This chapter presents the conceptual foundation for understanding computer networking in general. System administrators unfamiliar with general networking principles need to read this chapter. Those familiar with UNIX networking can safely skip this chapter.
A network is the combination of two or more computers and their connecting links. A physical network is the hardware (equipment such as adapter cards, cables, concentrators, and telephone lines) that makes up the network. The software and the conceptual model make up the logical network.
This overview provides the following information on networks: