What are the most common network connections?

In everyday life we exchange messages, files, data, go on the internet and communicate with each other very easily. Maybe we take for granted what allows us to do all of this, which now is part of our daily life: networks and communication infrastructures. Probably we ignore how they work or event that they exist, but it’s because of network connections that we can communicate, visit websites and more. There is a wide range of network connections, but the main infrastructures are three: point-to-point connections, multicast (or broadcast) connections and multipoint connections. Now we’ll see what they are and how they work in details.

    • Point-to-point connections
      Point-to-point connections put in direct communication two network devices without the need of using another device (as a router or a modem) to create the connection. An example are Bluetooth and direct wi-fi connections, that, using aerials able to send and receive radio signals and proper communication protocols, enable to create a local network of about 30 feet in which is possible to exchange all kinds of data.
    • Multicast/broadcast connections
      Multicast connections are for transmit data to a series of devices/users simultaneously. Example of that type of connection are wireless networks and ethernet. Thanks to multicast connections is possible to send data to a group of devices without replicate the sending for any single user, reason why is defined “cheap” connection. There are different kinds of multicast connections according to the number of devices involved:
      – Unicast: the message is sent only to one network member
      – Anycast: the recipient is unique but not predetermined, usually it is the closest network node at the moment of data transmission (that technique is used in Content Delivery Network because is the fastest way to send data)
      – Multicast: in the multicast connections the communication addressees are more than one, but non all the network members. Multicast connections, as streaming video, allow to exchange data with a restricted number of users.
      – Broadcast: to send data to all the network devices you need a broadcast connection, as the TV signal, where all the users are simultaneously involved in the communication.
    • Multipoint connections
      Multipoint connection can be considered as a particular kind of broadcast connection, in which devices (more than two) use the same communication channel and share resources. The sending of data can be executed in two different ways: devices use available resources alternately, with a temporal point of view, or bandwidth capacity is divided among them and used at the same time.

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