Five Technical Devices Network Engineers Use on a Daily Basis

By Insights

Network engineers are familiar with a variety of devices in their hardware toolboxes. Everything from routers to wireless access points are essential tools in the IT operations of most businesses–they ensure a company stays connected to the outside world as well as internally.

Here’s a list of a few common networking devices typically used by network operations personnel. If you are planning to move into IT ops in your career, understanding each device is a must.

This is essential knowledge for any technology professional. Depending on the complexity of the device, either read the manual or any online documentation to learn more about their operations.

Network Routers

Routers are devices used to transmit data traffic between one or more networks. At home, they connect home devices on your WiFi network to your ISP’s network and subsequently, the internet. In the office, they are an essential part of on-premises networks, in addition to providing connections to the internet and the outside world. Both wired and wireless routers see wide use.

Network Switches

A switch is used to connect a specific computing device to a network. Ethernet switches are the most common form. The switch is able to identify any device connected to it; subsequently forwarding the specific data being sent to the device.


Considering the relevance of cybersecurity to the modern business world, the firewall is an extremely important network device. They are used to protect networks from hackers and other nefarious online behavior. Firewalls monitor ingoing and outgoing data traffic, and filtering it based on a variety of user-defined security rules.

WAN Optimization

WAN (wide-area network) optimization is important technology in a competitive business world. Both hardware devices and software are used to improve network performance when it comes to speed, bandwidth, latency and other criteria. WAN optimization leverages techniques like dynamic path optimization, caching and multicasting as part of an overall strategy to boost performance.

Wireless Access Points

A wireless access point is used for connecting devices to a network without a wired connection. For example, home routers generally combine a router, switch and wireless access point. In the office, they are typically used to allow employees to connect mobile devices to the office network. As such, firewalls and security are very important.

After learning everything about these devices, consider earning a certification as part of your strategy for becoming a network engineer.

If you need additional advice on your technology career, speak with the knowledgeable recruiters at Technology Partners. As one of the top IT staffing agencies in the Midwest, we know the companies looking for technical talent. Connect with us soon!

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