Chapter VII.2. Setting Up Your Own Network

In This Chapter

  • Finding out why you do want a network, at the office and at home

  • Determining whether your office needs a Big Corporate Network (domain)

  • Understanding how it all hangs together

  • Networking for Neanderthals

When businesspeople talk to each other, it's networking. When computers talk to each other, it's pandemonium.

This chapter tries to distill 30 years of advances in computer pandemonium, er, networking, into a succinct, digestible, understandable synopsis. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to discover that even the most obnoxiously inscrutable networking jargon — some of which has made its way into Windows 7 — has its roots in simple concepts that everyone can understand.

Here's the easiest way to set up a network:

  1. Ask your neighbors which Internet service provider has the best deal on a fast Internet connection.

  2. Call the Internet service provider and say, "I want a wireless router."

  3. Pull out your credit card.

  4. The end.

As long as everything works right — and you don't want your network to do anything beyond the basics — that approach gets you a good, solid network and you don't have to understand anything other than the hook-up advice in Book VII, Chapter 1.

Note

On the other hand, if something goes wrong, if a Windows 7 troubleshooter peters out on you, or if you want your network to advance beyond the cookie-cutter stage, you need to understand how networks network. I cover that topic in this chapter. In Chapter 3, I show you how ...

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