We began this chapter with a look at the difference between Local and Wide Area Networks. This was followed by a look at the different types of equipment commonly found on networks including repeaters, hubs, bridges, switches and routers. Our look at equipment focused not only on their functions but also their relationship to the OSI model. We also covered how the equipment related to the concepts of broadcast and collision domains.
A look at network transmission methods provided a perspective on the three different mechanisms used to transmit data – unicasts, multicasts and broadcasts. This was followed by an overview of network cabling that included information on cable properties and maximum lengths. We also looked at the wiring of crossover and straight UTP cables to connect both similar and different port types.
A look at media access methods provided an overview of contention, token passing and polling, outlining the relative advantages and disadvantages of each in different environments.
Finally, a look at LAN technologies was used to gain an understanding of how data is passed over Ethernet networks. This included a look at addressing, frame types, and physical characteristics.