Main Topics of Study:

A. Types of Networks

  • Definitions of LAN, WAN and the distinction between them.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of networking in general compared with stand-alone systems.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of networking in a particular situation.
  • Definition of Bandwidth. Importance of bandwidth.
  • Open Systems Interconnection (OSI).


  • Network topologies – Star, Bus, Ring, peer-peer.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each of the main types of network.
  • Factors affecting speeds of networks.
  • How signals are passed and controlled in each of the network types.
  • The client-server.


  • Analogue and digital signals. Roles of the modem and multiplexer. Time Division Multiplexing (TDM).Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDM). ISDN.
  • Polling individual workstations.
  • Switching techniques – circuit, message, packet.
  • EDI. Uses made by business. Advantages compared with traditional communications.
  • EFT. Uses made by business. Advantages compared with traditional payment methods.
  • ATM usage by banks. The sequence of events WITHIN THE COMPUTER for a successful transaction in TECHNICAL terms.

D. Internet

  • Its origins.
  • Business use of internet.
  • Uniform Resource Locators (URL). Domain name. Domain name suffix. IP address.
  • Components of the Internet. WWW. E-mail, File Transfer Protocol Servers, News.
  • Use of internet by individuals.
  • Use of internet by business and organisations.
  • Setting up your own domain name.
  • Search engines. Structuring queries to eliminate irrelevant information.
  • Cookies.
  • Affects on society – good and bad.

E. E-mail

  • Registering for e-mail and logging on.
  • The e-mail system as seen by the user.
  • How to send and receive e-mail. Attachments.
  • Options open to the user on receiving an e-mail message.

F. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and JAVAscript

  • Purpose of the HTML language.
  • Format of the HTML language.
  • Simple web pages in HTML.
  • Javascript. Applets. Simple examples.

G. Data transfers

  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
  • File transfer Protocol (FTP).
  • Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
  • JPEG, MPEG formats

H. Control of a network and its security

  • Role of the network supervisor/manager.
  • Password systems. Allocation of passwords. Levels of access.
  • Network threats. Viruses and their control.
  • Hacking. Firewall.
  • Encryption. Public key encryption.