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Chapter Summary

  • Network architectures determine the physical layout of the network and the strategy used by computers to access the network medium.

  • Bandwidth is the number of bits that can be sent across the network medium at a given time.

  • Ethernet is the most popular network architecture.

  • Ethernet is a passive architecture and uses Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) as its network medium access strategy.

  • Ethernet runs at 10Mbps and is defined by the IEEE 802.3 specifications. Faster versions of Ethernet, such as Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet, are also available but require special network cards and network connectivity devices.

  • IBM Token-Ring, which is defined by IEEE 802.5, uses possession of a token (which is passed around the logical network ring) as the network medium access method.

  • AppleTalk uses Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) as its network medium access method. The hardware associated with AppleTalk is called LocalTalk.

  • The Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) is typically used as a high-speed backbone on networks and runs on fiber-optic cable.

  • The two types of cable options for network media are copper cable and fiber-optic cable.

  • Unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable is the cheapest and most often used cable type for new LANs.

  • Radio signals can be used to transfer data on wireless networks when an access point device is connected to the LAN and computers are outfitted with radio network cards.

  • Infrared is a wireless technology that is used to beam a signal between a laptop and a printer or to synchronize handheld personal data assistants.


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