Network Access Methods

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Network Access Methods
• Contention
o Carrier-Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) – Used by Ethernet
o Carrier-Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance
• Token Passing
• Demand Priority – Describes a method where intelligent hubs control data transmission. A computer will send a demand signal to the hub indicating that it wants to transmit. The hub will respond with an acknowledgement that will allow the computer to transmit. The hub will allow computers to transmit in turn. An example of a demand priority network is 100VG-AnyLAN (IEEE 802.12). It uses a star-bus topology.
• Polling – A central controller, also called the primary device will poll computers, called secondary devices, to find out if they have data to transmit. Of so the central controller will allow them to transmit for a limited time, then the next device is polled
Routers, brouters, and gateways are inter-networking devices used for connecting different networks.
A repeater connects two segments of your network cable. It re times and regenerates the signals to proper amplitudes and sends them to the other segments. When talking about, ethernet topology, you are probably talking about using a hub as a repeater. Repeaters require a small amount of time to regenerate the signal. This can cause a propagation delay which can affect network communication when there are several repeaters in a row. Many network architectures limit the number of repeaters that can be used in a row. Repeaters work only at the physical layer of the OSI network model.
A bridge reads the outermost section of data on the data packet, to tell where the message is going. It reduces the traffic on other network segments, since it does not send all packets. Bridges can be programmed to reject packets from particular networks. Bridging occurs at the data link layer of the OSI model, which means the bridge cannot read IP addresses, but only the outermost hardware address of the packet. In our case the bridge can read the ethernet data which gives the hardware address of the destination address, not the IP address. Bridges forward all broadcast messages. Only a special bridge called a translation bridge will allow two networks of different architectures to be connected. Bridges do not normally allow connection of networks with different architectures. The hardware address is also called the MAC (media access control) address. To determine the network segment a MAC address belongs to, bridges use one of:
• Transparent Bridging – They build a table of addresses (bridging table) as they receive packets. If the address is not in the bridging table, the packet is forwarded to all segments other than the one it came from. This type of bridge is used on ethernet networks.
• Source route bridging – The source computer provides path information inside the packet. This is used on Token Ring networks.
A router is used to route data packets between two networks. It reads the information in each packet to tell where it is going. If it is destined for an immediate network it has access to, it will strip the outer packet (IP packet for example), readdress the packet to the proper ethernet address, and transmit it on that network. If it is destined for another network and must be sent to another router, it will re-package the outer packet to be received by the next router and send it to the next router. Routing occurs at the network layer of the OSI model. They can connect networks with different architectures such as Token Ring and Ethernet. Although they can transform information at the data link level, routers cannot transform information from one data format such as TCP/IP to another such as IPX/SPX. Routers do not send broadcast packets or corrupted packets. If the routing table does not indicate the proper address of a packet, the packet is discarded. There are two types of routers:

1. Static routers – Are configured manually and route data packets based on information in a router table.
2. Dynamic routers – Use dynamic routing algorithms. There are two types of algorithms:
o Distance vector – Based on hop count, and periodically broadcasts the routing table to other routers which takes more network bandwidth especially with more routers. RIP uses distance vectoring. Does not work on WANs as well as it does on LANs.
o Link state – Routing tables are broadcast at startup and then only when they change. The open shortest path first (OSPF) protocol uses the link state routing method to configure routes or distance vector algorithm (DVA).
Common routing protocols include:
• IS-IS -Intermediate system to intermediate system which is a routing protocol for the OSI suite of protocols.
• IPX – Internet Packet Exchange. Used on Netware systems.
• NLSP – Netware Link Services protocol – Uses OSPF algorithm and is replacing IPX to provide internet capability.
• RIP – Routing information protocol uses a distance vector algorithm.
There is a device called a brouter which will function similar to a bridge for network transport protocols that are not routable, and will function as a router for routable protocols. It functions at the network and data link layers of the OSI network model.
A gateway can translate information between different network data formats or network architectures. It can translate TCP/IP to AppleTalk so computers supporting TCP/IP can communicate with Apple brand computers. Most gateways operate at the application layer, but can operate at the network or session layer of the OSI model. Gateways will start at the lower level and strip information until it gets to the required level and repackage the information and work its way back toward the hardware layer of the OSI model. To confuse issues, when talking about a router that is used to interface to another network, the word gateway is often used. This does not mean the routing machine is a gateway as defined here, although it could be.
Transmission of waves take place in the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. The carrier frequency of the data is expressed in cycles per second called hertz(Hz). Low frequency signals can travel for long distances through many obstacles but can not carry a high bandwidth of date while high frequency signals can travel for shorter distances through few obstacles and carry a narrow bandwidth. Also the noise effect on the signal is inversely proportional to the power of the radio transmitter. The three broad categories of wireless media are:
1. Radio – 10 Khz to 1 Ghz. It is broken into many bands including AM, FM, and VHF bands. The Federal communications Commission (FCC) regulates the assignment of these frequencies. Frequencies for unregulated use are:
o 902-928Mhz – Cordless phones, remote controls.
o 2.4 Ghz
o 5.72-5.85 Ghz
2. Microwave
o Terrestrial – Used to link networks over long distances but the two microwave towers must have a line of sight between them. The frequency is usually 4-6GHz or 21-23GHz. Speed is often 1-10Mbps. The signal is normally encrypted for privacy. Two nodes may exist.
o Satellite – A satellite orbits at 22,300 miles above the earth which is an altitude that will cause it to stay in a fixed position relative to the rotation of the earth. This is called a geosynchronous orbit. A station on the ground will send and receive signals from the satellite. The signal can have propagation delays between 0.5 to 5 seconds due to the distances involved. The transmission frequency is normally 11-14GHz with a transmission speed in the range of 1-10Mbps.
3. Infared – Infared is just below the visible range of light between 100Ghz and 1000Thz. A light emitting diode (LED) or laser is used to transmit the signal. The signal cannot travel through objects. Light may interfere with the signal. The types of infared are
o Point to point – Transmission frequencies are 100GHz-1,000THz . Transmission is between two points and is limited to line of sight range. It is difficult to eavesdrop on the transmission. The speed is 100Kbps to 16Mbps
o broadcast – The signal is dispersed so several units may receive the signal. The unit used to disperse the signal may be reflective material or a transmitter that amplifies and retransmits the signal. Normally the speed is limited to 1Mbps. The transmission frequency is normally 100GHz-1,000THz with transmission distance in 10’s of meters. Installation is easy and cost is relatively inexpensive for wireless.
• wireless bridge – Microwave or infared is used between two line of site points where it is difficult to run wire.
• CDPD – Cellular Digital Packet Data will allow network connections for mobile users using satellites.


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