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Data Communications Assignment 1

Use the Internet to help you complete the following exercises.

  1. There are many Web sites that track the growth and usage of the Internet. Go to one of the URLs below and locate an unusual and interesting statistic about the Internet.

Internet Statistics (

Internet World Stats (

Internet Software Consortium (

(Alternatively, try a Google search using the terms “internet usage statistics” and go to one of the links returned by that search.)

Include the following in your answer to this exercise:

  • URL of the page
  • Name of the page
  • The unusual/interesting statistic
  1. One of the most interesting things about the Internet is the strange routes that messages take through the network An easy way to explore this is to use “traceroute” software. (Traceroute is a network routine that shows network hops and runs from the command-­‐line. The software built on top of it displays the results of a traceroute graphically.)

Download and install one of the following programs:

  • VisualRoute (free 15-­‐day demo) [Windows]:
  • WhatRoute (freeware) [Macintosh]:

Then run the program and trace the hops between the location from which you access the Internet and the following sites:


Display a map of each route. Take a screen shot of each map to hand in. (Be sure to pay attention to the acceptable graphics formats mentioned in the syllabus. Pasting the screen shots into a Word document will work quite well.)

  1. What is the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web? What is the difference between the Internet and electronic mail? (This question is trickier than it seems …)
  1. Each computer that you use to connect to the Internet must have an IP For this exercise, find the IP address for each computing device that you use regularly. (For most people, this will be one computer at home, one at work, and perhaps one or more mobile devices.)

(Major hint: if you don’t know how to do this, see, which provides instructions

for finding the IP address for many versions of Windows, many versions of the Mac OS, and Linux.)

  1. Report whatever you find for each device, regardless of whether it looks like the X.X.X dot notation.
  2. Make your best guess as to which of the addresses are dynamic and which are (You can be wrong and still get credit for this part, but a bit of thinking will lead you to the right answer.)
  1. If you type a URL and your browser tells you that the host could not be found, what might have happened? Assume that you have connected to the Internet through a modem and a standard telephone (Hint: This question is asking you to look at the potential points of failure in the connection.)
  1. Think about the difference in response times with a dial-­‐up connection versus a broadband connection to the
  1. Under what circumstances might a dial-­‐up connection be as fast or even faster than a cable modem? (Hint: This has something to do with the way cable Internet service provides access for multiple )
  2. Is DSL affected by the same issue as cable? Why or why not?
  3. For home access, would you be most likely to purchase ADSL or SDSL? Why? For business access, which would you be most likely to use? Why?
  1. One of the things some with responsibility for a network needs to be able to do is to provide prices for Check out the following vendor Web sites:
  • VARNetwork (
  • Microwarehouse (
  • BlackBox (
  • com
  • Best Buy
  • Tiger Direct (
  • New Egg ( As you peruse the offerings of these companies, identify which you would use for purchasing consumer products for the home and which you would use for purchasing business networking (Hint: Some of these companies sell into both markets and have separate business and consumer divisions.)

Then, find prices for purchasing each of the following items new. Where appropriate, find both consumer and business prices:

  • Cable modem
  • DSL modem
  • DSL/cable router (These often come combined with switches; if a switch is included, specify the number of )
  • Cat 5e UTP cabling (6ft patch , 15 ft. cable, and on a roll without connectors)
  • RJ-­‐45 connectors for bulk cable (the roll without connectors)
  • 8-­‐port 10/100 Ethernet switch
  • 8-­‐port Gigabit Ethernet switch (may be listed as 10/100/1000)
  • 24-­‐port Gigabit Ethernet switch (may be listed as 10/100/1000)
  • 16-­‐port router (no support for voice)
  • 16-­‐port router (with voice support)

Note: The best way to presents the results of this exercise is in a table.

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