What Is a Computer Networking Device?

Malcolm Tatum

Computer networking devices are any types of devices that are associated with a computer network and aid in the process of managing data. Also known as network equipment or interworking units, the computer networking device may be some type of hardware equipment or a service that aids in the processing of data in some capacity. Any type of network, ranging from a simple home network to a wide area network (WAN) utilized by a large corporation will make use of various networking devices.

Computer networking devices enable computers to share data.
Computer networking devices enable computers to share data.

One of the more basic examples of a computer networking device is the router. This type of device makes it possible to connect with data sources and share information over the applications used within the overall network structure. One of the more common examples of a router is a dual router used in many home networks that is connected directly to the master computer that serves as the server for that network, and also is equipped to provide a wireless connection to other computers in the home.

A wireless network device.
A wireless network device.

Another computer networking device in common use is the bridge. This type of equipment makes it possible to receive data from multiple points and route that data into specific locations on the network. For example, a teleconference bridge is used to process telephone connections to the network, allowing those lines to terminate in a specific conference call that is active on that bridge. Most bridges are configure to allow automated routing of data, but will also allow for the manual intercession necessary to control that data when and as necessary.

Software can also qualify as a computer networking device. For both residential and business usage, the installation of a firewall is often recommended. This type of networking device helps to protect access to the network, effectively preventing use of resources by intruders while also making it easier to protect the network from infection by various types of threats. Another software product, the proxy, makes it possible to manage the access of authorized personnel associated with one network to a different network. The security measures that are made possible here protect the interests of everyone concerned and allow for access that is secure and can be tracked with relative ease.

Every type of computer networking device helps to increase the functionality of the components that make up the network as a whole. Careful selection of the right combination of devices allows users to manage tasks quickly and easily. At the same time, a computer network device will also often provide some level of security in how data is managed, which in turn makes it easier to integrate the use of the device with other equipment and units on the network, so that the integrity of the data is maintained at all times.

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