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active hub

network device that has power connected to it. It regenerates any signal that is received.

backoff interval

period of time two network stations wait before trying to retransmit data after data packets from the two stations collide.

BNC - Bayonet Nut Connector - British Naval Connector

the type of connector used with coaxial cable

bus topology

a network topology in which a single conductor connects all the computers on a network

Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA)

protocol used by wireless networks to control and insure the delivery of data

Carrier Sense Multiple access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD)

protocol used by ethernet networks to control and insure the delivery of data

client/server model

a networking model in which the network is made up of computers that are either clients or servers


individual PC or workstation that accesses a server's resources and shared files

coaxial cable

consists of a core conductor surrounded by an insulator

cross talk

when a signal crosses from one set of wires to another set that runs directly alongside of it

dedicated server

server with special functions, such as file servers, print servers, database servers, web page servers, and/or administrative servers

Ethernet Network

a network that communicates by broadcasting information to all computers on the network

fiber-optic cable

a cable that contains a glass or plastic center used to carry light


device used to provide a quick and easy method of connecting network equipment together by cables

hybrid topology

a mixture od star, bus, and ring topologies

local area network (LAN)

a small network of computers contained in a relatively small area, such as an office building

media access control (MAC) address

a hexadecimal number programmed into the Network card's chip. It is different on every card produced..

mesh topology

a network topology in which each node connects directly to every other node on the network.

metropolitan area network

A group of two or more interconnected LANs operating under a single management. Ofthe encompasses a city-sized geographical area.

Multistation Access Unit

a hub-like device that physically connects computers in a star arrangement while maintaining a ring structure


two or more computers connected together for the purpose of sharing data and resources

network interface card (NIC)

connects the network communication media, usually twisted pair copper, to the individual network devices, such as workstations, file servers, and printers


any device connected to a client-server network

open system interconnect (OSI)

seven-layer reference model that describes how hardware and software should work together to form a network communication system


small unit of data into which larger amounts of data are divided so they can pass efficiently through a network

passive hub

acts as a connection point in a star topology. Signals transmitted from one computer are passed to all connected computers

peer-to-peer network

network administration model in which all PCs connected together are considered equal

protocol suite

a combination of individual protocols each designed for specific purposes


the process of locating and extracting data from a database system

ring topology

a network topology in which a single cable runs continuously from computer to computer


a section of cable between two network devices

sequence number

attached to each packet of data transmitted ensuring that the data will be reassembled in the exact order it was transmitted


powerful computer used to manage network resources and provide services such as security and file sharing

star topology

a network topology in which a cable runs from each computer to a single central point

switching hub

a network device that determines wheter a signal should remain in the isolated section of the network or be passed through the device to other parts of the network


a short binary code generated by network software that is passed along from one computer to the next along a ring topology (and some bus technologies)

Token Bus Network

A network that uses a bus topology and a token-passing system

Token Ring Network

A network that uses a ring topology and a token-passing system


the physical arrangement of hardware and cabling in a network system

twisted pair cable

network cabling made up of four pairs of conductors twisted around each other

wide area network (WAN)

a large number of computers spread over a wide geographical area and under the control of a centrally located administrator

wireless topology

a network topology that uses no cabling sytem between the computers, but rather uses infrared light or radio transmission to communicate between network devices

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