Networking optimize

Pop Quiz: Basic Network Devices

Do you know the difference between a hub, a switch, and a router? Take this short quiz and test your knowledge of common network devices.

Answers to our TR Dojo pop quiz on basic network devices:

  1. NIC
  2. Modem
  3. Hub
  4. Switch
  5. Bridge
  6. Router
  7. Gateway
  8. Firewall
  9. DHCP Server
  10. DNS Server

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

62 comments
LvTravel
LvTravel

Got only one wrong. Good Quiz. Like them all. Great way to test what one remembers or leans. Thanks.

learn4ever
learn4ever

That was embarrassingly easy! Really? that was a quiz for pros?

bitboss1
bitboss1

I'm hopeful that anyone who got any of these simple questions wrong is NOT working in any network support role - unfortunately, this is most likely far from reality. The number of "bodgy brother" networks operating in enterprise environments out there is awe inspiring - sorry, dread inspiring.....

Apoorv182
Apoorv182

I like it. It's good for testing basic knowledge.

LvTravel
LvTravel

Keep them coming. Good for the brain to be tested like this.

leo8888
leo8888

These little quizzes are a welcome distraction sometimes, thanks Bill!

Uzzy343
Uzzy343

Please keep up the good work.

jentre1
jentre1

I did much better than I thought, Thanks Bill!

dave
dave

a bridge is still a switch. They just happen to have 2 ports. They still do store and forward, flooding and participate in STP. For most simple networks they work just fine. However today its easier to drop in a chip that can handle multiple ports and call them a switch. However those switches still perform "bridging" functions just like original spec designed by Radia Perlman.

mikedeedigan
mikedeedigan

Very good, As I am preparing for my Net + exam, Any more on the subject will be most welcome, Cheers, Mike.

richara2
richara2

This one was to easy. Okay I got one wrong but that's 90% network thinking. Just that gateway answer got me thinking. :D

Kerrio
Kerrio

someone explain this question and the answer to me when u get the time, thanks

rcaraway
rcaraway

I missed two. I wasn't a network guy or even a radio guy. In fact, I was so far in the dark, I didn't know what a mushroom club was for years. Enjoy!

dkescole
dkescole

I liked answering these questions, it helps to keep my IT skills intact, not to mention I got them all right!

SRam006
SRam006

I didn't realize that Bridges had fallen out of favor. What replaced them?

terry.sanderson
terry.sanderson

It's good to see that you mentioned protocal gateways in the quiz. While they HAVE fallen out of favor, I bet you that there are still a number in service.

greenhorn56
greenhorn56

Thrilled to get 100%, did my CompTIA Network+ last year, great that I haven't forgotten it all !!!

fadimoula
fadimoula

Thanks for such Wonderful Quiz, I hope we could have similar one, soon enough

singhz
singhz

thanks for practise.....Deep (Punj_aab)

rbarkley2
rbarkley2

Got them all correct. I took and passed all seven parts of a data communication series of exams given as a prescreening employment process by our local phone company Qwest. I have been out of work since March of last year. All this knowledge hasen't helped me even get one interview. Go figure. Out of work in Phoenix

mobiletec
mobiletec

Excellent...nice...I enjoyed that.. Wayne Bennink Network Support Technician

srunham
srunham

Thanks for taking the time to do this for us. :-) 100% - YAY :-)

Stumps81FO
Stumps81FO

Got 100% Now I'd better start studying and get certified in something.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

Too many of us got 100%. I love the quizzes with more thought-provoking questions.

ssency
ssency

Bill -- good job, how about a once a week pop quiz?

lacyda3rd
lacyda3rd

What helped me was to identify the question as it pertained to the OSI Model. This is how I answered the question concerning the gateway. Gateway is involved at the Application layer. So when it mentioned about translating data this typically takes place at the application layer. (Someone correct me if I am wrong.) The question concerning the network device forwarding data based on MAC Addresses would indicate the Data Link layer or Layer 2. This is where switches operate. I shocked myself how I was able to relate the OSI model in reference to these questions. I got 100%.

xangpow
xangpow

The only one i got wrong was the one about the gateway. When it said "network devices/systems translates data from one format to another?" it got me confused. I didnt know a gateway could translate anything. I thought a gateway just lets in traffic based on it packet. Kind of like a firewall, but not really. At least i wasnt the only one lol

bob.arrendell
bob.arrendell

I got 9 out of 10; not bad for a "Tech-Wana-Be"

TerryRay
TerryRay

Great quiz Bill. And not too long. Please keep them coming.

rashidah
rashidah

Thanks...I oops! almost forgot the basics...needed that network (nutrients)

jstlouis
jstlouis

Wasn't too sure about that answer, I was under impression that the gateway was the route used when a destination was not found in a router's routing table. I wasn't aware that any actual translations were performed there, unless we're talking about NATing? Though is that a format translation?

ssmith5
ssmith5

I was just glad these weren't essay questions....

sairam.bharati
sairam.bharati

I would like to see same sort of exercises very often. thanks for your much appreciated effort.

jerry
jerry

Your question: Although they've fallen out of favor, which of the following devices is used to connect different network segments and manage the traffic between them? Gave option of both a bridge and a repeater. Technically, bridge and repeater are synonyms, they take the packet, electrically regenerate it, and send it to the other side, it can be the same media type (such as 100baseT), but it can also be different (such as 10baseT to 10base2). Also, at a basic level, a switch is simply a multi-port repeater.

alkesh.patel
alkesh.patel

Are there links to others? This is the first one I have seen.

compugal
compugal

Great Bill, keep us interested in the subject

dan
dan

Neat Little quizz

4itpro
4itpro

Keep continue the quizes, its increasing & testing our knowledge, i really appreciate your efforts.

jerya
jerya

I only missed the Bridge. Never had to use one.

learn4ever
learn4ever

You've been out of networking for a VERY long time. Switches!

learn4ever
learn4ever

gateways have fallen out of favour. Bridges have because of collisions etc.

al
al

I was under the impression that NATing is just address translation. I've never seen NAT do format translation. Is there such a thing? From WebOPedia.com for "gateway": (n.) (1) A node on a network that serves as an entrance to another network. In enterprises, the gateway is the computer that routes the traffic from a workstation to the outside network that is serving the Web pages. In homes, the gateway is the ISP that connects the user to the internet. In enterprises, the gateway node often acts as a proxy server and a firewall. The gateway is also associated with both a router, which use headers and forwarding tables to determine where packets are sent, and a switch, which provides the actual path for the packet in and out of the gateway. (2) A computer system located on earth that switches data signals and voice signals between satellites and terrestrial networks. (3) An earlier term for router, though now obsolete in this sense as router is commonly used.

dave
dave

See "Although they've fallen out of favor" below. A hub is a repeater. It is totally transparent and dumb. It is part of layer 0 and delays through it must be calculated in the number of bit times, if and only if you are pushing an end to end LAN to the 2500 M limit. An Ethernet packet contains 64 bits (preamble) at the start of the frame used to get the attention of all devices to start listening for the frame attached. It also sets the clock rate for listening devices. 64 bits is the maximum but normally devices can sync on fewer bits. However some repeaters take a few bits before they wake up and as a result don't regenerate the full 64 bits. As you go through multiple repeaters the preamble gets shorter with every pass. Rare but you could lose so many bits that Ethernet devices at the far end would not recognise and sync to a frame. A bridge (switch included as they ARE the same) must read the entire frame (store it as the bits come in) and once the framing and CRC have been verified then generate the full 64 bit preamble and attach the complete frame. A bridge/switch is also transparent to the network but is aware of the network. The old rule was that you could have 7 bridges between the 2 furthest nodes with up to 2,500 M between each bridge/switch giving a total 20,000 M. That timing was based on the transit time of a frame. That limitation is now gone as we push frames much further than that. However do not confuse TCP/IP and the Internet with Ethernet. TCP normally rides on an Ethernet frame.

Mazhar_Khan_236
Mazhar_Khan_236

This is a good definition of a repeater, but the difference with a bridge is that it has the ability to learn mac addresses and thereby reduce network traffic by only allowing through traffic to hosts that it knows to be on the other side. A bridge divides a network into collision domains. However it should be noted that a bridge still allows broadcast traffic through, a router would be needed to restrict this type of traffic as well. The benefits of a bridge, (or a switch, which is a multi-port bridge), are derived from an understanding of how CSMA/CD works.

BrianMWatson
BrianMWatson

You are almost correct, but not quite. A bridge is capable of filtering (what is meant by "...manage the traffic between them."), while a repeater is not. And to clarify what the other person said, a multi-port bridge is a switch, not a hub (ironically, that would be a multi-port repeater!). Because a bridge filters, it would only forward a packet to the specific port where the destination can be reached - it would not forward a packet to all ports. Hence a multi-port bridge is a switch.

mfa
mfa

A switch is much more than a repeater. It only "repeats" incoming traffic to the proper outgoing switchport (of many on the switch) to get the traffic to its ultimate destination, based on a learned MAC address table. I think you meant "a hub is a multi-port repeater".

learn4ever
learn4ever

You're talking about 'Store & forward'. That's all bridges were capable of. Most modern switches don't do this any moire. They can start sending the datagram before all bit are recieved. And a Bridge is an out-dated obsolete form of switch. To my understanding they don't do collision avoidance very well (if at all) e.g. - CSMA/CD Modern switches use the 'Spanning Tree Protocol'. Bridges cannot do this.