Topics and tasks in this chapter
Buying the right parts for your network
Installing wired or wireless network adapters
Connecting your router to your wired computers and modem
Setting up a wireless router
Setting up Windows 7 to connect to a wireless network
Connecting to and sharing files with older computers on your network
A few years ago, if you wanted a computer network in your home, you were automatically considered a nerd who built robots in the garage.
Now, networks are for average, everyday folk. Many families today are on their second or third computer, having outgrown the first a few years ago. Throw in a netbook or laptop, and it's not strange to see a computer in every room.
And that's when a network comes in handy, to let all the computers talk amongst themselves. Connecting your computers with a network lets them all share a single Internet connection, a printer, or even the stash of music and videos stored on other computers.
Whatever your networking needs may be, this chapter explains how to set up a simple home network between your computers, letting them chat through cables or wirelessly through the air waves.
No matter what type of network you use, you're likely to stumble into some very odd terminology when shopping online or reading packaging on the boxes lining the store shelves. Here are translations for the most common stumbling blocks:
Network adapter: Most computers already come with ...