One of the problems that a network administrator faces when dealing with a client/server network is TCP/IP connectivity between computers in the network. There are several causes that are problem spots when TCP/IP does not connect to other computers. One of the main causes is firewalls that are improperly configured. In order to comprehensively understand the problem of networking, there are several questions that this coursework will answer.

What are the benefits of network segmentation?

According to netcert, network segmentation is the process where some computers are separated from one network to create another network. This is made possible by the use of routers and switches (netcert, 2010). The benefits of this segmentation is that is helps in extending the network, it reduces network congestion, it isolates network problems and therefore it is easy to troubleshoot a problem and finally it improve the general security of the network.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of firewalls?

There are two types of firewalls, software and hardware firewalls and each of them plays a different role when it comes to protecting the network. In addition to that they have different advantages and disadvantages. According to Anandsoft, the main advantages of software firewalls is that, they are easy to configure, cheaper in price and best designed for home or personal use (Anandsoft, 2010). The main disadvantages include, they take a lot of the systems space, most of them are hard to un-install from the system and also they are not tailored for emergency response (Anandsoft, 2010).

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Having looked at the advantages and disadvantages of software firewalls, it is important to also mention the advantages and limitations of the hardware firewalls. According to Anandsoft, the advantages of hardware firewalls is that they are faster in speed hence they can handle more traffic, since they come with their own operating system, they are more secure and resistant to attacks. The final advantage is that the firewall does not get interference from the network since separated from the main network (Anandsoft, 2010). Acquiring any extra hardware comes means the organization incurs extra expense, this is the first disadvantage of hardware firewalls (they are expensive), they are also hard to install, configure and upgrade since they require technicians who are trained for the job, the last limitation is that they take additional office space for mounting and extra cables for wiring (Anandsoft, 2010). This will translate into additional costs.

From the above discussion, it is evident that the use of firewalls (both hardware and software) is the best option to protect the network. The main reason as to why firewalls are the mostly used for network protection is because of their flexibility and efficiency. In today's technological world, most system administrators rely on firewalls as the main network protection method. This is because firewalls are easy to install and use as compared to other methods.

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