Key Concepts for Network Configuration

Key Concepts for Network Configuration

IP Address and DNS – Internet Protocol (IP) Address is like your street address, it provides a unique address for each network device. Domain Name Service (DNS) provides a naming system to IP addresses, for example has an IP address of, is easier to remember for the end user.

Server and Client – A Server is an application or computer that hosts a Service. The client would be the device receiving a service. For example, if you have a computer on a domain, the computer is connecting to the Active Directory server for logon permissions. The workstation that is requesting the logon will be the client.

VPN – Virtual Private Network. For those workers who telecommunicate to work, they use a VPN. A VPN allows a logical connection to a network, which allows use of a particular networks resources.

Firewalls – A server that provides a security application. All packets and traffic on any network are assigned a port number. A firewall scans all traffic that passes through for specific port numbers that are and are not allowed on the network. The firewall will block unwanted traffic from entering or leaving the network.

LAN versus WAN – LAN is a Local Area Network, an example would be a Home network, or an Office, or an entire building’s network and all of the network devices and resources. A WAN is a Wide Area Network. In Most Cases A WAN is going to be the internet service providers network. This network spans larger than just a home or office network. (Ocens, 2012)

This specific network topology is considered a Local Area Network or a LAN. It depicts how a home network (LAN) communicates to other devices on the LAN and to the internet (WAN). The LAN contains 6 network devices to include a printer, a desktop computer, a facsimile machine, a router, an IP phone, and a laptop. There is also a camera. In most home network the router/modem is a multi-layer device containing a router, modem, and a firewall. The Modem provides the actual connection to the WAN via coax cable, the firewall scans all traffic for specific threats and protocols that are pre-defined in the configuration of the device, the router ensures all traffic arrives at the correct destination in a timely manner. The Router also provides a function called NAT or Network Address Translation. Because of the lack of IPv4 addresses, the NAT protocol was created in order to allow each home to have one public IP address, and that address is translated into multiple private addresses. Each network device within the LAN will receive a private address. Once that traffic passes through the router, it will be translated to the public IP address for further routing.

To communicate, each device on the network uses an IP address. An IP address allows the router to uniquely identify the source and destination of information flow. All devices can be plugged directly into the router or if the equipment is capable it can be wirelessly connected. The Camera can communicate on the network when directly connected to the laptop, desktop computer, or the printer. All devices on the home network sends its information to the router, using the destination IP address, the router will route the information to the correct location for delivery. All items on the LAN (directly connected) will communicate with each other network device without passing through the firewall. All information flowing from outside to inside the network or vice versa, will be required to pass through the firewall.


Ocens, Ryan (August 17, 2012) “Basic Computer Networking Terminology”. 

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