1.6. Routers,Switches and Servers
Routers: Routers connect multiple networks together. They also connect computers on those networks to the Internet. Routers enable all networked computers to share a single Internet connection, which saves money. A router acts as dispatcher. It analyzes data being sent across a network, chooses the best route for data to travel, and sends it on its way. Routers connect your business to the world, protect information from security threats, and can even decide which computers receive priority over others. Beyond those basic networking functions, routers come with additional features to make networking easier or more secure. Depending on your needs, for example, you can choose a router with a firewall, a virtual private network (VPN), or an Internet Protocol (IP) communications system.
Switches: Switches are the foundation of most business networks. A switch acts as a controller, connecting computers, printers, and servers to a network in a building or a campus. Switches allow devices on your network to communicate with each other, as well as with other networks, creating a network of shared resources. Through information sharing and resource allocation, switches save money and increase productivity.
There are two basic types of switches to choose from as part of your networking basics: managed and unmanaged.
An unmanaged switch works out of the box but can't be configured. Home-networking equipment typically offers unmanaged switches.
A managed switch can be configured. You can monitor and adjust a managed
Servers: A server is a computer that provides data to other computers. It may serve data to systems on a local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN) over the Internet. Many types of servers exist, including web servers, mail servers, and file servers. Each type runs software specific to the purpose of the server.