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Table Of Contents  The TCP/IP Guide
 9  Networking Fundamentals

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The Disadvantages (Costs) of Networking
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Networking Layers, Models and Architectures
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Fundamental Network Characteristics

There are many different kinds of networks, and network technologies used to create them. The proliferation of networking methods has generally occurred for a very good reason: different needs require different solutions. The drawback of this is that there are so many different types of protocols and technologies for the networking student to understand! Before you can really compare these approaches, you need to understand some of the basic characteristics that make networks what they are. While network types may be quite dissimilar, they are often described and even contrasted on the basis of a number of common attributes.

In this section, I introduce and discuss a number of key networking concepts that describe and differentiate different types of networks and networking technologies. I also introduce and define a number of terms and “buzzwords” that you cannot avoid if you are going to learn about networks. The topics here include explanations of protocols, switching methods, types of network messages, message formatting, and ways of addressing messages. I also discuss the differences between client-server and peer-to-peer networking.

Note: If you have considerable experience in networking, you may not need to read everything in this section. I'd suggest scanning the headings of the various topics here; if you understand the terminology mentioned in a topic’s title, you can probably feel pretty safe in skipping it.


Quick navigation to subsections and regular topics in this section



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