The Network Simulator can build and simulate basic networks. It is designed to deepen the understanding of the functions in computer networks. The internet as one of the most important media has a vast amount of users. But the background processes, especially the communication, is not well-known by the majority of the users.
The palette contains three tabs which divide the plugin functions. The first tab serves the creation of the simulatable network. The second tab provides the functions for the simulation, while the third tab holds a few global settings.
Buildmode / Nodes & Edges¶
All nodes provide additional settings which can be accessed with a duppleclick or through the contextmenu of the node (rightclick menu).
A Computer serves as client in the simulated networks. It represents the standard desktop computer, laptop or other device which is used by many users. To simplify the network these node can not serve as a server. It allows the 'installation' of multiple software nodes and can be connectes to one network component, e.g. a switch or a router.
This simplified webserver hosts one or more websites in the html format. To differ the task affiliation in our networks this is its only function. Like the computer it has one network connector.
The nameserver hosts a table of domainnames and affiliated ip adresses. Unlike the DNS there is no hieracial order. Nameserver can be connected to another network node.
The network adapter settings and the routingtable of the router can be accessed through the node settings.
The switch supports the forwarding with the aid of a Source-Adress-Table
The simulated browser serves the purpose to open a html webpage which is hosted by a server.
This prompt supports the ipconfig and ping command.
Cable and imperfect Cable
The imperfect cable is in contrast to the standart cable lossy. Each time a paket is send via an imperfect cable there is a chance that a loss is simulated. The appropriate rate can be controlled in the settings tab.
For better visibility the simulated software exists as seperate nodes and are not hidden inside the computer nodes. To simulate the affiliation each software node needs to be installed on a computer with this connection.
The simulation can run continually or step by step to allow the user a better view on each step the message travels in the network. The steps can be made for each transmitted layer or each node. The speed of the automatic simulation can be adjusted by a slider.
For each step a representation of the paket is presented in the style of the real header informations for the layers. In addition important steps are logged in a text representation. A more detailed log is written to a file (default location: temporary user folder).