Welcome to “Networking Hardware Devices." After watching this video, you will be able to: Identify common networking hardware devices. List differences between similar network devices. Explain the significance of each type of network device and its functions. Network devices, or networking hardware, are physical devices that enable communication and interaction on a computer network. This includes cables, servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and internet of things, or IoT, devices. This video covers network devices that connect or route, such as hubs, switches, routers, bridges, and gateways. A server is a powerful computer that stores files and applications. Other computers or devices on the same network can access the server as a central place to store information or use applications. The devices that access the server are known as clients. The server controls the level of access that clients have. A user can access a server file or application from anywhere if they use a client that is connected to the server’s network and has the proper level of access (usually password-based). A node is a network-connected device that can send or receive information. A client is a node that accesses the network through a server. All devices that can send, receive, and create information on a network are nodes. The nodes that access servers to get on the network are known as clients. The server controls the level of access that clients have. If a client fails, the network remains unchanged. Client-server networks are common in businesses. They keep files up-to-date and easy-to-find by ensuring users work on one shared file in one location. Examples of services that use client-server networks include file transfer protocol sites, or FTP sites, web servers, and web browsers. Peer-to-Peer networks are common in homes and on the Internet. Examples include file sharing sites, discussion forums, media streaming, and voice over IP services, also called VoIP services. A hub connects multiple devices together in a network. When data is sent to a hub, it broadcasts that data to all devices on the network except for the one that sent the data. A switch is similar to a hub except it keeps a table of MAC addresses. When a switch receives any data, it looks up the proper MAC address and forwards the data to the right place. Switches are more efficient than hubs because they only send data to the intended recipient. Switches and hubs connect to modems. If a switch or a hub fails, it brings the entire network down. Routers interconnect different networks or subnetworks. A router serves two primary functions: They manage traffic between networks by forwarding data packets to their intended IP addresses, and they allow multiple devices to use the same Internet connection. Routers connect to modems. To direct packets effectively, a router uses an internal routing table which is a list of paths to various network destinations. The router reads a packet's header to determine its path, consults the routing table to figure out the most efficient path, then forwards the packet to the next network in the path. A modem, or modulator/demodulator, converts data into a format that is easy to transmit across a network. Once that data reaches its destination, the receiving modem converts it back to its original form. The most common modems in use today are cable & DSL modems. A bridge joins two separate computer networks so they can communicate with each other and work as a single network. Bridges can be wired or wireless. Wireless bridges can support Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi to Ethernet, and Bluetooth to Wi-Fi connections. A gateway is hardware or software that allows data to flow from one network to another, for example, a home network to the Internet. Gateways are distinct from routers or switches in that they use multiple protocols to connect multiple networks. A repeater, or extender, receives a signal and retransmits it. Repeaters are used to extend a wireless signal so it can cover longer distances or be received on the other side of an obstruction like brick, steel, or concrete. Repeaters connect to wireless routers. A wireless access point, also known as WAP or AP, allows Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network. The WAP usually connects to a wired router as a standalone device. The WAP can also act as a central wireless connection point for computers equipped with wireless network adapters. The WAP is plugged in to a wired network switch. The WAP reads each computer’s MAC address and forwards that to the wired switch. If the wired network is connected to a router with internet access, the wireless network will also have internet access. Network Interface Cards or NICs connect individual devices to a network. NICs can be wired or wireless. Today’s computers usually come with wireless NICs already built in. Most include ports for network cables so users can easily connect their computer to a network. A firewall monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. A firewall typically establishes a barrier between a trusted internal network and untrusted external network, like the Internet. Firewalls can be either software or hardware. Wireless routers and computer operating systems often have built-in firewalls. A proxy server acts as an intermediary between a LAN and the Internet to minimize security risks. The proxy server evaluates requests from clients and forwards them to the appropriate server if those requests meet preset security requirements. Proxy servers hide an IP address. If an IP address is hidden, it cannot be tracked. Proxy servers save bandwidth. For example, a proxy server will download files or updates for the first user, then keep them stored for any future users who need them. An Intrusion Detection System, or IDS, monitors network traffic and reports malicious activity to the network administrator. An Intrusion Prevention System, or IPS, inspects network traffic and removes, detains, or redirects malicious items based on rules set by the network administrator. In this video, you learned: Network devices, which can be a variety of different types, enable communication and interaction on a network. Servers are powerful computers that store files and applications, and are accessed by other computers on the same network. Nodes and clients can be configured in different ways. Routers and modems transmit and convert data to ensure interconnections happen and information reaches its destination correctly. Firewalls, proxy servers, IDS, and IPS work to keep networks secure.