Computer network design requires a good understanding of the topologies such as a bus, ring, star, so on. Designing a network has to follow certain rules. The set of rules governing the setup of a network is called its topology. Ethernet, today, is the most popular topology in use. It consists of computers and peripherals cabled together in specific ways. Ethernet is relatively cheaper, easy to set up and use, and faster. There are two types of Ethernet – Standard and Fast Ethernet.

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To talk of the cables, you can use the twisted-pair (also known as 10BaseT) or the thin coax (also known as 10Base2) for your network cable. The choice, however, will depend on the type of network you’re setting. You can use both the types together. Twisted pair cabling is cheaper, flexible, and ideal for cabling short distances. You can use thin coax for larger networks.

A network interface card (NIC) connects the network computer to the network cabling. While some NICs are installed inside the computer others may need PCI slots. A network adapter is needed when the network is supposed to support very high speed data transfer.

The final piece you need to get through the network design is a hub. It is used to gather groups of PCs together at a central location. The type of your network and data transfer support required will again decide the type of hub the network requires.

Understanding the roles of these bits of hardware and the nature of network to be built takes you a long way in deigning the ideal computer network.

By Haadi