Repeater - When a signal is sent over a long network cable, signal gets weakened due to attenuation. This results in ever data getting lost in the way. In order to boost the data signal Repeaters are needed to amplify the weakened signal. They are like a small box that connects two segments of networks, refines and regenerate the digital signals on the cable and send them on their way.
Hub - If multiple incoming connections need to be connected with multiple outgoing connections, then a hub is required. In data communications, a hub is a place of convergence where data arrives from one or more directions and is forwarded out in one or more other directions. Hubs are multi-port repeaters, and as such they obey the same rules as repeaters. They operate at the OSI Model Physical Layer. Hubs are used to provide a physical Star Topology.
Bridge - Segmenting a large network with a network device has numerous benefits. Among these are reduced collisions (in an Ethernet network), contained bandwidth utilization, and the ability to filter out unwanted packets. Bridges ware created to allow network administrators to segment their networks transparently. This means that individual stations need not know whether there is a bridge separating them or not. It is up to the bridge to make sure that packets get properly forwarded to their destinations.
Bridges work at the Data Link Layer Since bridges wwork in the Data Link Layer they do not examine the network layer addresses. They just look at the MAC addresses and determine whether or not to forward or ignore a frame.
Switch - A switch is a device that incorporates bridge functions as well as point-to-point dedicated connections. They connect devices or networks, filter, forward and flood frames based on the MAC destination address of each frame. Switch operates at Data Link Layer of the OSI Model. They are technically called bridges.
Router - In an environment consisting of several network segments with different protocols and architecture, a bridge may not be adequate for ensuring fast communication among all of the segments. A complex network needs a device which not only knows the address of each segment, but also can determine the best path for sending data and filtering broadcast traffic to the local segment. Such a device is called a Router. Routers are both hardware and software devices. Router operates at the Network Layer of the OSI Model.
Modem - It is a device which is used to convert digital signals generated by the computer into analog signals to be carried by a public access telephone line. It is also the device that convarts the analog signal received over a phone line into digital signal usable by the computer. A Modem is also known as Modulator and Demodulator
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