Network firewalls protect computer networks against unauthorized use or attack. They permit or deny access to private network devices and applications, and represent an important part of an organization's overall security policy. Firewalls may be software applications, hardware devices (such as routers), or a combination of both. They include turnkey products that are relatively easy to install as well as complex, multi-layer installations that require the expertise of a certified network administrator.
Access points are transmitter / receivers (transceivers) that connect to a network through an interface such as a bus or connector. They receive, store, and transmit data between the wireless LAN and the wired structure.
Network equipment is used to split, switch, boost, or direct packets of information along a network. This product area includes network hubs, switches, routers, bridges, gateways, multiplexers, transceivers and firewalls. In addition to device type, network equipment is defined by protocol (e.g., Ethernet).
Network bridges connect network segments so that devices on both segments can communicate as if they were part of the same network. The centralize network administration and are easier to configure than network routers, which require IP addressing for each computer on each segment.
Network switches connect network devices to host computers and allow a large number of devices to share a limited number of ports. They increase network capacity and speed by examining and filtering data packets. Switches also regenerate forwarded packets, reducing collision rates and permitting the use of additional nodes.