An Introduction to Network Concepts

Networking is all about connecting computers together so that they can talk with each other. Communicate is vague networking term that gets used in place of the word talk. But the words will be used interchangable in the following information. One good reason why the more general term is used is because talking normally refers to vocal communication.

A network model explains what the components of a network are how they interact.


The information presented here is loosely based on the Microsoft network model, but recognizes the limitations of this model in comparison to other models like the OSI Network Model. In order to compensate for some of these limitations additional information is provided regarding Network Devices and Network Services. In addition to reviewing the Microsoft explanation of network protocols, further information is provided to clarify this subject area.

If we take a very simplistic view we can divide a network into several broad catagories.

Network Hosts refer to the computers that are communicating. In most networks these host computers are identitified as clients and servers.

Network Connectivity refers to the system that connects the hosts together. This topic includes the areas of topologies, media and network devices.

Network Protocols the languagues used in the communciation Packets, Protocols in a Microsoft Network, and other Types of Network Protocols

Network Services the types of information the computers are talking about.