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Basics of Video Conferencing Networking

Posted by Paul Richards on Jan 21, 2015 2:24:00 PM

Hello Web Conferencing Professionals,

Today we are going to review the "Basics of Video Conferencing Networking" as it applies to your network internally

What is a Network?



A collection of computers, services, wireless devices, control systems, cameras and other devices thate are connected to one network to communicate together. What are your the key components of a network?

  1. Modem
  2. Router 
  3. Switc
  4. Wireless Access Point

What is a Modem?

Your network always starts with the modem. The rock of your network. The modem provides the connection to your the internet. The modem translates the signal from the ISP (Internet Service Provider) into a network signal. Modems are required for every network.

What is a Router?

Router helps you to properly direct your traffic on your network to the appropriate device. Allows different switches and access points to communicate. A router connects networks by analzing incoming traffic and directing it to the appropriate device. A router assigns IP Addresses to devices inside the network so they can interconnect. A router allows or blocks incoming connections through a firewall. A router allows all devices within the network to share a single IP address from the internet. Usually a network only has one Router. 


What is a Switch

Your switch connects all the devices together. Switches come in two types: unmanaged or managed. Unmanaged switches are simply "plug and play". Managed switches are configuarble for optimized performance. Most switches come in port counts for 4, 8, 16, 24 and 48. A netowkr can have a router without a switch but a network cannot have a switch without a router. 


What is a Wireless AccessPoint


A wireless access point or (WAP) takes a wired network and turns it wireless and does so through radio waves. Wireless communications based on IEEE 802.11 standards are usually on 2.5 GHz or 5.0 GHz. Devices must be WiFi compatible in order to communication and connect on the network. Wireless access points are gaining increased traction and starting to rival hardwired connections for normal bandwidth requirements. 2.4 GHz frequency bands have a greater range than 5.0 GHz. The difference is that you only have 3 non-overlapping channels (1, 6, 11) where the 5.0 GHz frequency band has 23 channels available and provides less interferance.




How are devices connected to the network?


Ethernet cables are the standard connection. They are commonly know as Cat-5 cable made from copper and they are not recommended to be used farther than 300'. Fiber optic cables are made from glass. They provide very high bandwidth capabilities and they provide longer transmission distances. Finally, devices can connect to the network wirelessly. Wireless transmissions are based on the 802.11 standards we mentioned earlier (802.11a, b, g, n or ac). 


How do network devices communicate on the network?


 There are three different ways devices can communicate on the network: Unicast, Multi-cast and broadcast. Unicast is point-to-point communication between a single sender and a single reciver over a network (information sent to a specific IP location). Multicast is point to select points. This is communication from one or more points to a specific set of other points (TV channels you have to pay for). Networks are meant to handle this type of traffic normally. Broadcast is point to all points such as radio signal being sent to all receivers. Broadcasting is not preffered usually because it can flood a network and cause a freeze on the entire network. 

Let's talk about IP Address's


There are 2 types of IP Addresses: public and private. Each home has a public IP address assigned by the Internet Service Provider. When you see a 172.x.x.x that is a public IP Address. When you see a 192.168.x.x this is internal IP Address. Routers need the following information to send the data to the right place: IP Address and Mac Address. Every device on your network has a IP Address that that makes it unique. Inside the network, each connected device is also assigned a unique internal IP Address using on of the following methods: DHCP or Static. DHCP is when the router automatically assigns a temporary IP Address based on a first-come , first served basis. If a device is turned off, the IP becomes available again. A static IP is manually assigned and does not change. Finally let's mention PPPoE which is a IP assignment with a login name and password that authenitcate. We should also mention DDNS which is a domain name that will redirect to an IP Address which is used to manage IP addresses that are constantly changing.

IP_Address_are_made_ofMAC Address


MAC Address's never change for a device. It contains a alphanumeric identifer. This is assigned by the manufacture during production and it is not changable. This is used to automatically be detected and read by network components.


Topics: Video Conferencing, Web Video Conferencing, networking, bandwidth


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