communication network. Network topology can be used to define or describe the arrangement of various types of telecommunication networks, including command and control radio networks, industrial fieldbusses and computer networks.
X.25 is an ITU-T standard protocol suite for packet-switched wide area network (WAN) communication. An X.25 WAN consists of packet-switching exchange (PSE) nodes as the networking hardware, and leased lines, plain old telephone service connections, or ISDN connections as physical links.
In the seven-layer OSI model of computer networking, the physical layer or layer 1 is the first and lowest layer. This layer may be implemented by a PHY chip.
The data link layer, or layer 2, is the second layer of the seven-layer OSI model of computer networking. This layer is the protocol layer that transfers data between adjacent network nodes in a wide area network (WAN) or between nodes on the same local area network (LAN) segment. The data link layer provides the functional and procedural means to transfer data between network entities and might provide the means to detect and possibly correct errors that may occur in the physical layer.
In IEEE 802 LAN/MAN standards, the medium access control sublayer is the layer that controls the hardware responsible for interaction with the wired, optical or wireless transmission medium. The MAC sublayer and the logical link control (LLC) sublayer together make up the data link layer. Within the data link layer, the LLC provides flow control and multiplexing for the logical link, while the MAC provides flow control and multiplexing for the transmission medium.
A multilayer switch (MLS) is a computer networking device that switches on OSI layer 2 like an ordinary network switch and provides extra functions on higher OSI layers.
AX.25 is a data link layer protocol originally derived from layer 2 of the X.25 protocol suite and designed for use by amateur radio operators. It is used extensively on amateur packet radio networks.
In computer networking, promiscuous mode is a mode for a wired network interface controller (NIC) or wireless network interface controller (WNIC) that causes the controller to pass all traffic it receives to the central processing unit (CPU) rather than passing only the frames that the controller is specifically programmed to receive. This mode is normally used for packet sniffing that takes place on a router or on a computer connected to a wired network or one being part of a wireless LAN. Interfaces are placed into promiscuous mode by software bridges often used with hardware virtualization.
The Telecommunications Management Network is a protocol model defined by ITU-T for managing open systems in a communications network. It is part of the ITU-T Recommendation series M.3000 and is based on the OSI management specifications in ITU-T Recommendation series X.700.
A gateway is a piece of networking hardware used in telecommunications for telecommunications networks that allows data to flow from one discrete network to another. Gateways are distinct from routers or switches in that they communicate using more than one protocol to connect a bunch of networks and can operate at any of the seven layers of the open systems interconnection model (OSI).
An Ethernet hub, active hub, network hub, repeater hub, multiport repeater, or simply hub is a network hardware device for connecting multiple Ethernet devices together and making them act as a single network segment. It has multiple input/output (I/O) ports, in which a signal introduced at the input of any port appears at the output of every port except the original incoming. A hub works at the physical layer of the OSI model. A repeater hub also participates in collision detection, forwarding a jam signal to all ports if it detects a collision. In addition to standard 8P8C ("RJ45") ports, some hubs may also come with a BNC or an Attachment Unit Interface (AUI) connector to allow connection to legacy 10BASE2 or 10BASE5 network segments.
A network bridge is a computer networking device that creates a single aggregate network from multiple communication networks or network segments. This function is called network bridging. Bridging is distinct from routing. Routing allows multiple networks to communicate independently and yet remain separate, whereas bridging connects two separate networks as if they were a single network. In the OSI model, bridging is performed in the data link layer. If one or more segments of the bridged network are wireless, the device is known as a wireless bridge.
A computer network is a digital telecommunications network for sharing resources between nodes, which are computing devices that use a common telecommunications technology. Data transmission between nodes is supported over data links consisting of physical cable media, such as twisted pair or fiber-optic cables, or by wireless methods, such as Wi-Fi, microwave transmission, or free-space optical communication.
Inter-network processors are special-purpose processors which aid in the interconnection of telecommunications networks. Most commonly used inter-network processors are switches, bridges, hubs, routers and gateways.
SoftEther VPN is free open-source, cross-platform, multi-protocol VPN client and VPN server software, developed as part of Daiyuu Nobori's master's thesis research at the University of Tsukuba. VPN protocols such as SSL VPN, L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN, and Microsoft Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol are provided in a single VPN server. It was released using the GPLv2 license on January 4, 2014. The license was switched to Apache License 2.0 on January 21, 2019.
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