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PCs For Dummies® Windows®, 7 Edition by Dan Gookin

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Chapter 15. Necessary Networking Things

In This Chapter

  • Understanding networking

  • Reviewing network hardware

  • Getting to the Network and Sharing Center

  • Setting up a wireless connection

  • Disconnecting from the network

Computer networking is about sharing and communications, but that's where the similarity between it and kindergarten ends. Before you can share and communicate, you need to understand the big networking picture, which means that some hardware and software orientation must take place. It helps to know the players and the game. After all, you want to enter the network arena prepared and well armed. This chapter helps you by introducing you to necessary networking things.

The Network Arena

The bottom line with computer networking is the concept of sharing resources between several computers. Obviously, to understand how sharing resources works, it first helps to know what the heck a resource is.

A resource is something a computer uses to get work done, such as memory or processor power. For your own networking purposes, several types of resources are shared among computers connected to a network:

Mass storage:

You can access information stored on other computers on the network, and those other computers can access information stored on your computer (well, information that you allow to be shared).

Printers:

All computers on a network can use one or more printers connected to or shared on the network. So Serge can share his color printer with everyone (whether he likes it or not).

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