What are Network Devices and Their Types

There are different types of electronic devices are used in networking which are known as network devices or network equipment. In a computer network, network devices are mainly used for transmitting and receiving the data quickly and securely in between computers, fax machines, printers, etc. These devices may be intra network or internetwork. There are some devices are installed on the device such as RJ45 connector otherwise NIC card, whereas some devices are part of the network namely switch, router, etc. These devices are specific devices, handles digital or electrical connections to perform their exclusive roles very efficiently. This article discusses an overview of network devices and their working.

What are Network Devices?

Definition: The devices which are used for communication between different hardware’s used in the computer network are known as network devices. These devices are also known as physical devices, networking hardware, and network equipment otherwise computer networking devices. In a computer network, each network device plays a key role based on their functionality, and also works for different purposes at different segments.

Types of Network Devices

There are different types of network devices used in a computer network which include the following.

  • Network Hub
  • Network Switch
  • Modem
  • Network Router
  • Bridge
  • Repeater

Network Hub

The network hub is one kind of networking device in a computer network, used to communicate with various network hosts and also for data transferring. The transferring of data in a computer network can be done in the form of packets. Whenever the data processing can be done from a host to a network hub, then the data can transmit to all the connected ports. Similarly, all the ports identify the data path which leads to inefficiencies & wastage. Because of this working, a network hub cannot be so safe and secure. In addition, copying the data packets on all the ports will make the hub slower which leads to the utilize of the network switch.


Network hubs are classified into two types like active hub & passive hub.

Active Hub

These hubs have their own power supply and these hubs are used to clean, increase & transmit the signal using the network. It works as a wiring center & repeater. Active hubs play a key role in extending the distance between nodes.

Passive Hub

These hubs collect wiring from the power supply and different nodes of an active hub. These hubs transmit the signals over the network without improving & cleaning them. These hubs are not suitable for extending the distance between nodes like an active hub.

 Network Switch

Similar to a hub, this is also working at the layer in the LAN and a switch is more clever compare with a hub. As the hub is used for data transferring, whereas a switch is used for filtering & forwarding the data. So this is the more clever technique to deal with the data packets.


Whenever a data packet is obtained from the interfaces in the switch, then the data packet can be filtered & transmits to the interface of the proposed receiver. Due to this reason, a switch maintains a content addressable memory table to maintain system configuration as well as memory. This table is also named as FIB (forwarding information base) otherwise forwarding table.


A modem is the most important network device and it is used daily in our life. If we notice the internet connection to homes was given with the help of a wire. then wire carries internet data from one place to another. But, every computer gives digital or binary data in the form of zeros & ones.


The full form of the modem is a modulator and a demodulator. So it modulates as well as demodulates the signal among the computer and a telephone line because the computer generates digital data whereas the telephone line generates an analog signal.

Network Router

A network router is one kind of network device in a computer network and it is used for routing traffic from one network to another. These two networks could be private to a public company network. For example, here a router is considered as traffic police at the junction, he directs dissimilar traffic networks to dissimilar directions.



A Bridge in the computer network is used to unite two or more network segments. The main function of a bridge in network architecture is to store as well as transmit frames among the various segments. Bridges use MAC (Media Access Control) hardware for transferring frames.


These are also used for connecting two physical local area networks to a larger logical local area network. In the OSI model, bridges work at the data link & physical layers to divide the networks from larger to smaller by controlling the data flow between the two. In recent years, bridges are replaced by switches to provide more functionality.


The operating of a repeater can be done at the physical layer. The main function of this device is to reproduce the signal on a similar network before the signal gets weak otherwise damaged. The significant point to be noted regarding these devices is that they do not strengthen the signal. Whenever the signal gets weak, then they reproduce it at the actual strength. A repeater is a two-port device.



Generally, a gateway performs at the session & transport layers in the OSI model. Gateways offer conversion between networking technologies like OSI (Open System Interconnection) & TCP/IP. Because of this, these are connected to two or many autonomous networks, where each network has its own domain name service, routing algorithm, topology, protocols, and procedures of network administration & policies.


Gateways execute all the functions of routers. Actually, a router with additional conversion functionality is a gateway, so the conversion between various network technologies is known as a protocol converter.


The Brouter is also called a bridging router and the main function of this is to combine the features of both router & bridge and router. It performs either at the network layer or the data link layer. When it works as a router, it is used for routing packets across networks whereas it works as a bridge; it is used for filtering LANs traffic.


1). What is a network device?

The network device is one kind of device used to connect devices or computers together to transfer resources or files like fax machines or printers.

2). What are the examples of network devices?

The examples are switch, hub, bridge, router, gateway, modem, repeater & access point.

3). What is the interconnecting device?

This is one kind of device used to enable computers to data exchange on a network

4). What is meant by device IP?

The IP Address is a unique address for computing devices like PCs, smartphones & tablets to recognize itself as well as converse with various devices within the network.

5). What is TCP/IP in computer networking?

Thus, this is all about an overview of network devices or networking hardware in a computer network. These devices are used to transfer the data between various network devices with fast, correct and secure. Here is a question for you, what re network nodes?