Components of Computer Network

Different components are used to create a computer network. The main components used to form a computer network are Hardware components and Software. Hardware components such as Computer, Transmission devices ( such as NIC, hub, Switch, bridge, gateway, repeater, and router ), Channels such as ( Wires, microwaves, radio waves, and satellite ) and Software  Such as ( NOS and communication protocol ) are the required components to create a network.


Hardware components

Some of the hardware components used in the computer network are described below:


The computer is the main component of networking. It is used to send and receive information in the network. In a network, there may be at least two to hundred or thousands of computers. The computers may be of different types such as microcomputers, Minicomputers, and mainframe computers in the network. Some computer in the network act as a client, some act as a server and other act as Internet service providers ( ISPS )

Network Interface Card ( NIC )

The NIC is a network-connecting device also known as a network adapter. This device is placed on the expansion slot of the motherboard. It provides a port on the back of the system unit to connect a computer in a network. It controls the flow of data between the computers in the networks


This is a network connecting device used in Local Area Network (LAN). It is a simple, inexpensive device that joins multiple computers together. Many network hubs are available today to support the Ethernet standard. Other types including USB hubs also exist. But Ethernet hub is the most commonly used in home networking. It is also called a multiport repeater.

The information sent from one computer to another passes through the hub. A hub can’t identify the source or intended destination of the information it receives, so it sends the information to all of the computers connected to it. A hub can send or revive information, but it can’t do both at the same time so it works slower  than switches or routers



 Router us a network connecting devices that join multiple wired or wireless networks together. It connects two different networks having similar protocols. A complex network needs a device, which not only knows the address of each segment but also can determine the best path for sending data and filtering broadcast traffic to the local segment. Such a device is called a Router. Routers are usually used in a complex network situation because they provide better traffic management than other devices. Reuters will only pass the information if the network address is known. This ability to control the data passing through the router the amount of traffic between networks.


Bridge connects the different network segments or different networks having similar protocols. Bridges reduce the amount of traffic on a LAN by dividing it into two segments They are operated at the data link layer

( Layer2 ) of the IOS model, Bridges inspect the Incoming traffic and decide whether to forward or discard it. This device is used to 1010 two different networks or two segments within the same network. Generally, it is used to join a similar LANs having the same communication protocols.


The gateway connects Two networks having dissimilar communication protocol. A network gateway is an internetworking system capable of joining two networks together that use different base protocols. Gateways Take communication possible between different architectures and environments. They repackage and convert data going from one environment to another So that each environment can understand the other environment’s data. Generally, it is used to join two different networks having different protocols.


The repeater is a network device that increases the length of the network by amplifying weak signals. Repeaters take the weak signal from the computers and other devices on the LAN३and regenerates the Signal to maintain its integrity while traveling along with a longer media. So, it enables Signals to travel longer distances over the network Repeaters ( 10 1101 have any capability of directing network traffic or deciding what particular route that certain data should take, They are simply devices that sit on the network and boost the data Signals that they receive.

Media Connectors

Media connectors are the necessary devices that are used to connect communication media With network devices. They provide data communication through a network adapter. According to the network system and communication media, We need to choose a suitable and correct connector for smooth data transmission. There are different types of media connectors such as RJ-45, BNC ( British Naval Connector / Bayonet Naur Connector ), T – connector, Terminal, etc.

Software Components

Some of the basic software components used in a computer network are described below :

Network Software

A special type of software that is used to control and manage all the resources used in a computer network is called network software, This kind of software is designed to help set up. manage and monitor computer networks. It is also called a Network Operating System ( NOS ). Novell Netware is the most popular Network Operating System. The network software is also available with different operating system software such as Windows, Linux, etc. The networking software is available to manage And networks of all sizes, from the smallest home networks to the largest enterprise networks. Especially NOS (s) are used in the server computers.

Communication protocol

Certain rules are needed for sending and receiving information between the computers in the network. Such rules are called protocols. A protocol is a set of rules that governs data communications. A protocol defines what is communicated. How it is communicated and when it is communicated. The  Network control protocol (NCP) was the first Protocol. Later, The Transmission Control Protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP) was developed. This protocol is still in use today. Some of the common protocols used in the network are:

  • TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet protocol)
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
  • HTTP(Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
  • IMAP(Internet Message Access Protocol)
  • NNTP(Network News Transfer protocol)
  • POP(post office protocol)
  • SMTP(simple mail transfer protocol)
  • TFTP(trivial file transfer protocol, a simple file transfer protocol)
  • PPP(point to point protocol)
  • IPX/SPX(internetwork packet exchange/sequenced packet exchange)
  • Net BEUI(network bios extended user interface)