Stepping Stones Blog

Computer Networking

Darrin Erb - Monday, September 09, 2013


We all know the social importance of networking.  Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube have made millions of dollars by giving voice to a culture that feels it necessary to share what individuals ate for breakfast, how they feel about Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance, or why their ex’s should suffer and die.  But do you know the importance of the physical network that allows your most passionate thoughts to be shared with the world?

This summer I was blessed with the opportunity to work as an apprentice under the tutelage of Eric Anderson, owner of eAcademics, a professional corporation that installs premier networking systems for high end businesses and schools.  Here are a few of the terms I learned and their importance:

Bandwidth – This one did not make much sense to me at first.  The way Eric explained it to me was by describing a subway car.  It makes a stop and people are trying to get off while others are trying to get on.  The bandwidth could be compared to the size of the door.  The larger the door on the subway, the easier it is for people to get on and off.  So it is with the bandwidth and your information.

Processor – The processor is the part of the computer that connects information.  Using the subway analogy, the processor would be like the speed of the subway car.  People want to get from place to place on a subway but are delayed only by the speed the subway cars move.  The doors of the subway can be wide open (bandwidth) but the cars moving slowly will hinder how quickly people can move from place to place (processor).

Firewall – The firewall is like the police at the subway station.  The firewall’s job is to keep unwanted information from leaving or arriving to your computer.  If the police at the subway station are not paying attention, purses will be stolen, people mugged, and graffiti will litter the walls.  A good firewall protects your computer in the same way a policeman protects the people on the subway.

Motherboard – The motherboard keeps all the components of the computer network talking to one another.  This could be compared to the subway station.  Each part of the subway station is important.  The gates hold out those that cannot pay the toll, the cars transport people to and fro, the police keep the passengers safe, and the subway car doors allow people on and off.  If the motherboard on your computer is faulty, the whole system goes down.

Cable – This was the most enlightened part of my education this summer.  Imagine being on a subway car and the track before you has been broken.  Instead of fixing the track properly, the station manager goes out and puts duct tape on the track to fix it.  The subway cars could slip off the track or be held up as the cars slowly rolled over the tape to avoid an accident.  Many people use faulty cable and expect premium results.  If the cable is bent or broken, replace it!

Understanding a system gives you a better appreciation for the technology that runs it.  You cannot replace the subway car doors and expect that the subway is going to run better or faster.  If you upgrade one part, you have got to upgrade the rest for the best results.  In need of an upgrade for your computer system at work or at home?  Call Eric Anderson of eAcademics for a quote.  Our new network is beautiful but the education I received was priceless!  Eric@eAcademics.com

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