Linux.com: Introduction to Networking, Part 1: Physical Media

Physical Media refers to the actual wires of the network
that are used to carry the signal. This is the primary focus of
this article….

“To create a basic network, first we need to acquire the
physical media. NICs can be purchased at local computer stores for
varying prices. A Linksys 10/100baseT card sells for about $20 at
most places. 3Com 3c5/0xx series 10/100baseT cards retail for
around $70. The difference? Preference, typically. Although I can’t
say that I’ve had bad luck with Linksys cards, I have extreme faith
in 3Com cards. $20 cards are perfectly fine for this example
network. Install the cards into the machines, following the
directions that come with the devices.”

“A hub also may be purchased. Hubs retail from $40 on up. A
small $40 four port hub will be fine for this demonstration
network. If more than 4 machines are to be added to the network, a
larger hub should be purchased. If two machines, the bare minimum
for a network, are to be used, a hub isn’t necessary. It is
preferred, however.”


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