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Home Computer Networks 101

Guide to Wired and Wireless Home Networking


Man looking at a woman working on a laptop
ONOKY - Eric Audras/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
This page serves as your starting point for learning about the world of home computer networking, step by step. We will teach you all of the basics of home network planning, installation, and troubleshooting assuming no prior knowledge of network technology.


Computer networks have existed for more than thirty years, but only relatively recently have they become popular in homes. In 1999, only a few hundred thousand households in the United States possessed a home network, although many more "expressed interest" in having one.

Today, many millions of households in the U.S. and worldwide have adopted home computer networking. Millions more have yet to build their first home network. Even those who've previously taken the plunge are now beginning to revamp their networks for wireless - the current wave of useful technology for home networking.

Depending on your present goals and past experience, varying types of information may be relevant to your situation. Use the outline below as a comprehensive guide to your personal research.

Do I Really Need a Home Computer Network?

Some of you likely share files between your computers using floppy disks or USB keys. A home network allows you to share these files much faster and more conveniently by utilizing the available connections between computers. Home networks allow sharing of other things, too, like a printer and an Internet connection. Finally, home networks create the possibility to use new applications like multi-player online games.

Home Networking Outline -

Next > Planning a New Home Network

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How to Set Up a Wireless Network

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