Networking hardware typically refers to devices facilitating the use of a computer network. Typically, this includes gateways, routers, network bridges, switches, modem, hubs, repeaters, server, file server, workstation, network interface unit and transmission media.


A router transfers data between netwoks. It is possible for a router to transfer data between different compatible network technologies such as Ethernet and IBM token ring. The routing done by IP, when it searches the routing table and decides which interface to send a packet out, is a routing mechanism.A router has the address on the network. A bridge does not have an address.Hence, a router can act as an intermediate destination.


A gateway is a node that allows you to gain entrance into a network and vice versa.

Two dissimilar networks can be connected by means of a; a mainframe can be connected and accessible to a PC network by means of a gateway. Unlike routers a gateway converts the format of the data sent between two networks.


A router transfers data between networks. It is possible for a router to transfer data between different compatible network technologies such as Ethernet and IBM token ring. The routing done by IP, when it searches the routing table and decides which interface to send a packet out, is a routing mechanism.


A bridge interconnects two networks using same technology (such as Ethernet or Arc net).

Bridge is more sophisticated than a repeater. A modern bridge reads the destination address of the received packet and determines whether the address is on the same segment of the network cables of the originating station. If the destination is on the other side of the bridge, the bridge transmits the packet into the traffic on that cable segment. A bridge device filters data traffic at a network boundary. Bridges reduce the amount of traffic on a LAN by dividing it into two segments.


A repeater is a communication device that connects between two segments of the network cable. It retimes, regenerates, Strengthens the digital data, and sends them on their way again. Repeaters are often used to extend the cable length to enlarge LANs.


A hub is used in a wired network to connect Ethernet cables from a number of devices together. The hub allows each device to talk to the others. Hubs aren’t used in networks with only wireless connections, since network devices such as routers and adapters communicate directly with one another.

it actually refers to a multi-port repeater. This type of device simply passes on (repeats) all the information it receives, so that all devices connected to its ports receive that information.


Switches control the flow of network traffic based on the address information in each packet. A switch learns which devices are connected to its ports (by monitoring the packets it receives), and then forwards on packets to the appropriate port only. This allows simultaneous communication across the switch, improving bandwidth.


A modem (modulator-demodulator) is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information.

A modem links your home network to the Internet through your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The high speed types of data outside of your home aren’t suitable for your direct use, so modems convert the data into digital Ethernet, which all the network equipment in your home can use.


A network server is a computer designed to process requests and deliver data to other (client) computers over a local network or the Internet. Servers are of two types:

Dedicated and Non- Dedicated

Dedicated server is a single web server within a network of computers, dedicated solely to one customer, most often a large business. A dedicated server is a server whose only job is to help workstations access data, software and hardware. It does not double up as a workstation


A non-dedicated server acts as a server as well as a workstation. Using a server as a workstation has several disadvantages and is not advisable for larger networks.


File server is a computer attached to a network that has the primary purpose of providing a location for shared disk access, i.e. shared storage of computer files (such as documents, sound files, photographs, movies, images, databases, etc.) that can be accessed by the workstations that are attached to the computer network.


A workstation is a computer intended for individual use that is faster and more capable than a personal computer. It’s intended for business or professional use (rather than home or recreational use). Workstations and applications designed for them are used by small engineering companies, architects, graphic designers, and any organization, department, or individual that requires a faster microprocessor, a large amount of random access memory (RAM), and special features such as high-speed graphics adapters.


Means by which a communication signal is carried from one system to another (for example, twisted-pair wire, co axial cable, fiber-optics cable) and wireless links (for example, satellite, microwave and radio and infrared systems).


A network interface unit (NIU) (sometimes called a network interface device) is a device that serves as a common interface for various other devices within a local area network (LAN), or as an interface to allow networked computers to connect to an outside network. The NIU enables communication between devices that use different protocols by supplying a common transmission protocol, which may be used instead of the devices’ own protocols, or may be used to convert the specific device protocol to the common one.

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