In This Chapter
Finding out what a network is and why you might want one
Setting up the network hardware
Configuring network system preferences
Troubleshooting your network
In the not-so-distant past — I’m talking a generation ago — networks were found only in huge companies that had the money and the workforce to pay for and maintain them. But now, as technology rolls on, a home or small office network is both affordable and relatively easy to create.
Networks can be used for many things. Computers exchange all types of data over a network: files that you want to send between computers or to networked printers, streaming audio or video, data for multiplayer computer games, or even a private company website (typically called an intranet). Anything you can imagine that would involve moving data between multiple computers can be done by using a network.
In this chapter, I introduce you to what networks are, what you can do with them, and how to set up a small Mac-based network of your own for your home or small business.