Different Types of Networking Devices: External, Internal and Portable

Home Articles Different Types of Networking Devices: External, Internal and Portable

Networking Devices are physical and work-oriented components which are used in creating a network. The network devices are categorized in three groups named as internal, external and portable devices. Internal devices are those devices which are integrated inside the computer system and enable communication features inside the devices. The External devices are those devices which can be connected or disconnected according to requirement and these devices can be shared with other users over the local area connection. Portable hardware devices are those devices which are used to create a small network on their own.

Internal Devices

External Devices

Portable Devices

Network Interface Controller (NIC)


USB Flash Drive

Wireless Network Interface Controller



Bluetooth Adapter









External Devices: -

  • Hub: - In the network, hub is a device to which different devices are connected and when one device sends the packets to another device, hub broadcasts packets to the connected devices. It increases chances of occurring collision because the hub is a non-intelligent device means it forwards the message but do not recognize the correct destination for the message. There are three types of hub, e. active, passive and intelligent hubs. In the active hub, the power supply is used for broadcasting the message and serve network like a repeater as well as centralized device. In the passive hub, the devices collect the power from the external source but, they could not be extended up to a certain distance. Intelligent hubs are those devices which help the administrators to troubleshoot the network by pinpointing the devices (Mitchell, 2018).
  • Switch: - It is a hardware device which is used to connect multiple systems to a network. To the FastEthernet port of the switch, all the other devices are connected. There are two types of switches named as unmanaged switches and managed switches. Unmanaged switches do not require any configuration setup as they possess default settings. Mostly, unmanaged devices are used in the home. The managed switches require configuration and offer more security features as compared to unmanaged switches. The user is able to configure or adjust the settings of managed switches remotely.
  • Router: - It plays an important role in communication because it defines the path through which the devices are able to transfer packets. For any network, the router is a source of the internet because it connects with the internet service provider and provides internet features to the users. In the router, there are different routing protocols, e. RIP, EIGRP, OSPF etc. which are required to configure communication between the devices.
  • Bridge: - A bridge is a type of repeater having a unique feature in which the contents are filtered through reading the MAC address from the destination and the source. This device is also used to interconnect two LANs which are operating on the same protocols. There are a single input and output device means the device has two ports for connecting the devices.
  • Repeater: - This device operates on the physical layers and the major function is to re-generate the signal before the signal becomes weak or corrupted. The benefit of regenerating the signal is that it extends the length on which the signal over the network (Rouse, 2016).


Internal Devices: -

  1. Network Interface Controller (NIC)

NIC is one of the important components in the computer system because it enables communication between the devices as it works as a network adapter. To access the internet, the network interface controller is needed in the device. It is a type of PCI expansion card which is plugged on the motherboard’s PCI port.

  1. Wireless Network Interface Controller: - It is also a network adapter which is used to enable the wireless connection for the computer system. There is no requirement of any external wire connection to the devices as the NIC adapter card allows the users to access the internet.
  2. Bluetooth adapter: - It is a standard adapter used for exchanging the data over short distances by using mobile phones. The information received by Bluetooth is in infrared rays and the user can connect to it as a USB drive with the system.

Portable Devices: -

USB Flash drive: - It is also known as pen drive which is connected with the port of system and the user is able to store the information on the system by copying the files from system to the pen drive.

Reference: -

Mitchell, B. (2018). The Beginner's Guide to Ethernet Hubs. Retrieved from https://www.lifewire.com/ethernet-and-network-hubs-816358

Rouse, a. (2016). Networking (computer). Retrieved from https://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/networking