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The Anatomy of Your Network

If servers are the brains of your business, and your users are the extremities, then your cabling infrastructure is the nervous system—allowing instructions to pass to the extremities and data to flow back to the brain. Your cabling system is made up of discrete components, all acting in concert to ensure your business runs. While each network differs, most will contain a common suite of components.

Network Interface Cards
Each NIC (network interface card) allows your workstation or another connected device to communicate with the network and by extension each other. While traditionally NICs use a physical cable (CAT-5, CAT-6, etc.), a network interface card can be wireless and still utilize the same switching and routing as devices that are physically connected to the network.

Hubs, Routers, and Switches
Hubs, routers, and switches are discrete pieces of hardware but all effectively perform the same function—getting data from its origination point to its final destination. Hubs are largely obsolete these days, with their previous function of dividing your network into multiple devices now being served by booth routers and switches. The switches in your infrastructure also connect devices, and contain the logic to direct information specifically to the device it is intended for, rather than transmitting the data across the entire network. The router is the device that manages data headed to and from the internet, acting as the gatekeeper and traffic manager for all devices attached to your network.

Finally, the modem acts as the attachment point to the internet at large. This used to utilize telephone lines exclusively but now can incorporate signal over cable (using a coaxial attachment) and even fiber-optic for extremely high-speed/high-volume data. Despite the wide range of speeds and traffic constraints available, all modems act as the gateway between your enterprise and the internet at large. As a result, modems are frequently the target of hacking attacks and other security penetration attempts.

NSC Information Technology Group has experience with all the components of your network and can assist you with everything from a network upgrade to a fully structured cabling refit for your business. Contact us today for more information.

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