Beach Cities Computers & Video provides network services for networks of all sizes, from simple, home networks to large, complex, enterprise level networks.
Design - We'll create a network that fits your needs.
Install - We will locate all necessary equipment in the most advantageous place and run cables in places where they can't be seen.
Enhance – If you have outgrown your network, we will add whatever’s necessary to make it fit your current and future needs.
Repair – When something breaks, call us and we’ll fix it.
It’s All About the Network
The whole idea of networking and our networks has more to do with people than technology…or does it? Can there be a social network without technology?
Think back to a time most of us have seen in movies or read about in books, a time before the telephone when people communicated by standing within hearing distance of each other and talking. People from that era had networks. Some might argue they were strong, efficient networks. People went to the general store or to church to satisfy needs other than the need to communicate. Performing as part of a communications network was simply a by-product of their other business.
Today, our networks are all about technology. In the beginning, one computer communicated with another computer enabling the operators of those computers to communicate with each other.
Then, groups of computers were able to communicate with each other and groups of people were able to use the machines to communicate. Back in the stone age of personal computing, a network was a fairly rare thing. You don’t have to be too old to remember a time when users in an office setting began sharing files and printers.
It’s kind of amazing to consider the magnitude of the global computer network. You can sit at a desk or in a coffee shop and connect to computers in nearly any location on this planet. These communications occur, literally, at the speed of light.
The first step in understanding the global data network is understanding the network inside your home or your office. It starts with an Internet capable device. You already own at least one if you’re reading this document. Many people own a computer, tablets and smart phone or some combination of the three.
We’re going light on terminology because if you wanted complicated jargon, you would have studied Computer Science. Unfortunately, there is no technology without a bucket of nifty terms so we can’t avoid a few.
Local Area Network (LAN)
This is just the group of devices within your home or office, your local network.
Wide Area Network (WAN)
WAN is the world or the World Wide Web (WWW). Have you ever seen three Ws used together? Maybe preceded by http:// as in http://www… Your LAN connects to the WAN, which enables you to send email and view Web pages that may originate in another city or on another continent.
You may have encountered this device at home or at work. The router’s main function is to connect two or more networks, specifically the LAN and the WAN. Without a router, you can connect to other devices on your LAN but that’s like a loop. You can’t go beyond that circle. Add a router and you get to the WAN.
A router also allows multiple devices to connect to your LAN without interfering with one another. Networked devices send and receive tons of information continuously. A router helps direct this traffic so the information coming to your computer arrives as expected and it doesn’t damage the information your friend sends from her tablet. A router directs traffic.
A switch connects multiple devices and performs the same traffic-directing job as a router. Some switches are able to handle connections from more than one LAN at the same time. A switch will not connect your LAN to the WAN. It will allow you to connect many devices to the same network without slowing down or interfering with the traffic to or from any device.
The router and switch both have plugs that connect them to devices such as computers and printers. A wireless router performs an additional function. It connects wireless devices such as computers, tablets and phones to the LAN. And because the router connects the LAN to the WAN, you can sit at home and watch goofy cat videos on your cell phone. Those videos may be stored on computers called servers, a half a world away.
Now for the exciting part, with just a handful of the terms used in this article, you can initiate a stimulating conversation with the nerdiest person you see at the next cocktail party. What a great way to make new friends.