General Networking/Lan/Wan/Basic Networking Knowledge


So i have maybe a few questions here. One is, if windows versions XP and above have networking capabilities, why the real use of Windows Server 2003 and 2008 (NOS) (Network Operating System)? Is it because it is a stripped down version of an original operating system? I understand that Server Edition NOS has more features for networking and security. But is it really necessary? My level of experience/knowledge in systems is equal to that on a level of an advanced computer technician. I am just now beginning to understand networking as a whole. Educating myself if you will. I have been reading Network+ for dummies 4th edition. I like the "dummies" version of books, however, i seem to be getting lost 125 pages into a 1,000 page book as more and MORE abbreviated words keep popping up and the writer seems to get off track a little bit that has me confused and lost at times. I have learned alot so far, but it starts getting confusing with the use of routers in networking systems together. I always though that a router was used ONLY for internet access, hubs for networking. But then the incorporation of ip addresses and how some devices work on a physical link and data link and THEN a network link layer. It's like...what the hell. I know how to network systems, had such knowledge for years, but can be a PAIN as it be confusing when establishing one system to another. Dummies books are great, but is there a free downloadable educational material that i can read that goes below the level of a dummy, like a pdf book? a retard level? I am trying to learn but seems like the writer of Network+ for dummies gets things all mixed up. Thanks

Hi J,
The purpose of a server can me many. Servers are best used in instances where several people need access to the same resources. Resources can be shared files and / or folders, databases, email services such as MS Exchange, even financial software such as Quick Books has a server version for where multiple people need to access the same or multiple Quick Books files at the same time, to name a few functions of servers.

Servers can also be used as a login server, in a windows environment this is called a domain controller. If an organization wishes to host their own email server at least one domain controller is required.

Servers also provide many services that a desktop OS such as Windows XP, 7, 8 or 10 can not. For example Domain Names Service (matching host names with IP addresses), Dynamic Host Control Protocol (distribution of IP Address), Internet service (host web pages) just to name a few.

Routers also have many functions. They are used to allow two or more networks to be able to communicate with each other. They also allow Subnets or virtual lans to communicate when required, both subnets and vlans mainly are for security. Routers can also be used as a primitive security device.

Do not limit your self to one type or line of books. Cisco press books do an excellant job of explaining what the function of the different network devices, how they work and at what level of the OSI. Understanding what is in the Cisco books will give you a good understanding of how networks work. But they also can get technical at times when talking about the different network types and routing protocols for example.

I do not know of a good book for servers, mainly because there are several platorms, IE Windows, Linux and Mac all of which work and function differently. Do not limit your self to just Windows, more employers are requiring knowledge of Linux and Mac in addition to Windows.

Routers and smart switches operate at layer 3 (network), Switches operate at level 2. All local network traffic such as sending a document to a network printer does not need any higher than level 2 to function

General Networking/Lan/Wan

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Computers Unlimited LLC can answer question pertaining to switches, routers, Ethernet cabling. Computers Unlimited is also able to answer questions pertaining to file and printer sharing. Remote access using options such as Remote Desktop, Windows Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).


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