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Introduction to basic Networking Terminology

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For a specific purpose if things are connected together, are referred to as a NETWORK. A network can be of many types, like a telephone network, television network, computer network, or even a people network. 

Similarly, a COMPUTER NETWORK is also a kind of setup, where it connects two or more devices to share a range of services and information in the form of e-mails and messages, databases, documents, websites, audios and videos, telephone calls, and video conferences, etc. among them. 

A PROTOCOL is nothing but a set of defined rules, which has to be followed by every connected device across a network to communicate and share information among them. To facilitates End to End communication, a number of protocols worked together to form Protocol Suites or Stacks

Networking terminology can be confusing, especially for those who are new to computer networking. Here are some basic terms and their definitions to help you understand the fundamentals of networking:

Network: A collection of interconnected devices, such as computers, printers, and servers, that can communicate with each other.

Node: Any device connected to a network, such as a computer, printer, or router.

Protocol: A set of rules and standards that define how devices on a network communicate with each other.

IP Address: A unique numerical identifier assigned to each device on a network, used to identify and communicate with other devices.

Router: A networking device that connects multiple networks together and forwards data packets between them.

Switch: A networking device that connects devices on a network and forwards data packets between them.

Firewall: A security device or software that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic, based on a set of predefined security rules.

DNS (Domain Name System): A system that translates domain names (such as into IP addresses, allowing devices to locate and connect to websites and other network resources.

LAN (Local Area Network): A network that connects devices within a limited geographical area, such as a home, office, or building.

WAN (Wide Area Network): A network that connects devices over a large geographical area, such as multiple offices in different cities or countries.

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol): A protocol that automatically assigns IP addresses and network configuration settings to devices on a network.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol): A set of protocols used to communicate over the internet and other networks.

These are just a few basic networking terms, but understanding them is essential to building a strong foundation in computer networking.

Some basic Protocols are: 

  • IP : Internet Protocol
  • FTP : File Transfer Protocol
  • SMTP : Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  • HTTP : Hyper Text Transfer Protocol

The Network reference models were developed to allow products from different manufacturers to interoperate on a network. A network reference model serves as a blueprint, detailing standards for how protocol communication should occur. 

The most widely recognized reference models are the Open Systems Interconnect ( OSI ) Model and Department of Defense ( DoD, also known as TCP/IP ) model. 

  • LANs (Local Area Networks)
  • MANs (Metropolitan Area Networks)
  • WANs (Wide Area Networks)

An Internetwork is a general term describing multiple networks connected together. The Internet is the largest and most well-known internetwork. 

  • SAN (Storage Area Network): A SAN provides systems with high-speed, lossless access to high-capacity storage devices.
  • VPN (Virtual Private Network): A VPN allows for information to be securely sent across a public or unsecured network, such as the Internet. Common uses of a VPN are to connect branch offices or remote users to the main office.
  • A host can act as a Client when he is requesting information.
  • A host can act as a Server when he provides information.
  • A host can also request and provide information, which is called Peer.

Refer to Set 1: Basics of Computer Networking

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Last Updated : 13 Mar, 2023
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