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Computer Networks and the Internet

Kiron via edX

This course may be unavailable.


The Internet has become integral to our daily lives. Despite its importance to users, most have only a general idea of how it works. If you’re eager to learn more about the Internet and computer networks in general, this course is for you! This course was created in collaboration with the Lübeck University of Applied Sciences with support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

In this course, you will learn about technologies that you use at home like Wireless LAN. We will also illustrate how the Internet works on a global scale and investigate the role of major protocols; in particular the Internet Protocol (version 4 and version 6) and its helper protocols (e.g., ICMP, ARP, DHCP).

You’ll learn how the protocols TCP and UDP are used to realize applications. Out of the many applications that the Internet has, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol is focused on as the lead example since it is the main protocol for the Web.

Key tools will be introduced and used, including the network protocol analyzer Wireshark, the network emulators eNSP and WANem, command line tools ping and traceroute, Firefox browser Add-Ons like IPvFox, and many test web pages.

This course uses videos and texts to provide an overarching foundation, augmented with practical exercises so that you can experiment and explore on your own.

A portion of the profit from verified certificates in this course will go toward Kiron Open Higher Education. Kiron enables access to higher education and successful learning for refugees through digital solutions.


Week 1: Introduction and Network Topologies

  • Importance of computer networks
  • Network topologies
  • Standardization bodies

Week 2: OSI Reference Model

  • Layers of the OSI Reference Model
  • Internet Model / Hybrid Model

Week 3-4: Data Link Layer

  • Ethernet - Wireless LAN
  • Point-to-Point Protocol

Week 5-7: Network Layer

  • Circuit Switching, Packet Switching
  • Internet Protocol (version 4, version 6)
  • Helper protocols (ICMP, DHCP, ARP)
  • Network Address Translation
  • Routing Basics

Week 8-9: Transport Layer

  • User Datagram Protocol
  • Transmission Control Protocol

Week 10-11: Application Layer

  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol
  • Electronic Mail
  • Domain Name System

Week 12: Computer Networks History

  • Important historic milestones

Taught by

Andreas Hanemann


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