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Basic Components of hardware in Networking

August 6, 2009
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4. Bridges
A network bridge connects multiple network segments at the data link layer (layer 2) of the OSI model.
Bridges reduce the amount of traffic on a LAN by dividing it into two segments. Bridges inspect incoming traffic and decide whether to forward or discard it.
An Ethernet bridge, for example, inspects each incoming Ethernet frame – including the source and destination MAC addresses, and sometimes the frame size – in making individual forwarding decisions.
Once the bridge associates a port and an address, it will send traffic for that address only to that port. Bridges do send broadcasts to all ports except the one on which the broadcast was received.
Bridges learn the association of ports and addresses by examining the source address of frames that it sees on various ports. Once a frame arrives through a port, its source address is stored and the bridge assumes that MAC address is associated with that port. The first time that a previously unknown destination address is seen, the bridge will forward the frame to all ports other than the one on which the frame arrived.
Bridges come in three basic types:
  1. Local bridges: Directly connect local area networks (LANs)
  2. Remote bridges: Can be used to create a wide area network (WAN) link between LANs. Remote bridges, where the connecting link is slower than the end networks, largely have been replaced by routers.
  3. Wireless bridges: Can be used to join LANs or connect remote stations to LANs.
5. Switches
1. Switches are devices that may distribute traffic on load or by application content (e.g., a Web URL identifier).
2. Switches may operate at one or more OSI layers, including physical, data link, network, or transport (i.e., end-to-end). A device that operates simultaneously at more than one of these layers is called a multilayer switch.

6. Routers
A router is a device that forwards data packets along networks.
A router is connected to at least two networks, commonly two LANs or WANs or a LAN and its ISP’s network.
Routers are located at gateways, the places where two or more networks connect, and are the critical device that keeps data flowing between networks and keeps the networks connected to the Internet.
7. MAC Address
MAC Address is also known as Media Access Control address (MAC address) or Ethernet Hardware Address (EHA) or hardware address or adapter address in computer networking.
It is a hardware address attached to most network adapters (NICs) that uniquely identifies each node of a network.
A MAC address consists of six pairs of hexadecimal numbers (combination of two numbers or two letters or a number with one alphabet) An example of a MAC address is A0:99:E3:76:BE:01

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