These types of devices are the parts of the network that act as branches, and control data flow throughout the network. The primary device that allows this type of functionality, is the switch. A switch is a form of splitter, that allows for an Ethernet cable to be split into multiple or combine several into one. This can be very useful when you don’t have enough Ethernet ports available for all the devices on the network.
There are two types of switch, managed and unmanaged. Unmanaged switches, is the simpler version, this type of switch is far simpler as all they do, as mentioned above, they simply act as a branch for ethernet cables. Managed switches on the other hand, allow for much more network control and monitoring, such as prioritising network traffic to and from specific devices or monitoring for errors remotely.
Another devise is the router, similar to a switch, but rather than connecting devices in a network or LAN (Local Area Network), they connect separate networks and allow for them to communicate. Like when your ISPs (Internet Service Provider) network connects with yours to give you an internet connection.
They often also include a built in Wireless Access Point which allows devices to connect to the router through Wi-Fi.
Wireless Access Points are, as mentioned above, devices that allow connections through Wi-Fi to a wired network. While they are often built into routers, there are standalone versions available, NETGEAR WAC104-100UKS, for example.
The primary cables used in connecting devices throughout a network, primarily because they are reliable, fast and allow for reasonably long-distance communication, are Ethernet cables.
Software to control the server and allow workstations to log in For Windows based servers and workstations, it is possible to simply use active directory to login through workstations. However, most servers use Linux, due to its high of customisability allowing for a lot of control and optimisation of the server. It is still possible to login to a Linux server with a windows device. To do so, the Linux server should be setup as a LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) server.