Tech Learning Collective

Technology education for radical organizers and revolutionary communities.

Grassroots Networking: Network Administration for Small Organizations/Home Organizations

Apply for pre-enrollment in NET101

Our ability to browse Web sites, send and receive digital messages like emails and txt messages, and make phone or video calls depends on the connections our digital devices make with one another. Every organization, whether large or small, needs a network connection in order to communicate with other organizations, share files with them, and coordinate activities together. Understanding how this network functions at even a superficial level can save organizations a dramatic amount of money by making it possible to avoid Internet Service Provider (ISP) upsells and, in some cases, even completely replacing paid services with free, Host-It-Yourself alternatives.

In this course, students are introduced to the basics of computer networking. By using the Wireshark network protocol analyzer, we will watch two computers “talking” to one another and, by “dissecting” a packet of network traffic, we will learn how each step in the process of sending data from one application to another works. We will learn how and why the physical layout of a computer network affects the privacy of your and your organization’s information, how to configure computers and routers in your home or office securely, and how to calculate bandwidth needs for groups of users. By the end of this course, students will have the ability to set up, maintain, and monitor small local-area and Internet-connected networks, as well as a foundational understanding of how the Internet really works.