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Home Networking Basics

Home networks were long thought to be the realm of the technophiles until recently, but with our ever technologically progressing world, creating a home network is becoming easier so that you don’t have to be extremely technologically savvy to make one in your home - you just plug in and go. This is a good thing since for many families, one computer is often not enough - we use computers for communication, entertainment, shopping, and homework. And for any family with more than one computer, a network becomes necessary. It saves time, resources, power, and money in the long run.

What Does a Network Do?

A network is a way to let computers and their satellite devices communicate with each other. Computers connected through a network can share files and documents, internet connections, printers, scanners, entertainments devices, and CD burners. This means that if you want to print something from computer B, you don't need to bring it to computer A (to which the printer is attached), you can print it direct from computer B. Also, if you need to transfer a file from one computer to any other, you don't need to use a disk, USB key, or an internet connection.

What Comprises a Network?

All networks have essential components that make them work as a network. By definition, all network must have more than one computer. They can be as mall as two computers or as large as one hundred computers or more. Hardware (such as a router) and software (an operating system like Windows XP) are also necessary to coordinate the exchange of information. Finally, all networks also need a path for the information to pass from one computer to another.

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