Networking Analysis

Networking Analysis

IT 273 Unit 5

IT 273 Networking Concepts

Modern day networks have many more options than they did in the past. The technology has improved leaps and bounds in a relatively short amount of time, most of it during the last twenty years. Society has one from the aggravating sound of a dialup modem connecting to ultra-high-speed gigabit internet which can download gigabytes worth of data in a matter of minutes. Physical pieces of equipment have improved in quality and capability as well. In another decade, there is no telling exactly where things will be.

I have learned about the different types of networks, which are based on the way the network is to be used. A LAN or WLAN are local area. This would be a small area, relative to an office, office building, or a house. These networks will typically use wires like Cat-5e or Cat-6 cables to connect the computers to the network via a router or switch, but wireless local area networks use radio signals to connect devices that can receive those signals and translating them for the device. The use of radio waves is why a laptop computer has a key with a radio tower on it to turn on and off the wireless card.

Another unit focused on the type of cabling that was being used to bring the network connectivity to the devices attached. Like most people, when I set up my home network, I just used whatever cables came from my internet service provider in order to get the router working with the service that they were providing for me. The cables I used to hook the wired devices to the router were just the ones that I had used with the previous router. Even when our router was switched out for one that could handle higher speeds. The cables being used are important because they will determine the speeds the system is capable of. Cat-3 cabling is older cabling and not able to handle the speeds or data throughput that Cat-5e cables can.

Firewalls are another important thing that need to be added onto a system. I use the existing firewall rules that are default on my router, as well as what came with the operating system, and the built-in blocking protocols of my web browser. However, I have learned that the firewall is a significantly more important thing than I thought, as the technology has improved. Firewalls now can be focused to allow only specific devices to connect to the network using a protocol known as MAC address filtering. While MAC addresses can be spoofed, it is more difficult for the average hacker to do.

IP Addresses, which are like phone numbers for computers accessing the internet. There are two versions that are commonly used by devices now. The most common IP version is version 4 which has addresses in 32-bit form made up of 4 octets which can be broken down into binary form using several techniques, or online conversion tools. The number of addresses available using the IPv4 system has been vastly depleted because there are more and more devices attempting to access the internet. Each device needs its own IP address. To that end, IPv6 was developed. It uses hexadecimal for creating the IP addresses, which are significantly more secure, and much more numerous.

Using the information I have learned in this class about creating networks, and securing them, I am confident that I can create a more efficient and secure network for my home network. I would add a separate firewall that can handle the high speeds that I pay my internet service provider for. The firewall, I would configure for MAC filtering on the wireless devices that I use so that only the devices I want are allowed through, which protects my network from having data stolen, and individuals who may have the wireless password from actually being able to use my network for something, regardless of their intentions. I have always desired to be on the more cutting edge of technology. To that end, while it is not necessary, I would change out the CAT-5e cabling that currently connects the devices to the router for CAT-6 or CAT-6a cables depending on which has the better deal when I go to purchase it. I would make this choice because I do a significant amount of work from my home desktop computer, which requires the ability to transmit more data faster. For IP address structuring, because there are relatively few devices, and what I pay the ISP for is a home network, I am not charged by the address used, I might continue to allow the router to automatically assign the addresses and let them go. However, a more efficient way to deal with things is to create a subnet that limits the number of IP addresses my network has available, and releases the rest to be used on other networks.