BASIC NETWORKING DEVICES: Networking hardware, also known as network equipment or computer networking devices, are electronic devices which are required for communication and interaction between devices on a computer network. Specifically, they mediate data transmission in a computer network.

The network device is one kind of device used to connect devices or computers together to transfer resources or files like fax machines or printers.

There are different types of electronic devices are used in networking which are known as network devices or network equipment. In a basic computer networking, network devices are mainly used for transmitting and receiving the data quickly and securely in between computers, fax machines, printers, etc. These devices may be intra network or internetwork. There are some devices are installed on the device such as RJ45 connector otherwise NIC card, whereas some devices are part of the network namely switch, router, etc. These devices are specific devices, handles digital or electrical connections to perform their exclusive roles very efficiently. This article discusses an overview of network devices and their working.

Types of Basic Networking Devices

1.     Network Hub as used in basic Networking Devices

The network hub is one kind of Basic networking devices in a computer network, used to communicate with various network hosts and also for data transferring. The transferring of data in a computer network can be done in the form of packets. Whenever the data processing can be done from a host to a network hub, then the data can transmit to all the connected ports. Similarly, all the ports identify the data path which leads to inefficiencies & wastage. Because of this working, a network hub cannot be so safe and secure. In addition, copying the data packets on all the ports will make the hub slower which leads to the utilize of the network switch.


Types of Hubs as used in basic Networking Devices

  • Active Hub: – These are the hubs that have their own power supply and can clean, boost, and relay the signal along with the network. It serves both as a repeater as well as a wiring center. These are used to extend the maximum distance between nodes.
  • Passive Hub: – These are the hubs that collect wiring from nodes and power supply from the active hub. These hubs relay signals onto the network without cleaning and boosting them and can’t be used to extend the distance between nodes.
  • Intelligent Hub: – It works like active hubs and includes remote management capabilities. They also provide flexible data rates to network devices. It also enables an administrator to monitor the traffic passing through the hub and to configure each port in the hub.


  1. Repeater as used in basic Networking Devices

A repeater operates at the physical layer. Its job is to regenerate the signal over the same network before the signal becomes too weak or corrupted so as to extend the length to which the signal can be transmitted over the same network. An important point to be noted about repeaters is that they do not amplify the signal. When the signal becomes weak, they copy the signal bit by bit and regenerate it at the original strength. It is a 2-port device.


3.     Switch as used in basic Networking Devices

Similar to a hub, this is also working at the layer in the LAN and a switch is more clever compare with a hub. As the hub is used for data transferring, whereas a switch is used for filtering & forwarding the data. So, this is the cleverer technique to deal with the data packets. Whenever a data packet is obtained from the interfaces in the switch, then the data packet can be filtered & transmits to the interface of the proposed receiver. Due to this reason, a switch maintains a content addressable memory table to maintain system configuration as well as memory. This table is also named as FIB (forwarding information base) otherwise forwarding table.


  1. Bridge as used in basic Networking Devices

A bridge operates at the data link layer. A bridge is a repeater, with add on the functionality of filtering content by reading the MAC addresses of source and destination. It is also used for interconnecting two LANs working on the same protocol. It has a single input and single output port, thus making it a 2 port device.

Types of Bridges

  • Transparent Bridges: – These are the bridge in which the stations are completely unaware of the bridge’s existence i.e. whether or not a bridge is added or deleted from the network, reconfiguration of the stations is unnecessary. These bridges make use of two processes i.e. bridge forwarding and bridge learning.
  • Source Routing Bridges: – In these bridges, routing operation is performed by the source station and the frame specifies which route to follow. The host can discover the frame by sending a special frame called the discovery frame, which spreads through the entire network using all possible paths to the destination.


5.     Modem

A modem is the most important Basic networking devices and it is used daily in our life. If we notice the internet connection to homes was given with the help of a wire. then wire carries internet data from one place to another. But every computer gives digital or binary data in the form of zeros & ones. The full form of the modem is a modulator and a demodulator. So, it modulates as well as demodulates the signal among the computer and a telephone line because the computer generates digital data whereas the telephone line generates an analog signal.

  1. Routers

A router is a device like a switch that routes data packets based on their IP addresses. The router is mainly a Network Layer device. Routers normally connect LANs and WANs together and have a dynamically updating routing table based on which they make decisions on routing the data packets. Router divide broadcast domains of hosts connected through it.


7.     Gateway

Generally, a gateway performs at the session & transport layers in the OSI model. Gateways offer conversion between networking technologies like OSI (Open System Interconnection) & TCP/IP. Because of this, these are connected to two or many autonomous networks, where each network has its own domain name service, routing algorithm, topology, protocols, and procedures of network administration & policies. Gateways execute all the functions of routers. Actually, a router with additional conversion functionality is a gateway, so the conversion between various network technologies is known as a protocol converter.


  1. Brouter

It is also known as the bridging router is a device that combines features of both bridge and router. It can work either at the data link layer or a network layer. Working as a router, it is capable of routing packets across networks, and working as the bridge, it is capable of filtering local area network traffic.

  1. NIC 

NIC or network interface card is a network adapter that is used to connect the computer to the network. It is installed in the computer to establish a LAN.  It has a unique id that is written on the chip, and it has a connector to connect the cable to it. The cable acts as an interface between the computer and router or modem. NIC card is a layer 2 device which means that it works on both physical and data link layer of the network model.