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Business Network Administration – Basic Components

There are many different types of devices used in computer networks. In this article, we cover the most basic and common network components that provide a robust IT environment for employees. Basic networking components covered in this article are routers, network cables, switches, hubs, wireless access points, servers and network interface cards. IT services providers in Ottawa can assist you in selecting specific brands and models. Need help with networks? Contact us now!


Routers are devices on the network which is responsible for forwarding data from one device to another. This data is sent in packets (basic units of information) from one device to another. The router reads the network information on the packets in order to determine the destination it should be routed to.


A network switch is a networking device that connects devices on the network allowing for data to be transferred within the network.

Network hubs

A network hub is another networking device which connects multiple peripherals on a network making them act as a single segment, however, other than a switch or router; a hub broadcast data across each connection instead of routing it to a specific device.

Wireless access points

A Wireless Access Point is simply a device which allows for wireless connections. The access point acts as a router by routing data from one device to another by using wireless frequencies. The most common protocol used is IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) which underpins wireless networking applications.

Network Cables

Networking cables are used to physically connect networking device to another. Different types of cables may be used depending on the devices being connected, the network topology and the size of the network. For instance, in a small office network, an Ethernet cable is the primary network cable used to connect to devices over a short distance whereas fiber optic cables are preferred for transmitting data over a larger distance such as the connection from the internet service provider to the client.

Network Server

A network server is the main computer on the network. This computer is commonly known as the repository of data and programs which exists on the network.

The server provides functionality (services) for all other devices on the network and these devices are known as “clients”. IT companies in Ottawa typically use network monitoring software in order to monitor, secure, update and maintain the network.

Network Interface Cards (NIC)

In order for a device to be able to connect to a network, it requires a network interface card (NIC). The NIC, also known as a network adapter, enables the device to send and receive data via the network either through the use of an Ethernet cable or Wireless Connection.
Without a NIC installed a device will not be able to connect to a network.

These are the basic components a network requires in order to provide a robust and secure IT environment. Ottawa computer services providers carry a broad range of brands and models to meet every possible need a company might have.

Next, we will be covering network services: applications or functions commonly utilized by network administrators and companies providing Ottawa network support.