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Network Fundamentals Course Review

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By: Prasanna Peshkar

June 2, 2021

This Network Fundamentals course from Cybrary provides a general foundation for students who want to understand IT Networking, including core domains that work. This course will cover basic concepts of installing and configuring different network devices and the knowledge required to identify and interpret network topologies and delivers the student the expertise to provide feedback on network specifications.

What is Networking?

Networking is a way of communicating with others to transfer information. Computer networking is exactly like that. Computers use a common language and rules to interact.

In this beginner-level course, students will learn the required concepts to begin their network engineering careers. This involves understanding network devices, including hubs, routers, switches, bridges, servers, transmission media, and related hardware. This course will also immerse the student in the basic concepts of installing and configuring the various network devices.

What does this course bring to the table?

In lesson 1 of this course, students will learn various topics such as Cisco packet tracer, network terminology, networking, and how to download Cisco packet tracer if they don't have access to physical devices. This is an entry-level course that will help students meet the requirements of a Cyber Network Technician. In lesson 2, students will learn about various wireless protocols and then network protocols, IoT protocols, and cellular protocols. A network protocol is an organized set of rules determining how data is transmitted between various devices in the same network. Here connected devices communicate with each other despite differences in their internal processes, structure, or design. Students will learn that network protocols are why they can easily communicate with people all over the world. It plays an important role in modern digital communications.

In lessons 3, 4, and 5, students will learn about network devices, network architecture, and hubs. First, they will learn about the OSI model, network devices, and network maps. OSI Model stands for Open Systems Interconnection model. The OSI model is a framework that helps describe the functions of a network. It contains seven layers that characterize and standardize the communication of the various functions. Next, students will learn about various network devices such as hubs, switches, routers, bridges, servers, transmission media, and other related hardware. Finally, the course will explain how network maps give the visual layout of the network. Students will also learn about network architecture. Network architecture is a framework for the specialization of a network's physical components and functional organization, configuration, and topologies. Some examples are Star, Bus, Ring, and Mesh networks.

Lessons 6, 7 and 8 are all about switches, routers, and servers. Here, students will learn how the switch is represented as a single, small 3D box with four arrows and how routers handle packets between networks, while switches handle internetworking on the same network. Next, they will learn the servers, such as file servers, print servers, web servers, and email servers. Finally, they will learn how servers can be of different shapes and sizes.

In lessons 9, 10, and 11, students will learn about transmission media, maintaining network devices, software and firmware, and network contingency and recovery. First, they will learn that the main form of transmission media widely used is twisted-pair Ethernet. There are further two types of Ethernet cables: Shielded twisted pair (STP) and Unshielded twisted pair (UTP). Next, students will discover that STP has an outside layer or shield of conductive material around the internal conductors. This needs to be grounded to cancel the effect of electromagnetic interference. Whereas unshielded means no additional shield is used, like meshes or aluminum foil. After this, students will learn the most important topic, which is patching. Patching is the set of changes to a computer program or network device designed to update, fix, or improve it. This can include fixing vulnerabilities or other bugs or improving the device's functionality, usability, or performance. Patches are extremely important to keep all the devices running smoothly and securely. Finally, they will learn how contingency is something that could happen depending on other occurrences. They will learn how every contingency plan should answer three questions, such as:

  • What could happen?
  • What to do in case it happens?
  • How to prevent it from happening?

Conclusion

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Display an ability to manage network devices, including hubs, routers, switches, bridges, servers, transmission media, and related hardware.
  • Configure network hubs, routers, and switches (e.g., higher-level protocols, tunneling).
  • Present an understanding of network devices' skills and applications, including hubs, routers, switches, bridges, servers, transmission media, and related hardware.
  • Install and manage network infrastructure and device operating system software (e.g., IOS, firmware).
  • Exhibit experience in performing and testing network infrastructure contingency and recovery methods.
  • Install or patch network hubs, routers, and switches.
  • Provide feedback on network specifications, including network architecture and infrastructure.
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