The Importance of Hardware and Networking

Computer hardware and networking are essential components of a functional system, which explains why specialists in these fields are in such high demand worldwide.

Networking refers to connecting computers together so they can share resources such as files and printers, thus increasing performance and efficiency while decreasing costs by eliminating additional equipment needs.


Cables serve as conduits that enable network hardware to communicate between locations. They carry data and power between different areas. There are various kinds of cables used for different functions; examples include data, audio and video cables.

Wires and cables differ primarily in that a wire is typically composed of one conductor made from conductive material while cables consist of multiple insulated wires bundled together under sheathing for protection from electrical noise interference. A cable may include grounding wires to reduce interference to its signal transmission capabilities.

Twisted pair cables consist of multiple insulated wires twisted together to reduce electrical noise and interference, commonly used in Ethernet networking systems. Shielded cables offer protection from electromagnetic radiation; unshielded versions tend to be cheaper but may cause interference that lowers signal quality during transmission.


Switches are networking hardware used to connect devices within a network. They provide wired connections between desktop computers, wireless access points, printers and industrial machinery within an enterprise to send and receive data between themselves. In contrast to Ethernet hubs, switches are more intelligent in routing data packets to their desired destinations based on destination.

There are two primary types of network switches: unmanaged and managed. Unmanaged switches allow Ethernet devices to communicate directly without any configuration settings or restrictions; they’re suitable for networks where performance isn’t a major concern. Managed switches offer more options for configuration as well as various features to optimize and secure networks; examples of such features may include:

Wireless Access Points (WAPs)

WAPs are integral parts of IT networks. They send out radiofrequency waves (or waves) that enable devices such as laptops to access the internet wirelessly. WAPs may sometimes be mistaken for range extenders; however, there is an important distinction between them; an extender adds additional distance coverage while WAPs send and receive wireless signals like hubs or switches in wired networks.

Some organizations prefer physical on-site controllers for their wireless access points (WAPs), while others utilize cloud-based solutions. Because the positioning of your WAP can significantly impact its performance and coverage area, an in-depth site survey should be performed prior to placing any devices.


Routers increase total productivity by connecting multiple computers to one network connection and sharing access to the internet. Small routers used in office networks also come equipped with security functions like firewall protection.

Hubs and switches take data signals and pass them along, while routers inspect every packet individually to find the best route. Think of it like air traffic controllers directing planes – data packets have specific addresses which must be delivered efficiently through routers.

Routers form the core of the global internet by routing data packets between networks. Core routers are among the most powerful and can often be found at large enterprises and ISPs; they’re used to transmit large volumes of packets back and forth. Edge routers, on the other hand, sit at the edges of networks but communicate with core routers over Border Gateway Protocol.

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