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Chapter 3. NETWORKING HARDWARE > Working with Network Connectivity Devices

Working with Network Connectivity Devices

Depending on the type of topology your network uses and the type of cabling you use (cabling is discussed in Chapter 4, "Building the Network Infrastructure," in the section "Choosing a Network Connectivity Strategy"), your LAN might require some sort of connectivity device to connect the various network computers, printers, and other devices together. In cases where you need to extend your LAN (say, to the second floor of an office building) or add a large number of new users to the LAN, other connectivity devices might be required. Some of these connectivity devices merely serve to connect devices; others are used to boost the data signal traveling on the network medium, and still others actually participate in determining how data traffic should flow on the network.

Let's start our discussion of network connectivity devices with the hub, which is a device you would use on a small network, or even in a peer-to-peer networking situation, to connect computers. The other devices that we will look at, such as repeaters, switches, and routers, are often lumped under the blanket term internetworking devices. An internetwork is a network of LANs, meaning that some sort of connectivity technology is used to extend a LAN beyond its typical size or to connect different LANs together into one large network.s


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