Home networks are becoming common in homes that use more than one computer. With people using computers for shopping, home businesses and entertainment, it can be essential to link up not only PCs but also fax machines and TVs. What's going on behind this linked-up system?
A print server isn't necessary for a basic home network. It requires more than one computer, hardware and software to coordinate the exchange of information and a path for the information to follow from one computer to another.
A router is responsible for directing traffic among connected devices in both wireless and Ethernet home networks.
Firestorm isn't a reputed creator of software-based firewalls. McAfee and Symantec are, however, and you can download free firewall protection as well as buy advanced security options from them.
The terms Ethernet network and wired network may be used interchangeably. Essentially, Ethernet networks are called wired networks because they require cables to transfer information from one device to another within the network.
A network interface card or NIC is necessary for connecting just two computers. Run a cable between them (like the commonly used Category 5 Unshielded Twisted Pair, or UTP) and presto: You've got a home network.
Wired networks are fast and fairly secure, but they’re not necessarily cheap. The cost of cable adds up quickly. The more computers you have and the farther apart they are, the higher the cost of your network.
The biggest selling point of wireless networks is that they’re, well, wireless. Multiple -- but not infinite -- computers can share the connection as long as they all have a built-in wireless card or a plug-in wireless adapter.
Media Access Control (MAC) address filtering and Wired Equivalency Privacy (WEP) are both types of wireless security options. While MPA is not, another option is WiFi Protected Access (WPA).
A range extender (or repeater) can help you achieve greater coverage with your wireless router. Depending on the size and shape of your home, as well as the range of your router, you may need to add one of these to your network.
WEP isn't as secure as other wireless security options. If you use WEP in your network, you can enhance security by adding Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) to your operating system.