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Introduction to Networking (Self-Paced Tutorial)

History of Networking

Have you ever wondered how networks started? In your first lesson, you will learn how networks have evolved over the last hundred years. By the time you've completed this lesson, you will have a framework of knowledge that will take you through the rest of the course.

How Networks Operate

In this lesson, you will jump right into networks and networking, with examples from everyday experience. You will learn how to tell the difference between a network and networking and realize that computer networks are a lot like freeway networks. You will never look at an interstate the same way again.

Peer-to-Peer versus Client/Server

Have you ever heard someone refer to a computer as a server? Maybe you've heard someone talk about connecting computers in a peer-to-peer environment. In this lesson, you will learn how to tell the difference between client/server and peer-to-peer networks, and when to use one instead of the other.

Network Types and Topologies

Many people have heard of Ethernet, but what does that mean exactly? This lesson is all about Ethernet. Is Ethernet or Token Ring the best modern network technology, and why? In this lesson, you will get those answers and many more.

Segmentation and Routing

This lesson explores how routers operate, and you will see why routers operate a lot like how a receptionist in a growing company handles telephone calls. Then, you will find out how a single interconnected network (the Internet) can actually span the entire globe.

Protocols

Computers communicate over a network using something called a protocol. Protocols are similar to languages, and in this lesson, you will learn about the protocols used in networking. You will also learn which protocol has emerged as the dominant computer protocol, and why.

TCP/IP

This lesson explores how the networking protocol TCP/IP operates. You will learn how TCP/IP uses addresses to direct data to its rightful owner—it's similar to how we use street addresses.

Name Resolution and Services

Have you ever wondered how your computer converts a World Wide Web address into a website that appears on your screen? In this lesson, you will learn how the Domain Name System (DNS) translates names into numeric addresses, and how all that allows your favorite website, email, or file to appear on your computer screen.

Wide Area Networks (WANs)

This lesson looks at Wide Area Networks (WANs) and how they compare to Local Area Networks (LANs). You will learn all about how data gets sent over long distances and how the Internet changed expensive, long-distance network connections. You will also learn how VPNs secure those Internet connections from prying eyes.

Remote Access

If you connect to the Internet, you use remote access. This lesson explores the traditional means of connecting to remote LANs and how DSL and cable Internet access works. You will learn the means by which many people connect to the Internet, including wireless and cellular networks.

Making Internet Connections

In this lesson, you will apply many of the concepts you've learned so far in this course. You will come to understand what's going on behind the scenes. From there, you will learn how to connect to the Internet using broadband connections, configuring a home router, and testing what you've done.

Review and Conclusion

Your final lesson ties together all the previous lessons, clarifying how new information about networks and networking can be quickly understood. You will learn three categories into which networking knowledge can be placed.

 
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