ICT- Networks

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  • Networks
    • Advantages
      • Monitor work of individuals
      • Email/ communicate
      • Don't have to use the same computer
      • Programs and data can be shared.
      • Control access rights
    • Drawbacks
      • If the network breaks down everyone will be affected
      • Expensive to purchase and maintain
      • Special security programs needed to stop access to certain files
    • Topology
      • Ring
        • Not reliant on a server, less cable costs, high transmission speeds as data only travels in one direction.
        • If one computer breaks, the network will completely fail.
      • Star
        • Data travels fast as each workstation is connected to the server. If one breaks, others will work, easy to add workstations
        • Expensive cabling
      • Bus
        • Easy to set up and install, easy to add workstations.
        • Slow transmission, performance is slowed when there are more users, If the cable fails, from that point on won't work.
    • Factors that affect choice
      • Cost- initial cost of equipment, training, maintenance.
      • Size of company- WAN or LAN, amount of processing required must be considered.
      • How will the system be used- How much data storage is needed?, Where will they operate the network?
      • Existing Systems- Must fit with any systems and protocols currently in use as well as any peripherals.
      • Performance- In terms of reliability, user friendliness, capacity, speed of processing.
      • Security- Different companies have different priorities eg. preventing hacking or blocking illicit material
    • Types Of Network
      • Peer to Peer
        • A small number of computers linked together and can communicate with each other, no central server. Less than 15 computers.
        • Low set up costs,simple, not dependent on a server.
        • Data is harder to find, security and back up are not centralised.
      • Client- Server
        • Main server controls the network. more than 15 computers.
        • Centralised backup, better security, processing is faster.
        • Set up costs are high, requires specialist people to manage the system, if the server breaks, the network will fail.
    • Disaster Planning
      • Reasons for: Minimize disruption, don't want to lose data as this may cause a loss of customers.
      • Should include: Back up procedures, costs, personnel, responsibility & training
      • Used for when things go wrong, such as: viruses, hardware breaking down, natural disasters, deliberate or accidental damage
    • Wifi
      • Benefits
        • Can set up a LAN at home
        • No need for cables
        • Work anywhere there is a signal
      • Drawbacks
        • High power consumption
        • Security issues with encryption
        • Possible health problems caused by radio waves
        • Possible interference
        • Limited range may cause weak signal
      • Hotspots- cafe's, airports, restaurants
      • Access to networks without cabling
    • Security
      • To reduce security threats, use: firewalls, passwords, encryption & virus checkers
    • Log-ins, audit trails & user accounts
      • Audit trails- Keeps a record of files accessed and edited, documents printed, pages visited and times logged on or off.
      • User accounts- The manager can create certain rights e.g. cannot install software or access certain data.Users can change passwords and manage their files.

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