Network equipment is used to direct, boost, switch, split and combine packets of information along a telecommunication network or computer. This product area includes but not limited to firewalls, transceivers, multiplexers, gateways, bridges, routers, switches and hubs. In addition, network equipment is defined by protocol such as Ethernet and interface type (T1).
Networking equipment interconnects devices in that data can be shared between them. The topology or layout of these connected devices describes the networks structure or design. Most of the common topologies for computer networks includes mesh, tree, star, ring and bus/.
In wireless networks, communication is made through radio waves and thus do not need physical connections.
Computer network handle data based on protocols that are basic mechanism for network communication. The network protocols specify the attributes of the software of data communication including the structure of packets and information contained.
Types of network equipment
- Switches connect devices to host computers and allow devices to share limited number of ports
- Hubs provides a central point for attaching cables to the workstation.
- Repeaters use retiming and regeneration to ensure that signals are transmitted clearly through the network segments
- Routers are dependent on protocols that connect sub-networks or divide a very large network into smaller sub networks
- Gateways can interconnect network with diverse, incompatible protocols.
- Bridges are used to interconnect remote and local network.
- Firewalls: Safeguard a network against unauthorized access.
- Transceivers connects nodes and receive and send signals.
- Multiplexers combine multiple signals into one output.
Features and Applications
In selecting the network equipment, buyers should consider whether the device is POE(power over Ethernet) or it Supports voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP). Equipment with full duplex capacities can simultaneously transmit data in both direction and may be rack mountable or stackable. Products may feature LED and alarms to provide visual and audible notifications to the network administrators.
Network equipment may be suitable or designed for certain applications. For instance, hardened products are oftentimes used in telecommunications. Their casing provide protections from weather related conditions can act as a heat sink thus direct high temperature away from the sensitive parts.
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