The Big Question in Networking

How does a computer network really work?

Description and resources for Networking

When a normal computer user wants to use a computer network, they usually just turn on their device and open a web browser. As a computer scientist, you are interested in how a network really works.

In this topic, you will learn about types of network, protocols, standards, packets, VPN’s, and more.

Networks encapsulate messages into packets and then transmit those packets to another network via a clever system of routers and switches. When the packets arrive at their destination, they are de-encapsulated and changed into a message an application can then display to a user. And this happens in under one second!

Big question: How do different networks communicate without errors?

Big question: How do wireless networks work?

Big questions: What are the physical parts of a network?

You will learn some pretty powerful tools which help you understand how networks actually work on your computer.

Transfer goals


Related Networking standards

Identify different types of networks.
Outline the importance of standards in the construction of networks.
Describe how communication over networks is broken down into different layers.
Identify the technologies required to provide a VPN.
Evaluate the use of a VPN.
Define the terms: protocol, data packet.
Explain why protocols are necessary.
Explain why the speed of data transmission across a network can vary.
Explain why compression of data is often necessary when transmitting across a network.
Outline the characteristics of different transmission media.
Explain how data is transmitted by packet switching.
Outline the advantages and disadvantages of wireless networks.
Describe the hardware and software components of a wireless network.
Describe the characteristics of wireless networks.
Describe the different methods of network security.
Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each method of network security.

Daily notes with the topic Networking

These are only displayed for our current academic year (2021 - 2022).

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