Network components are an integral part of networks, regardless of whether it is a network using wireless, metallic, or optical communication. Primarily, these components are used in communication management and enabling other devices to access the network.
The most common representatives of network components are:
- Network interface card (NIC) allows a computer to connect to a network, providing a physical connection between the computer and the network, allowing the computer to communicate with other devices in the network.
- Switch is a network device that connects multiple devices in a network together. A switch receives data packets from one device and sends them to the intended recipient (a device in the network). Switches are essential when creating a LAN network.
- Router is a network device that connects several networks, for example, it enables the connection of a LAN to the Internet. It receives data packets from a sender in one network and sends them to an intended recipient in another network.
- Firewall is a network device that is used to protect a network from unauthorized access or attacks. It monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and filters unwanted traffic.
- Wireless access point (WAP) allows wireless devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets to connect to a wireless network.
- Network attached storage (NAS) is a network storage device that is used to store and share data on a network. It allows multiple users to access and share files from a central location.
- Modem is a device that converts digital signals from a computer into analog or optical signals that can be transmitted over a telephone or optical network. It is used to connect a computer to the Internet via a telephone or DSL line, or via an optical network.