4 Networks and the effects of using them 

Candidates should be able to: 

4.1 networks 

understand how a router works and its purpose – describe how networks and individual computers connect to the internet – describe how a router stores computer addresses – describe how it routes data packets 

understand the use of other common network devices, including: network interface cards, hubs, bridges, switches, modems 

understand the use of WiFi and Bluetooth in networks – describe how computers can use WiFi to connect to a network – describe how computers can use Bluetooth to connect to a network – compare and contrast Bluetooth and WiFi 

understand how to set up and configure a small network, including: access to the internet, the use of a browser, the use of email, access to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) 

understand the characteristics and purpose of common network environments, such as intranets and the internet – define what the internet is – define what an intranet is – describe the differences between an intranet and the internet – explain the purpose of an intranet and how that differs from the purpose of the internet  – describe the uses of an intranet – describe the uses of the internet – define the terms Local Area Network (LAN), Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) – describe the differences between a LAN, a WLAN and a WAN 

understand the advantages and disadvantages of using different types of computer to access the internet – compare the advantages and disadvantages of using laptop computers, desktop computers, tablet computers and mobile phones to access the internet

4.2 network issues and communication 

security issues regarding data transfer – describe the security issues surrounding the use of computer networks – describe other issues such as the idea that the internet is not policed and the effects of this, such as the existence of inappropriate sites – identify methods of avoiding password interception (such as the use of anti-spyware and changing passwords regularly) – describe the difference between strong and weak passwords – describe other authentication techniques (such as biometric methods, magnetic stripes, id cards, passports, other physical tokens, retina scans, iris scans, face scans) – describe the use of antivirus software and other methods of avoiding viruses (such as use of unknown storage media to transfer data, the risk of downloading software from the internet) – define encryption and describe its use – list the principles of a typical data protection act

network communication – describe facsimile communication and describe the differences between physical faxing (which does not require the use of a network) and electronic faxing (which does require the use of a network) – describe email communication, including the use of attachments – describe the advantages and disadvantages of using email compared with faxing – describe video-conferencing, including the hardware used  – describe audio-conferencing  – describe web-conferencing and how it can be linked to either video- or audio-conferencing