A physical network is the sum of the physical hardware parts that make up a network, including cables and routers – this is unrelated to the virtual logical network that users see when they log into their computers and check the networks tab. Multiple physical networks can support one big virtual one, or vice versa – a single modem with all its cables and everything involved can establish multiple logical networks.
Technipages Explains Physical Network
Let’s use an example to illustrate the differences between a physical and virtual network – the university of Virginia maintains multiple different physical networks, with parts manufactured and set up by various different providers.
Despite this, a user won’t be able to see any of that – if they try to connect to a network, only one network shows up on a machine. The different physical networks are not only invisible to a user, but their differences cannot be discovered. Multiple physical networks supporting one larger logical network means that users have access to the same network across a large area, such as the university campus, without needing to connect to a new, unique one every time they want to access the Internet, for example.
The physical networks, in the meantime, are made up of all sorts of parts – cables, wires, routers, repeaters and more – everything needed in order to establish and maintain the hardware infrastructure that the logical network leans on.
Abstract records of this type of arrangement are usually kept in the form of a diagram, where even more detailed info, such as ports, racks, servers and specific device models are included. These diagrams are used in case something goes wrong, parts need replacing or updating. Modernisation is also a factor – the parts of a physical network deteriorate over time, and newer models and hardware can provide speed and stability increases.
Common Uses of Physical Network
- A physical network is a term for all the hardware involved in establishing a network.
- Virtual networks aren’t the same as physical networks, though the latter can and does support the former.
- A good physical network diagram describes all the physical parts involved in a network.
Common Misuses of Physical Network
- A physical network is an ethernet connection between a machine and a network via cable.