Networking equipment refers to the hardware devices and software that are used to build and maintain computer networks. These networks can range from small local area networks (LANs) in homes and offices to large wide area networks (WANs) that span across cities or even countries. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about networking equipment, including the different types of devices and their functions, as well as some key considerations when setting up and maintaining a network.
Networking Equipment Companies
Here are some Networking Equipment companies including their publicly traded stock ticker symbols where applicable:
Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO) – Cisco is a multinational technology company that designs, manufactures and sells networking equipment. Their products include routers, switches, firewalls and security products, among others.
Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR) – Juniper is a networking equipment manufacturer that provides products and services to telecom operators, internet service providers, and other enterprises. They offer solutions for routing, switching, security, and network management.
Arista Networks, Inc. (ANET) – Arista is a computer networking company that specializes in cloud networking solutions. They offer a range of products, including switches, routers, and software-defined networking solutions.
Extreme Networks, Inc. (EXTR) – Extreme Networks is a networking company that provides software-driven networking solutions for enterprise customers. Their product portfolio includes wired and wireless networking, cloud-based management tools, and network analytics.
F5 Networks, Inc. (FFIV) – F5 Networks is a networking company that specializes in application delivery networking technology. They provide solutions for load balancing, security, and application acceleration.
Netgear, Inc. (NTGR) – Netgear is a networking equipment manufacturer that provides solutions for home and small business networks. Their products include wireless routers, network storage, and security cameras.
Ubiquiti Inc. (UI) – Ubiquiti is a networking equipment manufacturer that provides wireless networking solutions for enterprise and residential customers. Their products include access points, switches, and routers.
Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW) – Palo Alto Networks is a cybersecurity company that provides solutions for network security, cloud security, and endpoint security. Their products include firewalls, security management software, and threat intelligence services.
Types of Networking Devices
Switches – Switches are devices that connect multiple devices on a network and allow them to communicate with each other. They are essential for creating LANs and are used to manage network traffic efficiently.
Routers – Routers are used to connect multiple networks and forward data packets between them. They are essential for creating WANs and are used to route data between different locations.
Hubs – Hubs are similar to switches, but they are less efficient and are generally not used in modern networks.
Modems – Modems are used to connect to the internet and translate digital data into analog signals that can be transmitted over phone lines.
Access Points – Access points are used to connect wireless devices to a network, allowing them to communicate with other devices on the network.
Network Interface Cards (NICs) – NICs are hardware devices that are installed in computers to allow them to connect to a network.
Bus Topology – In a bus topology, all devices are connected to a single cable, which is called a trunk.
Star Topology – In a star topology, all devices are connected to a central hub or switch.
Ring Topology – In a ring topology, all devices are connected in a circular ring, and data is transmitted in one direction around the ring.
Mesh Topology – In a mesh topology, every device is connected to every other device, creating a redundant network that can withstand failures.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) – TCP/IP is the most commonly used network protocol and is used to connect devices to the internet.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) – HTTP is used to transmit data over the internet, and is used by web browsers to retrieve web pages from servers.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) – FTP is used to transfer files between devices on a network, and is commonly used to upload and download files from servers.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) – SMTP is used to send email messages between devices on a network.
Firewalls – Firewalls are used to protect networks from unauthorized access, by filtering incoming and outgoing network traffic.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) – VPNs are used to create a secure connection between two networks, allowing data to be transmitted securely over the internet.
Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) – IDSs are used to detect and prevent unauthorized access to a network.
Antivirus Software – Antivirus software is used to protect devices on a network from malware and other malicious software.
Bandwidth – Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted over a network in a given period of time.
Latency – Latency refers to the delay that occurs when data is transmitted over a network.
Throughput – Throughput refers to the actual amount of data that is transmitted over a network in a given period of time.
Quality of Service (QoS) – QoS is used to prioritize certain types of network traffic, such as voice or video, to ensure that they receive the necessary bandwidth and are not affected by other traffic on the network.
Ethernet Cables – Ethernet cables are used to connect devices on a network, and are the most commonly used type of networking cable.
Fiber Optic Cables – Fiber optic cables are used to transmit data over long distances, and are able to transmit data at higher speeds and with less signal degradation than other types of cables.
Coaxial Cables – Coaxial cables are used for cable TV connections, and can also be used to connect devices on a network.
Network Monitoring – Network monitoring is used to monitor the performance of a network and detect problems before they cause downtime or other issues.
Network Configuration – Network configuration involves setting up and configuring devices on a network, such as routers, switches, and access points.
Network Troubleshooting – Network troubleshooting involves diagnosing and fixing problems with a network, such as slow performance, dropped connections, or other issues.
Key Considerations for Setting up and Maintaining a Network
Scalability – When setting up a network, it’s important to consider how it will scale as your business or organization grows.
Security – Network security should be a top priority, and steps should be taken to protect against unauthorized access and data breaches.
Reliability – Networks should be designed to be reliable, with redundant connections and backup systems in place to ensure uptime and prevent downtime.
Wi-Fi Networks – Wi-Fi is a wireless networking technology that allows devices to connect to a network without the use of cables.
Wireless Access Points – Wireless access points are used to create wireless networks, allowing devices to connect to the internet or to other devices on the network.
Cloud Networking – Cloud networking is a type of networking that allows devices to connect to cloud-based resources, such as applications, data storage, and services.
Virtual Private Clouds – Virtual private clouds (VPCs) are private cloud networks that can be used to isolate network traffic and ensure security.
Network Architecture – Network architecture refers to the design and structure of a network, including the physical and logical components and their relationships.
Network Layers – Network layers are used to organize the various components of a network and ensure that they operate efficiently and effectively.
Network Virtualization – Network virtualization is a technology that allows multiple virtual networks to run on a single physical network, providing flexibility and scalability.
Software-Defined Networking – Software-defined networking (SDN) is a type of network virtualization that uses software to manage network traffic and resources, rather than relying on hardware devices.
Network Automation – Network automation involves using software tools to automate network management tasks, such as configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting.
Network Orchestration – Network orchestration involves using software to automate the deployment and management of network resources, such as switches, routers, and servers.
Domain Name System (DNS) – DNS is a network service that translates domain names into IP addresses, allowing devices to connect to servers and websites.
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) – DHCP is a network service that automatically assigns IP addresses and other network settings to devices on a network.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things (IoT) – IoT refers to the network of physical devices, vehicles, appliances, and other objects that are connected to the internet and can communicate with each other.
IoT Networking – IoT networking involves using networking equipment to connect and manage IoT devices, and is a rapidly growing field with many applications in smart homes, smart cities, and other areas.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – IEEE is a professional association that develops and promotes standards for networking equipment and other technologies.
Ethernet Standards – Ethernet is a set of standards for networking equipment and protocols, developed by IEEE and used in most modern networks.
Network Design – Network design involves planning and designing a network, taking into account factors such as performance, scalability, security, and cost.
Network Diagrams – Network diagrams are visual representations of a network, showing the connections and components of the network in a clear and organized way.
Network Monitoring and Troubleshooting Tools
Network Monitoring Tools – Network monitoring tools are used to monitor network traffic, detect issues, and diagnose problems with a network.
Network Troubleshooting Tools – Network troubleshooting tools are used to diagnose and fix problems with a network, such as slow performance, dropped connections, or other issues.
Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
SDN Architecture – SDN architecture involves separating the network control plane from the data plane, allowing for more flexible and programmable network management.
SDN Applications – SDN applications include network virtualization, network automation, and network orchestration, among others.
Networking equipment is a vital part of any modern organization or business, enabling communication and collaboration between devices and people. By understanding the different types of devices, topologies, protocols, and cables, as well as key considerations for setting up and maintaining a network, you can create a reliable, secure, and scalable network that meets the needs of your organization. Whether you’re setting up a small LAN in your home or office, or building a complex WAN that spans across multiple locations, the right networking equipment and configuration can help you achieve your goals and meet the needs of your users.