Market research shows that current PC owners are buying most of the new computers that are sold each year. This means that multi-computer households are becoming very common. If you are one of these multiple-PC owners, you have probably thought about how great it would be if your computers could talk to each other.
The following guide covers the steps required to set up a basic computer network in your home. The topics covered include an overview of both wired and wireless transmission mediums, the components needed to set up a home network, network security options, and the steps involved in configuring a network for both Windows and Macintosh systems. The guide also covers specialized topics for more advanced users including an introduction to the OSI model, a glossary of useful network terms, and instructions on how to make and configure your own Cat-5 cable.
There are many benefits to connecting your computers with a network, including:
- Sharing a single printer between computers.
- Using a single Internet connection or Internet Protocol (IP) address.
- Sharing hard drive space and files such as images, MP3s, movies, and documents.
- Playing games that allow multiple users at different computers.
- Sending the output of a device, such as a DVD player or Webcam, to another computer(s).