These are the four major categories of physical components in a computer network:
- Personal computers (PCs): The computers serve as end points in the network, sending and receiving data.
- Interconnections: The interconnections consist of components that provide a means for data to travel from one point to another point in the network. This category includes components such as the following:
- Network interface cards (NICs) that translate the data produced by the computer into a format that can be transmitted over the local network
- Network media, such as cable or wireless media, that provide the means by which the signals are transmitted from one networked device to another
- Connectors that provide the connection points for media
- Switches: Switches are device that provide network attachment to the end systems and intelligent switching of the data within the local network.
- Routers: Routers interconnect networks and choose the best paths between netwroks.