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What Networks Are Made Of

Although you were introduced to networking hardware in the previous two chapters, this chapter revisits both hardware and software from a network-specific perspective. The preceding discussion of computers looked at them as standalone devices, not connected to anything else. Now, you'll see how to take that hardware and software (and some other devices mentioned only in passing, such as hubs and MAUs) and discuss how they fit together to create a coherent whole.

Network-Specific Hardware

Network-specific hardware comes in two varieties. The first variety is computers that have been specifically built for networking but that could function without a network. The second variety is hardware such as network hubs, switches, cables, and routers that have no function outside a network context.


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