1. Technology

Set Up Computer Networks and Connections


These pages explain how to set up network connections. From simple direct connections between computers to complete home and even IT networks, you will learn how to select equipment and configure the systems. In addition to sharing files, you can also share printers, set up Internet access, and perform other basic operations. Finally, you will also learn troubleshooting techniques to quickly diagnose and fix various kinds of network problems.
  1. Planning a Home Computer Network
  2. Buying Network Equipment
  3. Direct Connections Between Computers
  4. Setting Up Home Broadband Routers
  5. Sharing Files and Printers
  1. Configuring Home Internet Access
  2. Troubleshooting Network Connectivity Problems
  3. Configuring Mobile Internet Access
  4. Working with IP Addresses
  5. Securing Network Devices and Data

Planning a Home Computer Network

Wired Home Network Diagram Featuring Ethernet Router

Designing a home network includes determining the location of your computers, printer(s) and other devices to connect as well as network equipment needs. Home networks can be built using cables, wireless technology, or a combination of both.

Buying Network Equipment

Online Shopping (Consumer Buying)

A confusing array of choices awaits anyone shopping for network gear. Home network equipment is available in both wired and wireless varieties as well as different shapes and sizes. Certain types of routers, adapters and other networking products have been created specially for mobile (traveling) users. Additionally, some kinds of gear include manageability, advanced security, and other features designed for use on corporate networks.

Direct Connections Between Computers

The simplest kind of network contains just two computers linked by a point-to-point direct connection. You can use these networks to share files, a printer or another peripheral device. So-called "ad hoc" peer networks allow linking more than two computers.

Setting Up Home Broadband Routers

Linksys WRT610N Simultaneous Dual-N Band Wireless Router

Broadband routers are designed for convenience in setting up home networks, particularly for homes with high-speed Internet service. A broadband router is a small electronic device that connects to broadband modems or other routers. It simplifies the configuration of file sharing, Internet connection sharing and some network security functions.

Sharing Files and Printers

Printer - Personal Computer Printer (close-up)

A local network allows efficient transfer of files without the need to carry disks or keys between computers. With only a small additional effort, a printer can also be set up for sharing among multiple computers across a local network.

Configuring Home Internet Access

Family Connected to Wireless Laptop

Many people build a home network with the goal of sharing Internet access among all of their computers. Connecting an Internet modem to the home network is the typical way to set up shared access.

Troubleshooting Network Connectivity Problems

Whether due to a configuration error in the set up, a technical glitch, or some other reason, one or more pieces of a computer network may not function properly or suddenly fail. Fortunately, many networking problems can be recognized and fixed quickly.

Configuring Mobile Internet Access

Internet Cafe (Auckland, New Zealand)

Increasingly, people rely on Internet connectivity while traveling for business or pleasure. That often entails connecting to a network owned by someone else. The ability to establish safe and reliable connections to new networks is essential in today's always-connected world.

Working with IP Addresses

IP Addresses - Illustration

IP addresses are the fundamental method for computers to identify themselves on home networks, the Internet and many other networks. Computers, routers, games consoles and other devices connected to an Internet Protocol network each possess their own IP address. Certain special IP addresses are commonly used on local networks.

Securing Network Devices and Data

Saxony Builds Preventive Detention Facility In Bautzen (2012)

Various technologies exist to improve the security of data being shared on computer networks. The ability to reliably back up data across the network is also critical to avoid loss.

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