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Computer networking is important as it allows multiple computers to connect with each other to share information and files. Security is hugely important when it comes to computer networks as networks are always at risk of attacks. Successful network attacks give outsiders a chance to destroy, alter, expose, disable, steal or gain unauthorized access to information. By studying the Alison Learning Path in Computer Networking and Security you will learn about how computer networking works. You will learn about different types of computer networks and their structures and functions. You will also learn about network security and its importance in computer networks. The Alison Learning Path in Computer Networking and Security is a series of courses that cover many aspects of computer networking and how to keep networks safe from attacks.



Courses in this Learning Path

  1. Computer Networking - Local Area Networks and the OSI Model

    The free online course Computer Networking - Local Area Networks and the OSI Model introduces the key devices found on local area networks (LANs) and the structure of different types of LANs. It also explains the seven layers of the OSI model that allow devices on networks communicate with each other.

    The course begins by introducing you to the key devices found on LANs such as hubs, switches and routers, and how each of these devices functions to allow for effective and efficient communication on the LAN. You will then learn about the functions of IP addresses and how they are broken down into Network ID and Host ID components. You will be introduced to the different network topologies such as Star, Bus, Ring and how they function. Next you will learn about Ethernet which is the de facto standard and most widely installed LAN technology. You will learn how devices on an Ethernet network communicate with each other using Frames.

    The course then moves on to explain the seven layers of the OSI Model. You will learn about the structure and function of each layer and how data is passed through the seven layers to allow two devices communicate with each other. You will also be introduced to the TCP Model and you will learn about the similarities and differences between the OSI Model and the TCP Model in terms of their structure and functions.

    This course will be of interest to all learners who would like to learn more about computer networking, in particular the structure and function of LANs, and how the OSI Module allows devices on a LAN communicate with each other. It will be of great interest to all learners who are considering computer networking as a career or who are considering doing professional computer networking exams.

    1-2 Hour
    50 Points
  2. Digital Communication Networks

    Modern society across the world is becoming increasingly dependent on communication networks. We depend on them for the smooth operation of economic and social activities.

    This course examines networks as the means of interconnecting devices so that two-way communication is possible. It examines protocols like HTTP, TCP/IP and ATM as well as the OSI reference model, and provides an overview of the topic for learners who have no significant prior knowledge of the subject.

    The main topics covered in this course are: Internet protocol (IP), the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). Areas that are also covered include the layers of communication, vertical and horizontal communication, protocol architecture, Domain name system, the ATM layers, and an analysis of IP over ATM.

    This course will be of interest to professionals who work in information technology, network design, and network management, and will also be of interest to students who would like a greater understanding of how networks function.

    2-3 Hours
    50 Points
  3. Computer Networking - Wired and Wireless Networks and Protocols

    The free online course Computer Networking - Wired and Wireless Networks and Protocols introduces you in a step-by-step manner to the structure and function of wired and wireless networks and their protocols. The course begins by introducing you to cabling systems for wired networks, in particular the twisted-pair cable, and cable speeds and the cable types. You will also learn about the tools needed when making the connections between patch panels and RJ45 jacks.

    You will learn about the structure of Internet Protocol addresses in detail, including IP Ranges and their classes. You will compare and contrast the structure and function of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and will learn about the role of Default gateway and DNS server in networking.

    Finally, the course introduces you basic TCP/IP tools such as command prompt, ipconfig and ping, and the use of these tools will be demonstrated. Next, you will be introduced to advanced TCP/IP tools such as Netstat, Pathping, Nslookup, Telnet, NbtStat and Netsh. Again, these tools and their uses will be demonstrated.

    This course will be of interest to all learners who would like to learn more about computer networking, in particular the structure and function of wired and wireless networks and their protocols. It will also be of great interest to all learners who are considering computer networking as a career or who are considering doing professional computer networking exams.

    2-3 Hours
    50 Points
  4. Wide Area Networks and Networking Services and Security

    The free online course Wide Area Networks and Networking Services and Security introduces you in a step-by-step manner to the concept of wide area network and networking services. The course begins by introducing you to Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, which is a client/server protocol that enables configured client computers to obtain IP addresses automatically. You will learn how IP addresses are leased to client computers and the role of DORA (Discovery, Offer, Request, Acknowledge) and APIPA (Automatic Private IP Addressing).

    Next, you will be introduced to Remote Desktop Services and how it enables Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). You will learn how Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS) supports remote user or site-to-site connectivity by using Virtual private network (VPN)and Dial-up connections. You will also learn about Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) which is a protocol within the TCP/IP suite that encrypts and authenticates IP packets.

    You will learn about Routing which is the process of managing the flow of data between network segments and between hosts or routers. You will review common dynamic routing protocols such as Distance vector routing (Routing Information Protocol (RIP) and Link state routing (Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)). You will also learn about Interior Gateway Protocols, routing protocols that were designed for use within Autonomous Systems, and Exterior Gateway Protocols, routing protocols that were designed for use between Autonomous Systems.

    This course will be of interest to all learners who would like to learn more about computer networking, in particular the structure and function of wide area networks and networking services and security. It will also be of great interest to all learners who are considering computer networking as a career or who are considering doing professional computer networking exams.

    1-2 Hour
    50 Points
  5. Fundamentals of Network Security

    Computer networks are central to modern digital communication technologies; however, network security is constantly under attack from both external and internal sources.


    This free online course examines the fundamentals of network security and covers topics such as active and passive attacks on networks, encryption, symmetric and asymmetric key systems, authentication using certification authorities, and access control using passwords and firewalls.


    This course will be of interest to IT professionals who want to learn more about network security or students who are interested in a career as an IT or network administrator.

    1-2 Hour
    50 Points
  6. Understanding Cryptography and Its Role in Digital Communications

    Cryptography plays a vital role in modern digital communication systems. Cryptographic methods allow the encryption and decryption of messages sent across digital communication networks.

    In this free online course the learner is first introduced to ancient ciphers and how they were used. The vital role of randomness in cryptographic methods is then explained and the learner is taken through step-by-step examples. The role of key scientists such as John von Neuman is also explained.

    This course will be of great interest to all learners who would like to learn more about cryptography and the vital role it plays in today's digital communication networks.

    1-2 Hour
    50 Points
  7. Computer Networking - Digital Network Security

    The free online course Computer Networking - Digital Network Security introduces you to the network architecture and protocols used in network security.

    The course begins by describing the features and functions of VPN protocol: Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). You will learn how Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) encapsulates Point-to-Point (PPP) frames into IP datagrams for transmission over an IP-based network. You will learn about L2TP and how it relies on IPSec in Transport Mode for encryption services.

    You will then learn about Firewalls which are the most commonly used type of security device in an organization's perimeter and how they protect a network from malicious attack and unwanted intrusion. You will learn about the role of a Perimeter network that keep certain information open to specific users or to the public while keeping the rest of an organization's data secret.

    You will learn about the two types of Packet filtering (Stateless and Stateful) and their functions. Next you will learn about Application-level gateway functions and how it supports address and port translation and checks whether the type of application traffic is allowed.

    Finally, you will learn about the Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) which detects malicious network activities by monitoring network traffic, and the Network Intrusion Prevention System (NIPS) which inspects network traffic and can remove, detain or redirect malicious traffic.

    This course will be of interest to all learners who would like to learn more about computer networking, the network architecture and protocols used in network security. It will also be of great interest to all learners who are considering computer networking as a career or who are considering doing professional computer networking exams.

    1-2 Hour
    50 Points

Complete!

Successfully complete all of these courses to receive a Computer Networking and Security Learning Path Award.

All your learning will be reflected in your Learner Record, which you can download for free at any time.

You also have the option of purchasing an Alison Certificate for each of the above courses you successfully complete.



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