Networking Foundations

Learn about computer networking, including networking introduction, topology, architecture and transmission media; components and hardware; design and planning; upgrading; basic TCP/IP services and applications, and more.

Course Code: BIT103
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Get started!


UNDERSTANDING NETWORKING IS A BIG STEP TOWARD SOLVING COMPUTER PROBLEMS

A network, is a system of interconnected computers (and devices) that operate interactively. 

Any number of computers may be connected into a network, from two to dozens, hundreds, thousands or even millions.
 
Networks typically include other devices such as printers, external hard drives, modems and routers, etc. Nearly everyone involved with computers at any level now requires knowledge and skills with networks computer systems.

Today networks are widely used in not only the workplace; but increasingly in homes.

When computers fail to operate; a common reason is a networking issue. Things you learn in this course are not only an essential foundation for a career in I.T. but they can be a key to solving simple IT problems in any home or workplace.
 
Studies include: networking introduction, topology, architecture and transmission media; components and hardware; design and planning; upgrading; basic TCP/IP Services and Applications and more.

ACS Student Comment: Yes it is very much [a valuable learning experience] because I am learning something new that is in line with the work that I do up here, it has the most up to date basic information in technology.
Thanks to ACS for giving me this opportunity.

To do the online course which otherwise will be impossible to do at the same time working, especially for me who grew up in the analogue age, this gives me great confidence with my job as a radio communication technician and really looking forward to completed this networking foundation course, thank you
. Willem Ainui, PNG, Networking Foundations course.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Networking Terms, Concepts and Standards
    • What is a network
    • History of networks
    • Network hosts and backbones
    • Access vs core networks
    • Internet backboneWhat is a host
    • Types of computer networks
    • Local area network (LAN)
    • Wide area network (WAN)
    • Home networking and Wireless local area networks
    • Types of LANs
    • LAN topology
    • Wireless networking (Wi Fi)
    • Hardware for a basic network
    • Network cards
    • Network cable
    • Hubs and switches
    • Routers
    • Network standards
    • ISO
  2. Network Topology, Architecture and Transmission Media
    • Physical vs. local topology
    • Design considerations
    • Physical topologies: star, bus, ring, tree, mesh
    • Logical topologies
    • Architecture of a network
    • Transmission media
    • Cost of a network
    • Band width
    • Band use
    • Multiplexing
    • Attenuation
    • Electromagnetic interference
  3. Network Components and Hardware
    • Repeater
    • Switch
    • Hub
    • Bridge
    • Router
    • Server
    • Modem
    • Short haul modems
    • Firewall hardware
  4. Network Design and Planning
    • Evaluating needs of an organisation
    • Applications
    • Users
    • Network services
    • Security of the network
    • Growth planning
    • Designing a logical network
    • Communicating effectively with clients
  5. Network Upgrading and Project Management
    • Why upgrade a network
    • Is it time to upgrade
    • What are the new requirements
    • Planning an upgrade: prioritise, budget, evaluate
  6. Network Protection and Maintenance
    • Information security
    • Network attacks
    • Man in the middle attack
    • Replay attack
    • Denial of service attack
    • Distributed denial of service attack
    • Attackers
    • Internal security
    • Password security
    • File and directory permissions
    • Educating users
    • External security
    • Firewalls
    • Intrusion detection systems
    • Security zones
    • Virtual LAN's
  7. Understanding Network Connecting Options
    • Dial up connections
    • DSL connections
    • ADSL connections
    • ADSL+2 connections
    • Cable connections
    • Leased line connections
    • Satellite
  8. Installation and Configuration of Network
    • Network installation process
    • Cabeling the network
    • Router configuration
    • Server configuration
    • Multiple equipment configuration
    • Testing the configuration
  9. Basic TCP/IP Services and Applications
    • TCP/IP suite
    • HTTP
    • SMTP/POP3
    • Telnet
    • FTP
    • DNS
    • NNTP
  10. Troubleshooting Tools for TCP/IP Networks
    • Troubleshooting techniques
    • Troubleshooting tools
    • Ping
    • Traceroute
    • NSlookup
    • Hostname

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Discuss the history and key developments in networking.
  • Describe the main networking models, terminology and standards.
  • Explain the different topologies, architectures and transmission media in computer networks.
  • Explain the physical components within a network and how individual components connect to each other.
  • Evaluate the needs of the organisation and design a logical network.
  • Discuss reasons for network upgrade and techniques for managing a network upgrade.
  • Explain the importance of network protection to prevent downtime and preserve valuable data.
  • Identify and compare various connection options like dial-up connections and dedicated connections.
  • Describe the installation process and configurations for networking.
  • Describe the TCP/IP suites of utilities generally used by end users.

What is a Network? How is is put together, and what can it do?

Networks have evolved significantly over the past few years. However, each network still follows sound network design fundamentals. When an organisation decides to build a network, it would expect that network to be reliable, secure and fast, and provide efficient communication, thus improving their business.

Each organisation, regardless of how small or large it is, needs to understand the needs it has prior to developing a network. Therefore, there is no point in purchasing cabling, networking equipment (routers, switches, hubs, etc.), or computers before performing the planning phase, whereby the organisation needs are assessed. Different organisations have got different needs, and thus will have different network components and network designs. A small organisation for example would have no remote sites, or only a few of them, whereas a large organisation would have many distributed sites, and these needs to be catered for in the initial planning phase.

Therefore, the first step that needs to be done is getting to know what the network needs to accomplish. Some of the critical questions that need detailed answers are:

  • What added functionality will the network present to the organisation?
  • How many computers are there on the network?
  • What is the organisation’s budget for running this project?
  • How much storage space is required?
  • What applications are going to be used on the network?
  • How much bandwidth is required for the network?
  • What types of cabling or transmission media are needed?
  • What is the expected rate of expansion at the company with regards to users and resources?
  • Is the network going to be connected to the internet?
  • Will users require to login remotely to the network, via virtual private network (VPN)?

Types of Computer Networks

There are many types of computer networks, often defined by the types of users, the purpose of the network, or most commonly, the size and configuration of the network connections and devices attached to it.

Through the years of network development, various names for networks have been used and which describe some feature of the network. The most common network names, which are still in use today, are:

  • LAN – Local Area Network
  • WAN – Wide Area Network
  • WLAN – Wireless Local Area Network

LAN (Local Area Network)

A LAN is a network of computers and devices connected over relatively short distances, for example within a room, a home, a small office or building, a school or other small business or organisation. Sometimes a single building may contain a few small LANs (perhaps one per room or work group), or a group of nearby buildings may be connected to form a LAN. In the TCP/IP network protocol, a LAN is often, but not always, implemented as a single IP subnet. (The TCP/IP protocol is explored in later Lessons.)

In addition to operating in a limited space, LANs are also typically owned, controlled and managed by a single business or organisation. They often use certain connectivity technologies, typically Ethernet and Token Ring (network technologies which are discussed in later Lessons).

WAN (Wide Area Network)

As the name suggests, a WAN covers a large physical area, and is usually collection of interconnected LANs. The Internet is the largest WAN and which spans the entire planet.

Connections within a WAN may be coaxial or fibre optic cabling, ISDN lines, radio waves or satellite links. Server software is needed for operating a large network. The server software controls the data communications within the network, and manages access to the individual devices and services offered on the network.

Network routers connect LANs to a WAN. In IP networking, the router maintains both a LAN address and a WAN address. A WAN differs from a LAN in several important aspects. Most WANs, like the Internet, are not owned by any one business or organisation, but rather are a collective of interested parties, with distributed ownership and management. WANs tent to use technologies like ATM, Frame Relay and X.25 for connectivity over the longer distances (discussed later in this course).

Home Networking and WLANs (Wireless Local Area Networks)

A WLAN is a LAN based on Wi-Fi, a wireless network technology. Residences typically use a single LAN and connect to the Internet WAN via an ISP, using a broadband modem. The broadband modem is a device which makes a connection to the ISP over a high speed/high data volume cable connection. The ISP provides a WAN IP address to the modem, and all the computers participating in the home network use LAN (or private) IP addresses.

All the computers on the home LAN can communicate directly with each other, but must have their communications routed through a central gateway, typically a broadband router, to reach the ISP.

The individual computers within the home are increasingly connecting to the Internet (i.e. accessing the broadband modem) via a wireless router. This means that the LAN of the home can be referred to as a WLAN.

Free WLAN Connection
In the 21st century, many commercial businesses and community centres (e.g. libraries etc.) now offer their customers free limited wireless access, to encourage users who need to work remotely, to do so from their premises while enjoying their meals and beverages. For example, both Starbucks Coffee and McDonalds Restaurants now offer free wireless connections to users, as this is seen as an important value added service in the modern world.
ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with studentservices@acs.edu.au if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).




Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Dr. Sherif Sakr

Research Scientist and University Lecturer in Computer Science and Engineering. Sherif has a PhD in Computer Science, MSc, BSc.

Sarah Jury

Over 15 years working in small business, I.T., education and science. Sarah has a PGCE(Post Compulsory Education), BSc(Hons) (Genetics), DipComp(Open), CertWebApps(Open).
She has designed and created several Web sites for different organisations.

Martin Powdrill

25 years working in Telecommunications, IT, Organisational Development, and Energy Conservation & Efficiency, prior to setting up his own Permaculture consulting business. Martin has a Bsc (Hons) Applied Science (Resources Option), MSc Computer Studies, P





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Lachlan Allan

BA (Hons) Business Administration, BEng (Hons) Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Lachlan has experience in the hospitality, banking and utilities sectors in managerial positions in the UK. Following a career change after moving to Australia, he is also experienced in the medical engineering field where he was an engineer responsible for devices at hospital sites and laboratories

Josiane Joubran

.

Helen Rex

Dip.I.T., Cert IT, part B.A.

Helen started her career as a chef before travelling extensively in Europe while living in the U.K. She moved from cooking to the financial markets where she started her career in Information Technology.
With over 25 years experience in information technology primarily in the financial markets, local government and animal health sectors. Helen moved from working in IT to the education sector where she has been involved
in tutoring, course development and learning management systems.
She is currently living in rural New South Wales with her family and enjoying studying law part time.

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.


I agree for ACS Distance Education to contact me and store my information until I revoke my approval. For more info, view our privacy policy.