Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's October 2001

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NETWORKING In the last fifteen years, local area networks, (also known as "˜LANs') have gone from being an experimental technology to becoming a key business tool used by companies worldwide. As you read through this report, you will learn about different types of networking, the essentials needed for networking, and basically what networking is all about. I chose this topic because it is quite interesting. Linking computers together so that all could share a common task (example: the internet) is quite amusing.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A LAN? A LAN is a high-speed communications system designed to link computers and other data processing devices together within a small area such as a workgroup, department, or a single floor of a multi-story building. LANs have become very popular in the past few years because they allow users to share vital computing resources electronically, including expensive hardware such as printers and CD ROM drives, application programs and most importantly, the information the users need to do their jobs.

Before the development of LAN technology, individual computers were separated from each other and limited in their range of applications. By linking these individual computers over local area networks their usefulness and productivity have been increased.

BUS NETWORKING Today local area networking is a shared access technology. This means that all of the devices attached to the LAN share a single communications medium, usually a fiber optic cable. Figure 1 illustrates this: several computers are connected to a single cable, which serves as the communications medium for all of them. The physical connection to the network is made by putting a network interface card (NIC) inside the computer and connecting it to the network cable. Once the physical connection is in place it is up to the network software to manage communications between stations on the network.

Explanation: When...