These days, the internet and issues related to network infrastructure and data centers have become crucial and strategic topics for organizations large and small. The development of computer network infrastructure began in the late 1960s with the initiative of the ARPANET group, and since then, this field has witnessed significant advancements that have greatly improved communication within organizations and beyond.

For effective communication between individuals and devices within organizations, it is essential to consider network products. This allows us to engage in organizational matters with sufficient and appropriate knowledge.

Given that “awareness” is a key factor in the purchasing process of network equipment, we will proceed to examine the most essential and practical devices in the field of networking.

Network equipment plays a crucial role in establishing internal and external communications for organizations. Below, we introduce different types of network equipment and explain each one:

  • Router A router is a device that directs data packets between different networks. This device uses various protocols to find the best path for sending data. Routers are used to connect local area networks (LANs) to wider networks (WANs) or the internet.
  • Switch A switch is a device that directs data packets within a local area network (LAN). Unlike a router, a switch only transfers data among devices within the same local network. Switches function similarly to hubs but are more intelligent, delivering data to precise destinations, which enhances network efficiency.
  • Access Point Access points are devices that enable users to connect to a wireless network. These devices are connected to a wired network and transmit and receive wireless signals to wireless devices. Access points are typically used in wireless networks to extend Wi-Fi coverage.
  • Modem A modem is a device that converts digital signals to analog signals and vice versa, enabling communication between digital networks and telephone lines. Modems are used to connect to the internet via telephone lines, cable, or fiber optic cables.

  • Firewall A firewall is a security device or software that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic and prevents unauthorized access based on defined rules. Firewalls are placed at various points in the network to protect against cyber attacks and unauthorized intrusions.

  • Server A server is a computer system that provides resources, data, and services to other devices and users on the network. Servers can perform various tasks such as hosting websites, managing emails, storing data, and running applications.

  • Network Interface Card (NIC) A Network Interface Card (NIC) is a device that connects a computer or another device to a network. These cards exist in internal form (as a board inside the device) or external form (via a USB port), enabling connection to both wired and wireless networks.
  • Network Cable Network cables are physical mediums that connect network devices to each other. There are various types of network cables such as Ethernet cables (Cat5, Cat6), fiber optic cables, and coaxial cables, each used for specific applications.
  • Hub A hub is a device that functions similar to a switch but broadcasts data to all of its ports rather than to a specific device. This distributes bandwidth among all devices connected to the hub, reducing network efficiency. For this reason, hubs are less commonly used now, with switches often replacing them.

Each of these devices plays a crucial role in establishing and managing computer networks, contributing to improved communication, security, and network efficiency.