All types of computer networks whether wireless or wired requires hardware and software components when it is established. There are many types of hardware devices which are either installed or connected to the computer terminals in order to construct a network.
Network interface cards (NIC)
Network interface cards (NIC) are a hardware technology which is installed in the computer to help establish a network. Network interface cards (NIC)s are most commonly used for the establishment of local area network .NIC is connected to the wired network systems such as token ring and Ethernet. Network interface cards enable to construct full time devoted connection. There are two kinds of Network interface cards (NIC) wireless NIC and wired NIC. Wireless network cards are operated using radio base stations. Wireless and wired NICs work on the physical layer (first layer in the OSI model) and the data link layers (second layer of the OSI model) if we consider an OSI model. Wireless NIC communicate to the network via an antenna, making use of the microwaves. Portable devices like wireless broadband USB is connected to the laptops and PCs using peripheral component interconnect.
Other network devices
Many other kinds of network devices contain switches, routers, bridges, repeaters and hubs .network switches are intelligent active network devices which help provide network connectivity. Switches help guide the data to operate on the data link layer of the OSI model. Kalpana invented the first Ethernet switch. Switches function on more than one OSI layer. For example it also operates on the network layer in order to process data. There are many kinds of switches, packet switches, circuit switches and general purpose switches. Thus switches are a fundamental part of the local area network.
Repeater is physical device that receives digital signals carried through fiber optics or twisted pair cable and converge them to receivable signals at the other end. Repeaters were earlier used to transform the analogue signals of the telephone lines to digital signals so that machines can comprehend the data at its end. When the signals are transferring over electromagnetic devices they often produce noise in the lines. When the signals become weak due to the presence of external factors, repeaters are used to restore the signals again. Hub is wired network device which helps to connect network devices. The hub enables the devices to come into contact with each other. Hubs cannot be used in wireless communication because in a wireless connection the devices interact with each other directly. Hubs are simple and unproblematic devices. Hubs operate with the routers and modems because routers and modem help it to function or in other words it is an adaptable device.
A bridge can be explained as a product which helps connecting one LAN to the other. Bridge can be considered as a wise communication device. The reason is that a bridge carries the data from your LAN to the others operating in the same LAN. The function of the bridges is to work without addresses, when a message is sent the bridges carry message to all addresses but only the intended user receives it. Just like human beings bridges are devices which are on the learning stage all the time. Therefore this learning enables them to remember computer addresses in order to deliver the successive message correctly.
Router is the backbone of the computer network. Router carries the packets of data to its ultimate destination. Routers are connected to the two networks at a time and they make a decision to carry the intended packets of data to the next network. Routers are attached to the information gateways or a place where one network meets the other. The process of routing or carrying the data packets completes at the third layer of the OSI model that is network layer.