Networking Home Computers

Networking Home Computers
Increasing Productivity With the​ Whole Family
Have you ever thought about networking your computers at​ home? If you have a​ small collection of​ computers around the​ house (and a​ small collection of​ computer users),​ you can connect each one of​ those computers to​ one another and share data,​ software,​ and hardware including a​ single Internet connection .​
There are many creative uses for home networking,​ however it's an​ ideal situation when upgrading each computer to​ the​ same capability is​ financially out of​ the​ question .​
On a​ home network,​ each computer has access to​ the​ equipment of​ the​ better machine in​ the​ group as​ if​ that equipment were their own .​
Connecting computers with either an​ Ethernet cable or​ a​ Wireless connection can create a​ home network .​
The easiest and cheapest method uses an​ Ethernet connection,​ which requires a​ series of​ network cards,​ a​ cable for each computer,​ and a​ router .​
The network card is​ similar to​ the​ old modems we​ used in​ the​ past to​ connect to​ the​ Internet,​ however in​ a​ home network,​ it's used to​ communicate with every computer that's connected to​ it .​
You'll want to​ first,​ select the​ computers that will connect to​ each other and then install the​ network cards inside each of​ them .​
Then you'll connect a​ cable to​ each computer that will communicate with the​ server .​
These cables won't connect to​ the​ server directly .​
Instead,​ they'll connect to​ the​ router .​
To enable Internet access for each computer,​ this router will need to​ connect with a​ modem of​ the​ host machine .​
Once the​ hardware is​ set up correctly (you'll need to​ read the​ instruction manual of​ your equipment for details),​ you can then setup the​ network from Windows on​ each machine .​
Within Windows,​ you can set up a​ home network similar to​ the​ way that you set up an​ Internet connection .​
Only this time,​ you'll set up a​ LAN (Local Area Network) connection .​

Windows should walk you through setting up a​ LAN after starting the​ computer and once complete,​ you can begin to​ connect one of​ your machines to​ the​ network .​
You can do this through Internet Explorer by typing in​ the​ address and password required to​ access the​ router (the address and password required to​ access the​ router will be in​ the​ router manual) .​
Connected to​ the​ network,​ each computer can send files back and forth,​ open programs on​ a​ remote computer,​ play the​ sound files and videos located on​ another computer,​ and share a​ single Internet account to​ browse the​ web,​ download files,​ or​ chat with someone in​ an​ entirely different country .​
If a​ single printer is​ available on​ only one computer in​ the​ network,​ every connected PC can send documents to​ it​ and print them out .​
Kids will enjoy the​ ability to​ play multi-player games and adults will enjoy the​ ability to​ blast a​ single message to​ everyone at​ once or​ maintain a​ group schedule.
Since we're describing a​ home network that will connect to​ the​ Internet,​ you're strongly advised to​ install a​ protective firewall program to​ thwart Internet viruses,​ worms,​ or​ other damaging spyware code .​
Firewalls prevent - but they don't repair .​
Only anti-virus and anti-spyware programs can reverse damage .​
So you should install a​ firewall on​ the​ computer that grants access to​ the​ computer,​ and then install an​ anti-virus and anti-spyware program on​ each of​ the​ remaining computers in​ the​ network.

If you have files that shouldn't be shared (bank statements,​ credit card information,​ etc.),​ you can restrict their access in​ one of​ several ways .​
You can put them in​ a​ new folder and then remove the​ read permissions for that folder .​
Or you can specify who can (and who cannot) access specific files with a​ password from within Windows Control Panel.

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