In the Internet Age, no PC is an island. And Microsoft built Windows XP explicitly for these interconnected times. Compared to the dark days of Windows 95 and 98, Windows XP makes it a cinch to set up a home network, connect to the Internet or a company network, and surf the Web with or without wires.
This chapter offers tips on how to get the most out of XP’s networking capabilities—not to mention valuable advice about security issues and troubleshooting.
Setting up a network is getting easier all the time, especially as more of the big device manufacturers like Linksys, D-Link, and Belkin produce starter kits for networking newcomers. However, the setup process is still oftentimes a weekend-killer (or, at the very least, beyond the scope of an individual chapter) so the hints that follow assume you’ve already got either a wired or a wireless network up and running.
One of the most user-friendly things about Windows XP is that it includes built-in support for WiFi , the wireless networking system that has freed computer users from the chains of cables and phone lines. As WiFi’s popularity has grown, it’s now possible to surf the Internet from many hotel lobbies, check your email at the airport, and conduct Web research from the comfort of your own bathroom.
The hints in this section focus on maximizing your wireless experience and keeping your PC safe in a wireless world.
Windows XP makes it easy for you ...