What are the important hardware components of a computer network?
What are the important hardware components of a computer network?

The computer networks evolved for the better computer’s communication. It helps in scalable file sharing. We need computer networks to avail of internet services efficiently. Not only file sharing but also the application sharing, device sharing, and user communication is not possible without networking. So, which of the components form a computer network? What are the important hardware components of a computer network? There are many types of computer networks, such as LAN, POLAN, SAN, WAN, MAN, and VPN. The hardware components which we are going to mention below uses any of these type of network for computer communication. It all depends on the requirements to set up a network. Here are components, and their uses only an experienced network administrator knows how to build a network by using these components.  


Servers are the most critical hardware component of a computer network. The network set for accessing files, applications, and resources cannot work without the intervention of servers. It holds all the resources of a network such as NOS (network operating system), programs, and software. Servers make these resources available to users when needed.  let’s see What are the other important hardware components of a computer network?


NIC (network interface card) is an essential component of the network as it sends, receives, and format data. It also provides data control flow in a computer network. How a NIC work in a system? It transfers frames of data from the data link layer to the physical layer. At the receiver side, it helps in processing bits on the physical layer received from the data link layer. After processing bits, it changes the bits to a message content on the physical layer. There are wireless and wired network interface cards deployed in a computer network.  


Connectors and cables are essential in a computer network for the transmission of communication signals. The fiber optics, coaxial cable, and twisted pair cables used in a network as a transmission media for the communication of signals.  


Hub is used to connect connectors and cables to various computers. All the requests from a computer in a network proceed through connectors to the hub. The hub, when receiving any communication request, it transfers it to the whole network. We can also say that if the hub in a network is alright, everything is okay, otherwise not. Hub is one of the traditional networking components replaced by switch and routers nowadays.  


The switch and hub both have the same functionality and features. There is just two slight difference in both, which makes switch an advanced version of the hub. The switch work through physical devices addresses to send and receive messages at an accurate destination. Unlike a hub, switches have a direct connection to computer devices. The direct link increases the speed of transmission. The other feature which makes it more advanced than the switch is that it does not broadcast a message like a hub. It just delivers the message efficiently to the desired port in less time as compared to the hub.  


The router works in a computer network as an internet supplier. It connects the LAN (local area network) to the internet connection to help computing devices to share communication over the internet. Moreover, for the multiple’s LANs with a shared internet connection, routers implanted to provide smooth internet. The skillful network administrators also use the switch in LAN to provide the internet over the computer network. But this strategy only works for small LANs such as homes and small businesses.  


The modem connects a computer to a cable connection or a telephone line for data transmission. It is also known as a modulator or demodulator as it converts a digital signal to analog or vice versa and transmits data over the network. There are cellular, cable, and DSL modems deployed in the network according to the requirements of the network.  


The two different networks need protocol conversion for communication. The network gateways fulfill this requirement of computer networks. It also works as an access controller for various systems. The gateway deployed in a network as an exit and entry point of the network.  


Bridges are present at the data link layer as communicating devices and work as a hub and repeaters. It also broadcast data in the network to every node. Bridges also align two different networks for communication.  

Firewall and DMZ 

Only deploying the network by using the different network components is not enough. The communication over the network becomes available to everyone when there are security components deployed. These security components are firewalls and DMZ. They are implanted over the system to filter the network traffic from the untrusted network. DMZ (demilitarized zone) works as a physical network to add a layer of security to the network. It creates a buffer between LAN and less secure internet in a system.  

On the other hand, firewall deploys in a network virtually or physically follows users defined rules to filter the incoming and outgoing traffic in a system. It does so to provide an ultimate level of security in order.  


All the hardware network components mentioned above are essential for the scalable communication between computing devices. It all depends on the scenarios and skills of a network administrator to deploy these component’s in a network. Two things are essential to notice, the right choice of the part according to need and implementation of security. The network admin must do vulnerability assessment and pen testing on regular basis. If a system does not follow security rules, chances are it will lose its data or in some cases, not able to recover data. 

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