Networking: An Introduction

What is a network?network-resized-600

Two or more devices (some are desktops, laptops, cell phones, servers, routers, switches, and firewalls) with network capable components (usually a NIC – Network Interface Card) connected to one another (physically or wirelessly) to share resources. An example of one many people use is the “Internet.”


Why do we need a network?

We need a network to make life easier. What I mean is that it is an inconvenience to try sharing a file or information with another co-worker who could be in a different location (table next to you, in the next building, in the next town, or across the world) or even to print something on the printer down the hall.Mind Map

We are a socially communicative people (even though several of us might be more introverted than others). Examples of this might be how people use email, online game play, news online, watch a movie/youtube, or just perusing information that is important to them on the internet.


map-w-2009-83Brief background history795659

I am starting with the idea of the pony express, morse code, and the telephone. Each of these had at their foundation the need of sharing information from one location to another.

One did it through physically sending someone via pony to deliver the information physically across land. Another sent information through interconnected wires on poles that were placed along railroads tracks as they were being built and required the use of by-means-of-the-universal-bell-system-the-nation-may-be-promation from one point to another. (a device that utilized a tapping-type language called morse
code. The last of the three borrowed the wire idea and used another device, the telephone, to actually send analog communication of speech. (Note: for more information regarding what analog is and the difference between it and digital, try this web page analog-and-digital.)

There may be earlier examples of this not mentioned here. I am just trying to layout a picture of the early beginnings of networks.

During the “1960s-1970s: ARPANET: Commonly thought of as the predecessor to the Internet and created by the US Department of Defenses Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA)” (source:… shows us another leap into a framework of more modern, but limited internet. From here technology improves, devices go from larger to smaller, wires are almost everywhere, and more people have more affordable access to communicate through the modern Internet.


More to come

  • Network devices and NOS
  • Different types of networks
  • The OSI model

Today’s suggested book is How Networks Work by Frank J. Derfler. This book not only seeks to simplify the topics to get a bigger picture of the meaning, but also incorporates art work to illustrate the point.


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