WJEC A2 IT3 - Networks

WJEC A2 IT3 Networks - choosing a network, types of networks and software components.

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Choosing a network for a company

Factors that influence the choice of a network

  • cost of network
  • size of organisation
  • how the system will be used
  • existing systems
  • performance required
  • security issues
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Costs of a network

Costs associated with a network

  • network maintenance costs (e.g. upgrades)
  • hardware costs (e.g. cables, routers)
  • software costs (e.g. network management software)
  • costs of third party communication lines (e.g. BT, Virgin)
  • training costs
  • staffing costs (e.g. network manager)
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Security issues with networks

Security issues to be considered when choosing a network

  • access to inappropriate material (e.g. ***********)
  • whether users are free to use unlimited words in search engines or whether they are restricted
  • keep hackers out (e.g. firewalls)
  • payment details protected (e.g. encryption)
  • avoid viruses
  • restrict staff access to certain files
  • block downloading copyright material (e.g. films, music)


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Types of networks available to use

Types of networks

  • peer-to-peer (P2P)

Each computer has the same status and are able to communicate with each other. Used at home to share files, share printers etc...

  • client server

Used for large networks. All computers are not the same status. A server (central computer), network manager is in charge of this. All other computers are called clients.

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Peer-to-peer networks (P2P)

Advantages of peer-to-peer networks

  • cost saving - no server is needed
  • no network manager
  • easy to set-up
  • no reliance on a server if the server breaks down
  • lower operating costs - less set-up and maintenance costs
  • peer responsibilty
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Peer-to-peer networks (P2P)

Disadvantagves of peer-to-peer networks

  • back-ups cannot be made centrally - users have their own responsibility
  • users need more IT knowledge
  • poorer security
  • only suitable for very small networks with fewer than 15 networked computers typically
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Client-server networks

Advantages of client-server networks

  • security is better - centralised
  • centralised data
  • back-ups are taken centrally
  • faster access to programs and files
  • centralised administration - network manager
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Client-server networks

Disadvantages of client-server networks

  • more expensive
  • need specialist knowlege for network manager
  • software is expensive
  • server may break down
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Network topologies

The ring topology


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