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Computer Networks

Course Outline

I. Introduction to Computer Networks
A. Overview and Importance of Computer Networks
B. Basic Concepts: Protocols, Interfaces, and Services
C. Network Performance: Bandwidth, Throughput, Latency, Jitter, and Packet Loss

II. Network Models
A. The OSI Model: Overview and Function of Each Layer
B. The TCP/IP Model: Overview and Comparison with OSI Model

III. Physical Layer and Media
A. Concepts of Data Transmission: Analog and Digital
B. Transmission Media: Twisted Pair, Coaxial Cable, Fiber Optics, Wireless
C. Network Devices: NIC, Repeater, Hub, Modem

IV. Data Link Layer
A. Framing and Error Detection: Parity Check, CRC
B. Flow and Error Control Techniques
C. MAC Protocols: Ethernet, Token Ring, WiFi

V. Network Layer
A. IP Addressing: IPv4 and IPv6, Subnetting, Supernetting
B. Internet Protocol (IP) and Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)
C. Routing Algorithms: Link-State, Distance-Vector, Path Vector

VI. Transport Layer
A. Transport Layer Duties: Multiplexing, Segmentation, and Connection Control
B. User Datagram Protocol (UDP)
C. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP): Flow Control, Error Control, Congestion Control


VII. Application Layer
A. Overview of DNS, HTTP, SMTP, FTP, and other Application Layer Protocols
B. Web and Email Architecture
C. Introduction to Socket Programming

VIII. Network Security
A. Basics of Cryptography: Symmetric Key, Asymmetric Key, Hash Functions
B. Security Protocols: SSL/TLS, IPSec, SSH
C. Firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems

IX. Wireless and Mobile Networks
A. Overview of GSM, CDMA, LTE, and 5G
B. Basics of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC
C. Mobile IP and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)

X. Multimedia Networking
A. Multimedia Networking Applications
B. Streaming Video and Voice over IP (VoIP)
C. Content Distribution Networks (CDNs)

XI. Network Management
A. Overview of Network Configuration and Troubleshooting Tools
B. Introduction to SNMP: Management Components, SNMP Operations
C. Network Monitoring and Traffic Analysis

Textbook: "Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach" by James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross.

1: Introduction to Computer Networks

Ww will discuss the overview and importance of computer networks, basic concepts such as protocols, interfaces, and services, and different aspects of network performance.

A. Overview and Importance of Computer Networks

A computer network is a set of computers connected together for the purpose of sharing resources. The most common resource shared today is an Internet connection, but hardware (like printers) and software (like applications) can also be shared.

Networking is essential in the digital age because it allows computers to communicate and share resources, leading to more efficient work and resource allocation. For example, a business could have a central server that stores files, which can be accessed by all networked computers, leading to increased collaboration and productivity.

B. Basic Concepts: Protocols, Interfaces, and Services

  • Protocols: In the context of networking, a protocol is a set of rules and conventions for sending and receiving data. Protocols define the format, timing, sequencing, and error control of messages exchanged among network devices. Examples include HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) for web browsing, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) for file transfers, and TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) for internet-based communications.

  • Interfaces: A network interface is the point of interconnection between a computer and a private or public network. A network interface can be implemented with a network interface card (NIC), which is a hardware component, or can exist as a software entity (for example, a virtual interface).

  • Services: Network services are applications hosted by servers on a computer network, to provide some functionality for members or users of the network. Examples include file sharing, print services, email, web services, and database services.

C. Network Performance: Bandwidth, Throughput, Latency, Jitter, and Packet Loss


Network performance is measured using a variety of factors:

  • Bandwidth: This is the maximum data transfer rate of a network or Internet connection, measured in bits per second (bps). Higher bandwidth indicates a higher capacity; however, it doesn't mean that the network always performs at its maximum capacity.

  • Throughput: This is the actual amount of data that's transferred over a network or Internet connection. It's usually less than the network's bandwidth due to factors like network congestion or errors.

  • Latency: This is the time it takes for a packet of data to go from the source to the destination. It's usually measured in milliseconds (ms).

  • Jitter: This is the variation in packet delay at the receiver of the data packets. High levels of jitter can cause packets to arrive out of order, leading to issues with data quality, especially in video and audio streaming.

  • Packet Loss: This refers to packets of data that are sent from one network location to another but fail to arrive at their destination. Packet loss can lead to choppy video or audio, missing data or disrupted communications.

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