Basic Network Hardware - Modems, Routers, Switches, Repeaters, etc...

+13 Bucky Roberts · May 31, 2015
Here are just some quick notes from my networking tutorials


  • Device that connect your network to the internet

  • Converts digital signals from a router (and other digital devices) to analog signals that can be sent over copper wire

How to choose the right modem?

  • Make sure it is compatible with your ISP

  • on their website you can find a list of approved modems

  • Speed (data transfer rate)

  • make sure that the speed is at least that of your internet

  • 300 Mbps broadband doesn’t matter if you have a 50 Mbps modem

Most popular standard modems use the DOCSIS standard (rules for communication)

  • currently, there are DOCSIS 1.x, DOCSIS 2.0, and DOCSIS 3.0

  • Get the latest version for best performance (they are also backwards compatible to more likely to work with everything else)

  • Also 8 x 4 channels (8 downstream and 4 upstream) instead of 4 x 4 if you can

Also make sure you get the right kind. If you have cable, get a cable modem and not DSL (not a problem if you just select one compatible with your ISP)



  • Your devices (computers, phones, laptops) don’t communicate directly with one another

  • Instead they are all connected to a central device called a router

  • Most routers now offer both wired and wireless connections

  • usually have 4-6 Ethernet ports in the back

  • Also is responsible for choosing the best route for the data to travel

  • Remember that routers join networks together (your home network with internet)

Router will connect to your modem to give your network internet access



Most routers have ports to plug 4-6 Ethernet devices into.
If you need more, you can buy a switch.

Switches connect devices (computer, laptops, printers)

  • Unmanaged - work right out of the box

  • Managed - allows you to monitor the network and some additional settings

  • alert you when something goes wrong

  • tell you which parts of the network are used most

  • etc…


Hubs vs Switches

  • Both allow you to connect multiple devices

  • When data comes in to a hub, it sends it out every single port

  • the individual devices then look at the data and ignore it if it was meant for another one

  • When switches receive data, they examine it and see the destination address

  • they then send the data out only to that device

  • Switches are better because they are faster, and more secure

  • Other computers don’t see data that isn't meant for them

How to choose the right switch?

  • You don’t. Don’t buy them.

  • No one uses hubs anymore. 



  • These are often called "extenders"

  • All they do is take a weak signal, and gives it a boost so it can travel further

  • Also if your Ethernet cable is over 100 meters, you need to use a repeater or else the signal will be too weak

  • Switches and routers also act as repeaters

Post a Reply


Oldest  Newest  Rating
+1 Sampan Verma · June 4, 2015
Good Notes, I liked them. Better save them for future, if needed
+1 Barik Yusif · May 10, 2016
+1 william kern · May 19, 2016
Good one..
+1 Arch38 ツ · June 17, 2016
0 Sanskar Gupta · September 2, 2016
Awesome notes :)
0 Arira joseph · March 6, 2017
Nice one Bucky
  • 1



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