OCR Computing A-Level Revision

Network Hardware & Software (1.5.b)

In order to connect a computer to a network there are a number of essentials that must be dealt with:

To connect to a WAN (such as the internet), a physical connection is required. To connect to the internet you need an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Most people connect using ADSL, which has a maximum speed of up to 24Mb/s (depending on the distance from the internet exchange - the average speed in the UK is around 4.5Mb/s). However, fibre optic connections are becoming increasingly popular, as they are a lot faster (Virgin Media, who own the largest fibre network in the UK, currently offer a 120Mb/s connection). It's important to note that network speeds are normally measured in megabits per second (little b), whereas most other data transfer is measured in megabytes per second (big B).