The Edge of The Internet: End Systems

Here's an introduction to the important physical components of the Internet that make it tick!

So far, we know that the Internet is a network of networks. Each network is made up of devices, called end systems, connected to each other with communication links. Let’s look at each in more detail.

End Systems

End systems are devices that are connected to the Internet. They include:

  • Desktop computers
  • Servers
  • Mobile devices
  • IoT devices.

So, an end system can be anything from a rack server to an Internet-enabled toaster. These devices are often also called edge systems in networking jargon because they are technically situated at the ‘edge’ of the Internet since they don’t relay data from one device to another.

The Network Edge

The network edge is simply the collection of end-systems that we use every day: smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc. However, note that devices that relay messages (such as routers) are not part of the edge of the Internet.

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