Why Network Your Home or Business?


More and more of us have more than one personal computer in our home. Sometimes intentionally - because our children want or need one of their own. But sometimes we just buy a new PC and keep the old one because no-one else wants the older one.  But why not have both?

Imagine a typical weekday evening in the multi computer home...

  • Child, in their bedroom, using the Internet for research for their homework assignment.
  • Dad also using the Internet to pick up and reply to his e-mails and then update the household accounts.
  • Mom has really got to finish that essay for her online course and younger child has invited a friend round to watch a DVD on the television.

    How are you going to cope with engaged phone lines, continually having to transfer data by disc and consequently causing arguments over who uses the printer, and who can play the music or watch the movie unless each computer has its own printer, phone line and DVD?

    The Home or Business Network

    When you network your home each user can use all these facilities without disturbing other users.

  • Multiple users on PCs can access the internet using just one phone line
  • Printers can be shared and will print in the order jobs have been sent
  • Files and even some applications can be shared.
  • Because files can be shared disk space can be saved
  • You can even move from PC to PC and continue using the same documents.

    When it comes to entertainment, networking means much more flexibility in your home. Watch a DVD movie in the kitchen or listen to music in the dining room without having to have several music centers or DVD players because it's all controlled from your computer. The children can enjoy multi-player games too either in the same room, or for strategic games, in different rooms!

    Maintenance of your system will be easy too - have a central backup system or backup each others computers. Be able to move program updates off the internet and easily update each computer.


LAN Basics:

A LAN connects network devices over a relatively short distance. A networked office building, school, or home usually contains a single LAN, though sometimes one building will contain a few small LANs, and occasionally a LAN will span a group of nearby buildings. In IP networking, one can conceive of a LAN as a single IP subnet (though this is not necessarily true in practice).

Besides operating in a limited space, LANs include several other distinctive features. LANs are typically owned, controlled, and managed by a single person or organization. They also use certain specific connectivity technologies, primarily Ethernet and Token Ring.

WAN Basics:

As the term implies, a wide-area network spans a large physical distance. A WAN like the Internet spans most of the world!

A WAN is a geographically dispered collection of LANs. A network device called a router connects LANs to a WAN. In IP networking, the router maintains both a LAN address and a WAN address.

WANs differ from LANs in several important ways. Like the Internet, most WANs are not owned by any one organization but rather exist under collective or distributed ownership and management. WANs use technology like ATM, Frame Relay and X.25 for connectivity.

LANs and WANs at Home:

Home networkers with cable modem or DSL service already have encountered LANs and WANs in practice, though they may not have noticed. A cable/DSL router like those in the Linksys family join the home LAN to the WAN link maintained by one's ISP . The ISP provides a WAN IP address used by the router, and all of the computers on the home network use private LAN addresses. On a home network, like many LANs, all computers can communicate directly with each other, but they must go through a central gateway location to reach devices outside of their local area.




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