Chapter 17. Local Area Networking

Defining a Network

A network is a group of two or more computers that intelligently share hardware or software devices with each other. A network can be as small and simple as two computers that share a printer or as complex as the world’s largest network: the Internet.

Intelligently sharing means that each computer that shares resources with another computer or computers maintains control of that resource. Thus, a USB switchbox for sharing a single printer between two or more computers doesn’t qualify as a network device; because the switchbox—not the computers—handles the print jobs, neither computer knows when the other one needs to print, and print jobs can potentially interfere with each other.

A shared ...

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