A Comprehensive Guide On Components of Computer Network

Here, we will learn about the basic components or elements of the Computer Network in detail.
The components of the computer network are the various software and hardware resources which are used for constructing the network at organizations as well as homes.

Following are the various components which are used to construct a network:

1. Client
2. Server
3. Transmission Media
4. NIC
5. Protocol
6. Network Operating System
7. Local Operating System
8. Hub
9. Switch
10. Router
11. Modem
12. Bridge
13. Repeater
14. Gateway


Clients are the computers or machines which communicate with the other clients or to the main server in the network.
These machines send the request to the server and receive some services from the server for accessing and using the shared network resources.


A server is a machine with a high configuration which stores all the data and information shared on the network in one place. This machine allows the clients to use network resources over the network.
The server receives the request from the client and serves the services according to the client’s request.
There are various types of the server such as fax server, file server, mail server, web server, and communication server, which provide their multiple functions.

Transmission Media

Transmission media is an important component of the computer network because without it network devices cannot work until they are connected to each other.
Transmission media are the channels which carry data and information from one network device to another network device. In networking, transmission media consists of guided and unguided transmission media.
Guided transmission media consists following type of cables for transmitting the data from one device to another over the network:
1. Twisted Pair cable
2. Co-axial Cable
3. Fibre Optic cable
Unguided transmission media consists following type of electromagnetic waves for transmitting the data from one device to another over the network:
1. Radio waves
2. Micro waves
3. Infrared waves


NIC is an abbreviation of the Network Interface Card. It is an essential hardware component that connects multiple computers for communication over the network. A network interface card is available in all the computers of a network which formats, receives, sends the data, and controls the data flow between the network and the computer.

NIC is categorized into the following two types:

1. Wired NIC: This type of NIC is present in the motherboard and uses the cables and connectors as a medium for transmitting the data.
2. Wireless NIC: This type of NIC contains the antenna to establish a connection over the wireless network.


A protocol is a set of defined rules which are followed by each client of the network for data transmitting between two entities. Following are some common network protocols used for  networking:
1. IP (Internet Protocol),
2. TCP (Transfer Control Protocol),
3. UDP (User Datagram Protocol),
4. FTP (File Transfer Protocol),
5. SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), etc.

Network Operating system

Network Operating System is an operating system that is mainly designed only for the network systems. It is basically installed on clients and servers and allows the clients to share data, files, printers, applications, etc. over the network.

Local Operating system

Local Operating System is an operating system that allows the users to access files and CD drives located on personal computers. It also allows printing the documents on a local printer.


Hub is a hardware component or device of the computer network which splits the large network connection into small multiple workstations or computers. This networking device acts as a distribution center on the physical layer of the OSI model.
When a client machine requests any information from the network or other specific client computer then the hub is the first device that receives the request via cable. And, then the hub transmits that request to the entire network.


A switch is a small hardware component or device which is used in wired networks. It is like as a hub, it does not broadcast the message or request to the entire network, but it analyses the port to whom the request is to be transferred.
As compared to the hub, it is built with more advanced features. This hardware component uses the physical addresses in each incoming request so that it can transfer the request to the correct port or destination. Due to the direct connection of source and destination, switch devices increase the speed of the network.


A router is a device which allows users to share data, information, and resources between the connected multiple client computers of the different network. It performs all its functions in the third (network) layer of the OSI model.
Routers are used to receive and analyze the data packets and it also forwards the received data packets to another network. It forwards the packets to another network on the basis of information available in the routing table.


Modem means modulator-demodulator. It is a hardware component that uses the existing telephone line for connecting the computer to the internet. In computer networking, it transfers the digital data from one computer terminal to another computer terminal through a telephone network.

There are two types of modem in a computer network:

1. Ethernet modem
2. Wireless modem


A bridge is a hardware device which interconnects the multiple local networks working on the same protocol. It provides data communication between the devices of connected multiple local networks.
Bridge performs all its functions in the data link layer of the OSI model. Network administrators also used this hardware device for splitting the larger network into the small various networks.


A repeater is a communication component of the computer network which regenerates the incoming signals over the same network before the signals become too weak.
The main aim of the repeater is to extend the transmissions so that the signals easily cover the longer distance in the same network. Repeater performs all its tasks in the physical layer of the OSI model.
A repeater is a two-port hardware device that connects the two segments of the network cable.
Many repeater devices are used in wide area networks (WANs).


Gateway is a special hardware component which acts as a gate between the two networks of different networking models. Gateway is a hardware device which performs all its tasks on the transport, session, application, and transport layer of the OSI reference model. It manages all the data that enter and exit from the network.
This hardware device is more complex than the switch or router hardware device because it uses more than one communication protocol. This device uses packet switching techniques for transferring information or data over the network.

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