Hardware – Network 101

Most companies (and many individuals) operate some sort of networked computer system.

Hardware is any physical component attached to, or used with your networked computer system. 

  • The personal computers (and all their components)
  • The servers, routers, switches and cables that allow multiple computers to share information and devices.
  • The phone system (if it is attached to your network)
  • Optional Input and Output devices: scanner, web cam, microphone, printer, (to name just a few).

There are many ways to create networked computer systems. 

  • The simplest systems - called “peer-to-peer” networks - simply join multiple computers together so they can share documents and devices.
  • More complicated systems – called “client-server” networks join computers via “servers” which act as central storage devices for the network’s data.
  • The most complicated systems join multiple types of servers, from many locations – sometimes called “global networks”.