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Networking Basics

Network Topologies

BUS - All devices on the network are connected by a single cable. A T connector is used to connect each machine to the cable. The machines at the ends of the cable have terminators on the opposite end of the T connector.
Star - Network device has its own cable to a central hub or switch.
Ring - Network devices are connected in a chain with each device processing the data before passing it to the next device. Used on token ring networks.
Mesh - Every device on the network is connected directly to every other device on the network.
Wireless - Commonly known as Wi-Fi or 802.11b. Uses access points and wireless network cards to complete the network connection. Wireless operates in two modes Ad-hoc and infrastructure. Ad-hoc mode is a peer to peer wireless network that operates without an access point. Infrastructure mode operates more like a client/server network with the access point being the server and the wireless network cards being the clients.

Types of networks

Peer to peer - All devices on the network are equal. There is no client/server role on the network. Peer to peer is only suitable for small networks.
Client/Server - Centralized network design. Clients access applications and files from servers. This provides for easier administration and security design.
Centralized - This is a Client/Server based system where client machines are dumb terminals and all processing is done on the server side.
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