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Media Access Control - MAC Addresses

Posted in Network Fundamentals

Media Access Control - MAC Addresses - 4.5 out of 5 based on 25 votes

Introduction

Media Access Control (MAC) addresses are talked about in various sections on the site, such as the OSI-Layer 2, Multicast, Broadcast and Unicast. We are going to analyse them in depth here so we can get a firm understanding of them since they are part of the fundamentals of networking.

MAC addresses are physical addresses, unlike IP addresses which are logical addresses. Logical addresses require you to load special drivers and protocols in order to be able to configure your network card/computer with an IP Address, whereas a MAC address doesn't require any drivers whatsoever. The reason for this is that the MAC address is actually "burnt-in" into your network card's memory chipset.

The Reason for MAC

Each computer on a network needs to be identified in some way. If you're thinking of IP addresses, then you're correct to some extent, because an IP address does identify one unique machine on a network, but that is not enough.

Network Data Transmission

Posted in Network Fundamentals

Network Data Transmission - 4.4 out of 5 based on 22 votes

Introduction

Routable protocols enable the transmission of data between computers in different segments of a network. However, high volumes of certain kinds of network traffic can affect network efficiency because they slow down transmission speed. The amount of network traffic generated varies with the 3 types of data transmissions:

  • Broadcast
  • Multicast
  • Unicast

In the pages that follow, we are going to analyse each data transmission type because it is very important to understand the type of traffic they generate, what they are used for and why they exist on the network.

Before we proceed, please note that understanding the OSI Model (especially Layer 2 and 3), Ethernet and the way a packet is structured is fundamental to understanding broadcast, multicast or unicast type of traffic.

LAN Network Topologies

Posted in Network Fundamentals

LAN Network Topologies - 4.3 out of 5 based on 86 votes

Network topologies can take a bit of time to understand when you're all new to this kind of cool stuff, but it's very important to fully understand them as they are key elements to understanding and troubleshooting networks and will help you decide what actions to take when you're faced with network problems.

This article explains the different network topologies found in today's networks. We examine Bus Topology, Ring Topology, Star Topology, Mesh Topology, Hybrid Topology and many more.

Introduction To Networking

Posted in Network Fundamentals

Introduction To Networking - 4.4 out of 5 based on 36 votes

Introduction

A network is simply a group of two or more Personal Computers linked together. Many types of networks exist, but the most common types of networks are Local-Area Networks (LANs), and Wide-Area Networks (WANs).

In a LAN, computers are connected together within a "local" area (for example, an office or home). In a WAN, computers are further apart and are connected via telephone/communication lines, radio waves or other means of connection.

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