Network infrastructures contain a large amount of personal, commercial, military and government information.
Therefore networking security has become more important to personal computer users, organizations and the military than ever before.
As some people put it “Know Thy System”, this is a key to network security; after all how can you secure something if you don’t know or understand how it works and the ins and outs of it.
So it is very important that you know your network very well, and the different types of networks that exist today, so that you can understand the types of challenges issues and risks that each one contains.
Historically networks have been referred to as some kind of area network in the networking industry.
Their scope or scale is one characteristic that networking designers and engineers use to categorize the different parts of computer network design.
The emergence of security technologies
Personal computer users, organizations and the military have become interested in knowing the different types of networking systems that exist today, due to the fact that they would like to feel more secure about their personal and vital information that sits on their computers.
The advancements of the Internet has not made it any easy for individuals either, networking security is a major reason why there is an emergence of security technologies.
Many security threats occur due to the way the Internet is structured; however, when the architecture of a network is completely changed, this can reduce the possible attacks that can be sent across the network, by hackers who have nothing better to do, but to mess with your computer and steal all kinds of personal data.
Why do people love to spend time doing evil is beyond my understanding and the scope of this article, but I know one thing is for sure, they will all pay the ultimate price, and I know that their evil plans won’t take them very far in life.
Different types of network
We don’t have to be to concern about these people though, because we are understanding network systems and the different types of network systems that exist today, also we are knowing and understanding the different attack methods that exist today.
This knowledge and understanding is vital because it allows us to create the proper security software that will destroy any attack that comes from any one in the world.
An Intranet, which is a network based on TCP/IP protocols or an Internet that belongs to an organization, usually a corporation, accessible only by the organization’s members, employees, or others with authorization; are being used extensively by many businesses to remain connected to the Internet and yet secured from possible threats.
Firewalls and encryption mechanisms are also being utilized by many organizations and corporation to protect themselves from possible threats.
New network technology and the advent of the Internet is connecting the world; worldwide a large amount of personal, commercial, government and military information is on network infrastructures, and security is now one of the most important parts of a network system.
Due to the fact that intellectual property can be easily acquired through the Internet, people are putting a great deal of work to secure their networking systems and infrastructures.
However, all of this security can’t be possible if network administration, designers and engineers don’t understand the different types of networks that exist in today’s world.
Networks have different types that are distinguished based on their sizes, in terms of a number of machines connected to the network, their reach and their speed when it comes to data transmission over the network.
Different software and hardware help establish computer networking systems, without these technologies computer networking systems wouldn’t be able to be established.
Different hardware structures such as Ethernet, optical fiber or merely using wirelesses connections can help you establish your network systems.
The Ethernet network technology
The most common and widely use technology is the Ethernet network technology, which helps establish the network system of any group of computers.
By physically connecting the individual computer units to each other through wiring, you can form the network system using the Ethernet technology, which various types of devices use.
Such devices that use the Ethernet network technology are switches, bridges, routers and hubs for the most part.
Twisted pair wire, coaxial cables and fiber optics, are mostly employed to start an Ethernet networking system.
When it comes to wirelesses networking system, a physically welding or wiring techniques is not involved as the wirelesses technology is base on the radio and infrared signals technology.
There are many wireless communications available, they can be established through communication satellites, terrestrial microwaves, cellular systems, Bluetooth or wireless LAN.
Wirelesses network systems are easier to use than an Ethernet network system and the recent developments have made the wirelesses networking systems more sophisticated.
However, Ethernet network systems are still the most economical, and reliable system that exists today in the industry.
Depending on the need of the network, a network administrator can establish a network using many network topologies, which are types of physical interconnections; there are many different types of network topologies, and we are going to learn about them right here at Hernando Cadet Technology.
Types of Network Topologies
The way network topologies are organized is how the flows of information is across done across the network system.
The idea of topology is at the core of Network concepts because the way that data is exchanged on a network system is very important.
Network topology really refers to the manners in which data is being passed from one end-to-end of the networking systems, the physical set up is not so importantly discussed here when we speak of network topologies; although the physical aspect of your network is also defined within the network topology.
The advantages and disadvantages of each topology
Each topology has its unique advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you would like to use the network system.
The advantages and disadvantages of each topology will only seem logical once you understand the manner in which each of them allows you to exchange data over the network.
The way in which various components of a network, such as nodes, links, peripherals, etc are arranged, defines computer network topology.
The layout, virtual shape or structure of networks are defined at the network topology level, when you would like to set up your own network.
The topology of a network also determines the way in which different systems and nodes are connected and communicate with each other.
Network topology can be physical or logical, the physical part of network topologies defines the layout of the nodes, workstations and cable of the network, while the logical part of network topologies defines the way in which information flows between different physical components, and the part of network topologies we would be discussing here.
In general, physical topology relates to a core network whereas logical topology relates to basic network.
With that being said, let’s get right into these topologies
The Bus Network Topology refers to a topology in which the nodes of the network are individually linked up to two successive other nodes or another node and a terminating node, also called a terminator.
Yeah like the movie.
Bus topology is considered to be the simplest of network topology because computers as well as servers are all connected to a single cable called bus.
With the help of interface connectors, the central cable becomes the backbone of the network known as Bus; through this Bus every workstation communicates with other devices on the network.
This topology poses difficulty when troubleshooting, because it is difficult to know which node or device on the network is causing the problem, since every device is connected to a single cable.
And if one device on the network fails the whole network as a whole can fail, which is the reason why terminators were adopted for this type of network topology.
When a signal is broadcasted on the network, it travels to all workstations connected to the bus cable, however, the message is only received by the intended recipient, which has a matching MAC address or IP address.
Machines would discard the signal if the MAC or IP address does not match any of the devices connected to the network system.
In order to prevent bouncing signals terminators also help, when they are added to the ends of the central cable.
The Bus network topologies
Bus network topologies are easy to set up and the length of the cable required for this type of network topology is the least when it is compared to other network topologies.
They are the least expensive and are used mostly for small networks such as a LAN network.
However, the Bus network topology has limits, because the length of the cable is usually short and the amount of nodes that can be connected to it is small.
Also if the central cable AKA The Bus fails the whole network will break down as well, and the use of terminators is a must to dump bouncing signals from the network.
Another disadvantages of Bus networking topologies is that the efficiency of the Bus network reduces as the number of devices connected to it increases, also maintenance cost can get higher as time passes.
The Bus network topology is also not suitable for high trafficked networks, and security is very low because all computers receive and send a signal from one source and through one main cable AKA the Bus and once a hacker gets a hold of the Bus cable, it can infect all the computers on that network.
The Ring Network Topology
The next type of network topology is The Ring Network Topology in which the entire network forms a circle, this type of network topology is similar to the Bus network topology but the ends of the ring network topology is not terminated with a terminator because there are no ends in a circle, it just goes around in circles.
In a ring network, each node is connected to the two nearest nodes, and all communication messages are transmitted around the ring, clockwise in one direction.
In the ring network all packets are accepted and responded by each workstation, which are then forwarded to the next workstation.
The ring topology is an active topology because each workstation in the network participate in the delivery of the packets.
Each and every node is linked to other nodes in a ring network topology similar to a circular network.
In a ring network topology transmitted data stops at its destination and has no ends, and as the physical medium fiber-optic or twisted-pair of cabling is used on this type of network topology.
The Ring network topology though has its difficulty, similar to the Bus network topology, in that it is difficult to troubleshoot, there are also redundancy issues and the traffic created also adds to the complexity of this type of network topology.
But the ring network topology does not need a central server to manage connectivity between the nodes, which facilitates an orderly network operations.
A single workstation
This can also be at a disadvantage because the failure of a single workstation can render the entire network inoperable, and changes or moves of the workstation can also have a bad impact on the operations of the network.
Cable damage can also lead the whole network to break down, and the more devices that participate in the data transmission in this kind of network topology the slower the network response time would be, this is similar to the Bus network topology.
Today, the ring topology is seldom used, and due to its shortcomings, the ring topology has now become almost obsolete; however, ring topologies can be found in the office, schools, small buildings; and FDDI, SONET or Token Ring Technology can be used to implement Ring Technology.
An alternative to Bus and Circle network systems, there is the Star Network system, which is one of the most common, typical and practical network setups.
A hub that forms part of the Star Networking system is where all devices connect to form the network
Although the network only relies on a single switch is seen as a disadvantage, and the amount of wiring as well; this type of network topology is a relatively easy-to-use setup, also the fact that traffic does not travel through one big central cable, data privacy is increased.
In this type of network the failure of one computer will not cause the whole network to fail either, because each computer or device connected to the network has its own node/port, where traffic is directed to a unique device.
<strong>The Mesh/ “Ad Ho” Network Topology</strong> with this type of network topology, the networking industry got HOT as many innovations came around, because of the fact that things didn’t have to be connected through a wire to a hub anymore, to be connected to the Internet.
Now the Internet seemed to be closer to us, than ever before; and we didn’t have to find a physical wire to search and surf the Internet.
Communicate, and transmit data
When the wireless Internet came into existence, everything changed; the cyber world and we communicate, and transmit data through it became easier than ever; as a result, the wireless mobile and devices networks became popular, because they provided users access to information anytime and anywhere.
Local area networking systems are extended by mesh networks because when they are implemented, they provide hot spot coverage; wireless local area networks are managed by reliable mesh networks, which serves to interconnect the access points.
In order to be able to support multi-hop and mesh networks, that provides extended service set (ESS) for wider area communication, a working group was formed to create such a system.
The IEEE 802.11, which refers to a family of specifications developed by the IEEE for wireless LAN (WLAN) technology; dominates the wireless LAN industry world-wide.
Such coverage can be provided by the implementation of a mesh backbone network that serves to interconnect the WLAN.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
According to researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in order to avoid interference with ESS, the communication between each access point and its clients has to take place in a different channel.
The reason why a Multi-channel multi-radio mesh network structure/system is essential, is because the wireless mesh network (WMN) increases its capacity; therefore becoming more efficient for network administrators and users.
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