Page 3 901 Networking Study Guide for the CompTIA® A+ exam

Internet Connections and Networks

For this exam, you should be able to adequately compare the specific networks and Internet connections listed below.

Internet Connection Types

You should know the following Internet connection types:

Cable: uses coaxial lines paired with a modem to bring in Internet service

DSL: uses existing phone lines paired with a modem to bring in Internet service

Dial-up: old technology before DSL that sent data over phone lines, using 56k modems

Fiber: newer technology that utilizes fiber lines to bring service directly to you

Satellite: high-latency service; useful for remote, off-grid destinations

ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network, typically used in business communication over T1 lines

Cellular Tethering: uses your phone’s cellular network to provide service to another device

Cellular Mobile Hotspot: allows wireless connections to your phone for the purpose of tethering

Line-of-sight Wireless Internet Service: use of central antennae to connect to a network

Network Types

You should know the following network types:

LAN: local area connection in the same network; private network

WAN: networks that connect over the Internet; public network

PAN: networks in a small area for personal use, such as your car Bluetooth connections

MAN: network that is used for a small region or city area

Network Architecture Devices

For this exam, you should be comfortable comparing the following various network architecture devices:

Hub— older technology used before switches; connects multiple devices on a LAN, but only one device can communicate at a time; half-duplex operation

Switch: newer technology replacing hubs; allows full-duplex communication and smarter forwarding decisions

Router: used to communicate between different networks; decisions made off of Layer 3 information

Access Point: device that acts a bridge device, connecting wireless users to the wired network environment

Bridge: the act of connecting two different technologies across the same hardware or infrastructure [For example, you could bridge a virtual network connection to your physical computer network interface card (NIC).]

Modem: a device that converts analog signals to digital signals and vice versa

Firewall: devices (stand-alone or built-in) that filter out network traffic

Patch panel: equipment that manages the cabling connections; typically runs from a desk port to one side of the panel, then from a switch port to the opposite side of the panel; usually permanently punched down on one side

Repeaters/extenders: used to extend a signal being sent to provide additional coverage

Ethernet over Power: uses the existing power lines within a building or home to provide data communications

Power over Ethernet Injector: uses ethernet cabling to send power to devices; an injector can be used if the source or end device is not PoE-capable

Networking Tools

For this exam, you should be able to evaluate a given set of network requirements, and select the best network tool for the job.

Crimper: This tool is used to connect twisted pair cable to an RJ-11 or RJ-45 connector.

Cable Stripper: This tool removes the outer layer of the wire jacket to expose the wires needing to be connected.

Multimeter: This tool is used to measure AC or DC voltage as well as resistance to test for continuity.

Tone Generator and Probe: These devices are used to locate cables in a wiring closet. The tone generator is typically placed at the user end, and a probe is waved around in the wiring closet to locate the connection. It will make a distinctive noise when it is near the correct cable.

Cable Tester: This device is used to certify that the cable meets the standards of the wiring code used and ensure it can be used for communication.

Loopback Plug: This tool is a special cable that is wired to transmit and receive to itself and is typically used for assistance in testing out network interface cards (NICs).

Punchdown Tool: This tool is used to make permanent wiring connections to their connectors.

WiFi analyzer: This device is used to show strong and weak spots in wireless coverage, and it can also be used in planning a wireless network for optimal placement of access points.