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What Does Conduit Mean?

In the context of the Internet, a conduit is a means of transmitting data from one device or network to another. It can be thought of as a pipeline or a pathway through which data flows. A conduit can be a physical or a virtual connection. 

 Physical conduits, such as cables and routers, connect devices and networks by creating a physical link between them. For example, a cable can connect a computer to a router, which then connects the computer to the Internet. Similarly, a router can be used to connect a home network to the Internet, thus allowing all the devices in the home to access the Internet.

Virtual conduits, such as VPNs and software-defined perimeters, create virtual connections between devices and networks. These connections can be used to connect remote devices and networks, such as a company’s internal network to the Internet, or to connect a remote user to a company’s network through a VPN. These virtual connections are created using software to simulate a physical connection and can be more secure and flexible than physical connections.

Conduit Explained

Before the invention of conduits, devices were connected through more laborious and inefficient means. One of the earliest forms of networking was the use of telephone lines, which allowed for the transmission of voice and data over long distances.

In the early days of computers, devices were connected using point-to-point connections, where each device was connected directly to another. This method was known as a “daisy chain” configuration and was used to connect a limited number of devices. However, as the number of devices and networks grew, it became clear that we needed a more efficient method of connecting devices. 

Physical conduits like cables are typically made of copper or fiber-optic material. Copper cables transmit electrical signals and are often used in Ethernet networks to connect devices. 

Routers, also physical conduits, are typically made of plastic or metal and contain electronic components such as processors, memory, and networking interfaces. They work by routing data packets between networks and devices, using routing tables and protocols such as TCP/IP to determine the best path for data to travel.

Virtual conduits, such as VPNs and software-defined networks, do not have a physical component. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is often utilized to create a secure, encrypted connection between two devices or networks, allowing data transmission to occur as if they were on the same private network. Software-defined perimeters (SDP) also create a virtual connection between devices and networks. SDP enables custom internal network access policies and allows IT to have visibility across the network and automate access policies.

In summary, conduits are essential for the functioning of the Internet. They act as pipelines that provide the necessary connections for transmitting data between networks and devices, allowing communication between them. Conduits can be physical or virtual and can be used to connect networks to the Internet, connect different networks together, or connect remote users to a private network.

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