What Are Common Types of Networking Devices?

Network devices are commonly used alongside a variety of other electronics, allowing for computers, printers, faxes, and other such equipment to be linked together on a single network. When joined together on a network, devices can transfer data to one another with ease. As there are many device types that facilitate networking and communication, it can be useful to familiarize yourself with the most common variations and networking accessories.


A router is a network device that allows for data packets to be transferred to a destination. Generally, such equipment forwards data packets between computer networks, utilizing a routing protocol to determine where each packet needs to be. WiFi routers are quite popular, allowing users to establish network connectivity through wireless means. In some instances, routers may be referred to as networking boxes based on their capabilities and design.


Modems, more formally known as modulator demodulators, are devices tasked with converting digital signals into analog signals and vice versa. Generally, a computer connected to a modem will have analog signals translated into digital signals for use, allowing for such data to be conveyed properly. Modems are useful for both telecommunications and internet connectivity, commonly being found in countless network settings.


A hub is capable of linking multiple networking devices together, also serving as an amplifier for signals that may deteriorate after traversing long distances. Hubs are fairly easy to use, allowing for LAN components to be connected with the same protocols. Hubs are unable to process or address packets, however, only being tasked with transferring data packets to every connected device. Active and Passive HUBs are both common options, differing in their specific roles.


When one wishes to link multiple hosts or network segments together, bridges are best. Generally, a bridge may be used to divide large networks into smaller ones, placing segments of the physical network and data flow management between them. While similar to hubs, bridges are not able to modify the content that is being sent.

Access Point

The access point operates on the data link layer, acting as a bridge for connecting standard wireless networks to wireless devices or serving as a router to transmit data across access points. Access points often come in the form of a separate equipment piece, complete with an antenna, transmitter, and adapter for operations. Access points commonly come in the form of wireless connectivity points (WAPs), capable of generating wireless LAN transmitters and receivers.


Switches are employed for the means of enhancing a network’s capacity, utilizing hardware addresses from incoming packets to relay them to their correct destination. With the flexibility of their digital circuit and their enhancement of network protection, such components are highly beneficial. Safety switches are another type of switch that may be found on various electronic devices, ensuring that the electrical supply can be shut off in the instance that a fault is detected.

Networking Panel

For the best management of networking cables and wired networks, networking panels are quite useful. With network panel modules, the wall ports of various devices can all be placed in a single area, ensuring that management is upheld with ease.


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