Chapter VII.3. Building Your Network

In This Chapter

  • Hooking together your own network

  • Convincing Windows 7 that your network works

  • Resolving conflicts — fighting mother hens

  • Knowing what to do if one computer can't see another

Sharing a printer. Transferring files. Freeing a phone line. Saving money. Those are useful reasons for setting up a network. Sno-o-o-ore.

I know that you want to get your office or house computers networked so that you can blister your coworkers or friends at Far Cry 2 or World of Warcraft. Maybe you want to spend some quality time with your son one Sunday afternoon, spraying demons in Doom IV. Splat! Don't worry. I won't tell anybody.

By far the easiest, simplest way to install a network at your home or office involves talking to friends who live nearby, finding out which Internet service provider has the best deal, and then having the phone company or cable company (or satellite company or whoever) install your whole network, from the get-go. If you can't find the right person at the phone company, hire that ten-year-old next door to help. She'll figure it out.

Most ISPs will install an Internet connection and hook up a hub with four or more networking slots, for a pittance. The same ISP will no doubt install a wireless access point (see Book VII, Chapter 4) for a tiny bit more.

As long as everything works, you're in like Flynn. But the first time you go looking for your son's computer out on the network and you can't find it — whoa, Nelly. And, if the Windows ...

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