This course provides a base of understanding for local area networks and how they function. It started with the fundamentals of what a network is and how networks are documented and designed. It discusses network typologies and Ethernet standards. The different types and speeds of network cable are introduced in addition to wireless networks and their standards. An understanding of the OSI network model is taught and a through description of each of the seven layers is introduced along with their components and functions in network transmission. IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are discussed along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. VPN and the security issues and protocols that are used with VPN’s are taught. TCP/IP suite and its commands are taught. It discusses how to access and use the commands and how they can be useful in diagnosing network problems and security concerns. This course goes over networking services and how they can improve a network and provide better and faster data transmission with stronger security. Documenting, setting up, and testing a network are taught, as well as how to trouble shoot the different networking services that are provided in the protocol suites.
I have learned that there is a lot more to networking than just plugging in a computer to some power and turning it on. Learning about LAN’s, WAN’s, and IP networks with the different types of sub netting was a challenge for me to understand. learning about the different classes of subnets along with CIDR and VLSM was an eye opening experience. I have learned how networks are linked together and how to separate them physically and logically. The seven steps of the OSI model helped me to visualize the network data transmission process and how everything fits together. There are so many different possibilities on how to manage a network and how to divide it up into usable and manageable parts. Learning about the different firewalls and security protocols that are there to protect a network has given me a greater understanding of what needs to be done to protect information. I now see that there are so many different types of security concerns that I never knew about before. I believe that the greatest asset a network administrator can have is knowledge of the different types of threats that are out there and what needs to be done to his network in order to protect it, and the information that resides on it. I have gained a better understanding of the different ways networks are documented and set up, the types of devices and information on a network, and how to best protect and manage a network.