Chapter 14. Connecting Computers with a Network

In This Chapter

  • Understanding a network's parts

  • Choosing between wired and wireless networks

  • Understanding a network's parts

  • Setting up a small network

  • Connecting wirelessly

  • Creating a Homegroup to share files

  • Sharing an Internet connection, files, and printers on a network

  • Troubleshooting a network

Buying that second PC brings you yet another computing problem: How can two PCs share the same Internet connection and printer? And how do you share your files between your two PCs?

The solution involves a network. When you connect two or more computers with a cable, Windows 7 introduces them to each other and lets them swap information, share an Internet connection, and print with the same printer.

If your computers live too far apart to extend a cable, go wireless. Also known as Wi-Fi, this option lets your computers chatter through the airwaves like radio stations that broadcast and take requests.

This chapter explains several ways to link a handful of computers so that they can share things. Be forewarned, however: This chapter contains some pretty advanced stuff. Don't tread here unless you're running an Administrator account and you don't mind doing a little head-scratching as you wade from conceptualization to actualization to, "Hey, it works!"

Understanding a Network's Parts

A network is two or more computers that have been connected so that they can share things. Although computer networks range from pleasingly simple to agonizingly complex, ...

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