networking systems

     table of content
  1. How to use this page
  2. Key Terms
  3. Communications network
  4. Protocols
  5. Data transmission modes
  6. Data transmission rates
  7. Data transmission media
  8. Factors Influencing Media Transmission
  9. Types of networks
  10. Components of networks
  11. Security of information
  12. Network topologies
  13. Network operating systems
  14. Factors in media transmission
  15. Project development
  16. Portfolio tasks
  17. Assessment
  18. Registration and programs
  19. copyright and acknowledgements
  20. Class site
  21. Home

How to use this page

This page has all the subject content that you will need to complete the required study for IST. You will find a range of activities called “portfolio”, “essential tasks” and ” weekly homework”. You are required to complete all of these tasks as they all make up a component of your assessment schedule. You are also expected to present your completed work on a Googlesite sharing this site with your teacher.

There are due dates displayed with each task. The Portfolio tasks will achieve a mark full marks for a well completed task, half marks for a incomplete but mostly completed and a zero mark will be given for a non attempt.The Assessments details may be found here.

Your work will be completed within the Cloudshare environment, however, an important security issue exists and you are required to ONLY use your school credentials for all online use within Cloudshare or external for example Voki.

The series of YouTubes are important to view as these will present to you visual detail that you may not see in the text. The scheduled IST end of Semester Examinations will be created from the content found on this site.

essential task 1
a) Create your own website, or add to your Cloudshare sites by visiting here. Use your first name and initial of your family name so that others in the course will have a standard format to find your website. Never place any personal details on your website.

b) Share as an owner your website with your IST class teacher using their . This is a CEO policy for student websites.

c) Add to your website a avatar, embed a youtube video, with a Networking theme. Add a sentence as to why you selected this video.

View this tube to view a tutorial on how to use googlesites.

View more Radford University tutorial tubes on how to use googlesites.

essential task 2

a) Create a pages titled “Networking Systems” then read this section of sushi “Networking Systems” and summarise using all the eleven headings provided. The addition of an appropriate image would be good.

Key Terms

b) Create a page titled “Networking Systems Key terms” and using the terms shown in this section of sushi and provide a meaning to each of these terms. Use this computer terms site here to find the meanings. You may choose to Google the term. The addition of an appropriate image would be good.

bus topology
data transmission
file server
half duplex
proxy server
optical fibre
ring topology
star topology

c) A page or series of pages will be required to place all of your work. You are expected to clearly label each task so that the task can be located.


What is a communications network

A communication network provides a user or organisation with a series of devices that enables a computer system to transfer a range of data forms. Each device on a network is called a node. Devices other than the computers are called peripheral devices. These peripheral devices include such devices as printers.

A network, therefore, allows users of that network to share all of the resources available which would include applications, files, Internet connectivity, storage and peripheral devices. As you may imagine the ability to share resources is an important cost saving benefit. Twenty to thirty employees are able to share an expensive printer or scanning device.

Other advantages include central administration and access to database management systems. Both these are very important for organisations, particularly large organisations.

There are disadvantages of a communication network such as the initial installation cost. Maintenance and administration generally demands specialist to be employed, however, outsourcing is a relatively cheap alternative. Outsourcing is when specialist from outside that organisation is called in to carry out specialist duties.

Other disadvantages owing to the nature of some data, includes the need for security and back up services, both of which are quite expensive. Firewalls and authenticating processes such as passwords are required.

Two main networking systems will be examined in this unit of work. The first being the client-server and the second the peer-to-peer.

The client-server network has in general one computer acting as a server, that provides resources to many workstations that are on that network. each user needs to authenticate themselves as a user of the network to gain access to the resources on offer. These resources may be applications, files, printers or Internet connectivity.

The peer-to-peer is a simpler network with workstations joined generally by a hub or switch to share resources that have been made available on each workstation. There is no main computer serving as a server.

Extension task 1
See how to use Prezi here Visit Prezi here use your current free student account and create a prezi using text, YouTubes, images and Prezi features about communication networks using the information that you read from the above section “What is a communications network” and Key Terms. Please make a minimum of eight slides. Also show the three main networks Star, Bus and Ring as images. You need to demonstrate the features that Prezi offer. Please embed into your portfolio googlesite page.

weekly homework task 1 (DUE end of Week 2)
Q 1. What is the purpose of a communication system?
Q 2. Explain three benefits of using a network.
Q 3. Describe the two network classifications.
The answers are in the sections immediately above and post your response in your site.


portfolio task 1
Practical task
Use HTML to create two linked web pages. The Index is titled “The benefits of creating a home network”. You are to include FIVE different HTML tags on each page. The TEN HTML tags do not include the base tags such as <head> <body> or <HTML>. The tags do include most tags found here add this project to your website as portfolio task 1. Find the HTML help page here to use here and collect the two html files from you google Drive. You may add audio from the free download site below.

Search for sound effects

View this tube to see your first Audacity Tutorial

View this tube to see your audio editing Audacity Tutorial.

View this tube to see Audacity Tips.


Protocols are essential rules that have been set up to enable differing computer systems to communicate. The main protocol used is TCP/IP and a tube has been include to explain it.

Allows all computers that support TCP/IP suite communicate with each other. It basically uses the unique IP address of a computer, that is for example

View this tube to see what TCP/IP is.

Works differently as the IPX addresses the data packet which it then sends, the SPX is used to verify delivery has occurred. This protocol is generally used in a Novell network.

Is similar to TCP/IP but uses naming conventions instead of IP numbers. It is also limited to smaller network segments and does not support routing, therefore not used over the Internet.

As you may deduce from the name, this is the protocol used so that Apple has developed. It allows communication with other networks to occur. It’s basically designed for accessing printers, file sharing and all that is possible with other protocols.

View this tube to learn more about Network Protocols.

Extension task 2
Discussion task. Watch the video above on Network Protocols. What two things, has this tube informed you about protocols? Is this form of visual presentation preferable to that of reading text? Justify your response please.

weekly homework task 2 (DUE end of Week 3)
Q 1. Provide the meaning of the term “protocol”.
Q 2. Describe the TCP/IP protocol features.
The answers are in the sections immediately above and post your response in your site.


Data transmission modes

Data transmission is the sending of data along a range of media. This may occur in a phone call, as an email or as you surf the Internet.

The media used varies and is often chosen due to economic or practical reasons such as distance and need for security. The main media are copper wire, optic fibre, Wi-Fi or radio link, infra-red light and laser.

Data transmission modes describe the direction of the data. There are three modes:
• Simplex: one direction only as in a television signal
• Half duplex:two directions are possible, but not at the same time. an example of this would be a walky-talky.
• Full duplex: two directions are possible at the same time as in voip or telephone conversations.

Data transmission rates

Data transmission rates is as it sounds, the speed that the data is sent from one location to another. The rate of transmission depends upon a number of things, the media used, copper is slower than optic. Devices used also affect the rate of transmission as does the transmission mode.

The two transmission rates are:
• Baud rates: the timing intervals in a second or the number of distinct signal events .
• Bits per second: provides the number of bits that are transmitted in a second.

  • Broadband: a data transmission link where the bandwidth is split between several different simultaneous signals so more data can be sent through the link
  • Baseband: a data transmission link where the entire bandwidth is used by just one signal

weekly homework task 3 (DUE end of Week 4)
Q 1. Provide the meaning of the term “data transmission”.
Q 2. Outline the three modes of data transmission.
Q 3. What is the difference between “baseband” and “broadband”?
The answers are in the sections immediately above and post your response in your site.

Data transmission media

Data is transmitted using a variety of media, wired and wireless. Once again there are reasons for using different media. There are advantages and disadvantages found in each.

Wire: may be a cable made from copper or glass.
Twisted pair cable is the cheapest form of cabling. It is made from copper wire which is encased in plastic and then twisted to reduce interference. There is no insulation between the outer casement and the twisted pairs. It can transfer data at 1 gigabyte per second.

Coaxial cable is more expensive and slower in data transfer, with 10 megabytes per second. It does have a solid copper core which is encased with a mesh that reduces the risk of interference. There are two insulation layers, one between the copper core and the mesh, the other on the outer covering.

Optic fibre cable is the most expensive of the cable options. It does though send data at the rate of 400 Megabytes per second. It is able to send multiple data streams. optic fibre is more secure and is not interfered with by electrical currents.

The optic fibre is made of thin glass fibres, with a covering of glass or plastic. This covering acts like a mirror and the data which are sent as light pulses reflect off the sides of the outer layer.

Wireless: may use either radio or microwaves.
This process of data transmission has been developed to enable remote, difficult or expensive locations that cabling is not feasible.

Microwaves handle very high frequency radio waves. These use towers that transmit and boost the signal. The mobile phone uses microwave signal.

Radio works on line of sight in a narrow band or wide band area. This type of signal has issues of security and is subject to interference with poor weather.

Wireless networks use FM radio frequencies to transfer data. They use the standard 802.11a,b or g network. These are slower than wired networks transferring at 54Mbps. The standard 802.11n network transferring at 108Mbps.

Security with wireless networks is a major concern, however. wireless devices have a range of security to enable.

Factors influencing media transmission

Cost is always a constraint, and therefore, when a network is being developed compromises in regards to the type of network, the devices and media will exist. Optic fibre would be the first choice, however, it is expensive. Twisted pair is cheaper, however, it requires a booster at intervals of 100 metres. Wireless is ideal for pre existing sites as cabling is expensive, however, speed is lost and the vulnerability of security.

Distance is an important consideration, as data degrades over distance with some media.

Extension limitations such as the number of nodes and sustainability so that it may be added to easily. A star network would be the easiest to add nodes to. The number of nodes also needs to be considered here as this will need to be taken into account for the need of addition devices such as switches and hubs that may be required. As well as the type of topology to be selected.

weekly homework task 4 (DUE end of Week 5)
Q 1. Describe the three data transmission media.
Q 2. Which is faster Optic fibre or copper wire? Why?.
Q 3. How does Optic Fibre work?
The answers are in the sections immediately above and post your response in your site.

Types of networks and planning a Network

• Local Area Network (LAN)
• Wide Area Network (WAN)
• Virtual Private Network (VPN)

View this tube to learn more about planning a Computer Network.

Components of networks


• servers-file sharing servers
• print servers
• mail servers
• workstations
• hubs
• switches
• routers
• gateways
• repeaters
• bridges
• network interface card

portfolio task 2
Write in two sentences the description of each of the eleven network components that you have studied. Provide for each of the eleven network components, an image and specification, along with how it is used in a network. Create prezi to present your work here. See a tutorial for prezi here. Add this task to your site as portfolio networking task 3.

weekly homework task 5 (DUE end of Week 6)
Q 1. Use a table to show the similarities and differences of the three networks.
Q 2. Make a diagram to represent the three networks.
Q 3. Describe the three types of servers.
The answers are in the sections immediately above and post your response in your site.

Security of information

Storage is very important to a network. The storage may be the servers own hard drive, an additional hard drive, it may be to a tape drive.

Backup of the data is vital if the data on the file servers are considered valuable. There are a number of ways to backup. The server usually does this after hours, when use is low. The data being backed up, may be the entire data, which is a slow process. A faster process of back up is that only data that has been modified since the last back up occured is backed up.

Security of the data can be done through the use of a firewall, which handles the incoming transmissions by generally blocking all but the designated packets of data. A proxy server often acts in this role, and serves to stop direct communication by the user and outside hosts. Other security include data encryption and decryption which provides privacy, authentication and non-repudiation.

weekly homework task 6 (DUE end of Week 7)
Q 1. Why is security an important component of a network?.
Q 2. What is the purpose of a proxy server?.
Q 3. What is the purpose of a firewall and how does it work?
The answers are in the sections immediately above and post your response in your site.

Network topologies

View this tube to learn more about a Star Computer Network.

View this tube to learn more about a Ring Computer Network.

View this tube to learn more about a Bus Computer Network.

View this tube to learn more about Network Topology.


portfolio task 3
Create a poster promoting the three network topologies . (1) i) Star; ii) Bus iii) Ring that you have studied.
(2) Write four lines on the three network topology and
(3) display on the poster in the google site.
(4) Use graphics from Google and insert them.
(5) Add a Youtube to each page about the relevant Network. ( the ones above are fine to use.
USE Google Sites for this task. Name the pages:
Star Network Poster, Bus Network Poster, Ring Network

Network operating systems

The network operating system (NOS) acts in the same way that your PC operating system works. The purpose
of the NOS is the management such as establishing users and groups users and groups, security permissions and policies and profiles, use of compression technology

weekly homework task 7 (DUE end of Week 8)
Q 1. What is the purpose of an Network Operating System?
Q 2. Why should a user keep passwords secret?
The answers are in the sections immediately above and post your response in your site.

Project development

The planning, production and overall development of a project has six steps.

  • understanding the problem
  • making decisions
  • designing solutions
  • implementing the solution by testing the product
  • implementing the solution by maintaining the product
  • implementing the solution by evaluating the product

If you do not know what is required to be completed to solve a problem, then the resultant solution is very unlikely to be correct. It is therefore, important that the task be understood. this may be done by asking questions of the potential participants of a solution.

Once that you decide upon the problem, then you need to decide on a solution. Probably thinking about one design only is not the best, create a few designs so that you can decide upon the best.

Once that you have decided upon a solution you may then commence to create a solution or product that will solve the problem. Make what is known as a prototype first. a prototype is a model or limited functioning product, to see if the solution is appropriate. a storyboard is also a sound design tool to develop a product, especially a video or audio product.

Once you have decided upon the solution, then make it. evaluation of the product is a continual process and should be completed through out the design and implementation process. maintainance will also be required to be carried out as the product is used.

Portfolio tasks

You must complete portfolio 1, 2, 3 and 4. The portfolio needs to be added into your site on the due dates set.

 Portfolio 1  Due Week 2  HTML task
 Portfolio 2  Due Week 4  Research
 Portfolio 3  Due Week 5  Research
 Portfolio 4  Due Week 9  Research and Design
 Portfolio 5  Due Week 9  Major assessment task

portfolio task 4
use Cloudshare to display your research of these Networking terms by writing two sentences and include one graphic for each
(1) LANs , (2) Peer-to-peer network, (3) Client/Server network, (4) WANs, (5) Bus Topology, (6) Ring Topology, (7) Star Topology, (8) Optic Fibre Cables, (9) UPT Wire Cables, (10) STP, (11) Coaxial Cables.

Assessment Task

portfolio task 5
Major Assessment
Research and Authoring
Design a website and explain the eleven networking terms from Portfolio 4. Download portfolio 5 guide here

Registration and programs

Registration and programs documentation are available from here.


Made available under Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution
Licence: Available at: image is linked to url

The personal or classroom educational use, provided there is a link to TeacherTube here. TeacherTube terms and conditions state that videos may be downloaded for

The YouTube terms and conditions state that videos may be embedded in the media, provided there is a link to YouTube and that the appropriate non commercial use is made here

Reference to the text and included cd-rom, IST, information, software and technology 7-10 , author Peter Ware et al. isbn 0-7314-0168-9 is made as students are expected to purchase both items.

Reference to the NSW Board of Studies Syllabus documentations are made, with documentations available from here