ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) adapters
Integrated Services Digital Network adapters can be used to send voice, data, audio, or video over standard telephone cabling. ISDN adapters must be connected directly to a digital telephone network. ISDN adapters are not actually modems, since they neither modulate nor demodulate the digital ISDN signal.
Like standard modems, ISDN adapters are available both as internal devices that connect directly to a computer's expansion bus and as external devices that connect to one of a computer's serial or parallel ports. ISDN can provide data throughput rates from 56 Kbps to 1.544 Mbps (using a T1 carrier service).
ISDN hardware requires a NT (network termination) device, which converts network data signals into the signaling protocols used by ISDN. Some times, the NT interface is included, or integrated, with ISDN adapters and ISDN-compatible routers. In other cases, an NT device separate from the adapter or router must be implemented. ISDN works at the physical, data link, network, and transport layers of the OSI Model.
WAPs (Wireless Access Point)
A wireless network adapter card with a transceiver sometimes called an access point, broadcasts and receives signals to and from the surrounding computers and passes back and forth between the wireless computers and the cabled network.
Access points act as wireless hubs to link multiple wireless NICs into a single subnet. Access points also have at least one fixed Ethernet port to allow the wireless network to be bridged to a traditional wired Ethernet network.
A modem is a device that makes it possible for computers to communicate over telephone lines. The word modem comes from Modulate and Demodulate. Because standard telephone lines use analog signals, and computers digital signals, a sending modem must modulate its digital signals into analog signals. The computers modem on the receiving end must then demodulate the analog signals into digital signals.
Modems can be external, connected to the computers serial port by an RS-232 cable or internal in one of the computers expansion slots. Modems connect to the phone line using standard telephone RJ-11 connectors.
Transceivers (media converters)
Transceiver short for transmitter-receiver, a device that both transmits and receives analog or digital signals. The term is used most frequently to describe the component in local-area networks (LANs) that actually applies signals onto the network wire and detects signals passing through the wire. For many LANs, the transceiver is built into the network interface card (NIC). Some types of networks, however, require an external transceiver.
In Ethernet networks, a transceiver is also called a Medium Access Unit (MAU). Media converters interconnect different cable types twisted pair, fiber, and Thin or thick coax, within an existing network. They are often used to connect newer 100-Mbps, Gigabit Ethernet, or ATM equipment to existing networks, which are generally 10BASE-T, 100BASE-T, or a mixture of both. They can also be used in pairs to insert a fiber segment into copper networks to increase cabling distances and enhance immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI).
In computing, a firewall is a piece of hardware and/or software which functions in a networked environment to prevent some communications forbidden by the security policy, analogous to the function of firewalls in building construction.
A firewall has the basic task of controlling traffic between different zones of trust. Typical zones of trust include the Internet (a zone with no trust) and an internal network (a zone with high trust). The ultimate goal is to provide controlled connectivity between zones of differing trust levels through the enforcement of a security policy and connectivity model based on the least privilege principle.
A proxy device (running either on dedicated hardware or as software on a general-purpose machine) may act as a firewall by responding to input packets (connection requests, for example) in the manner of an application, whilst blocking other packets.
Proxies make tampering with an internal system from the external network more difficult, and misuse of one internal system would not necessarily cause a security breach exploitable from outside the firewall (as long as the application proxy remains intact and properly configured). Conversely, intruders may hijack a publicly-reachable system and use it as a proxy for their own purposes; the proxy then masquerades as that system to other internal machines. While use of internal address spaces enhances security, crackers may still employ methods such as IP spoofing to attempt to pass packets to a target network.