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If you own multiple PCs, you have probably thought about how great it would be if your computers could talk to each other. With your computers connected, you could:

  • Share a single printer between computers
  • Share a single Internet connection among all the computers in your home
  • Access shared files such as photographs, MP3s, spreadsheets and documents on any computer in the house
  • Play games that allow multiple users at different computers
  • Send the output of a device like a DVD player or Webcam to your other computer(s)
  • You can connect your home computers in a variety of ways:

  • wire your house with data cables by hiding all the network cable in the walls (especially easy if you are building a new home)
  • Run cables across the floor between computers in the same room
  • Install some form of wireless networking
  • Link your computers through your power lines
  • Link your computers through your phone lines
  • At the moment, wireless networking is one of the easiest and one of the least expensive options.

    You can buy an 802.11b or 802.11g access point, connect it to your cable modem or DSL modem in a few minutes, and have all your computers talking on a network very quickly. However, you should bear in mind that your data would not be SECURE. Others with the right equipment can access and copy your information, they could also place software on your PC's which can corrupt your files or damage your operating system.

    Office Networks

    The majority of office networks use an 'Ethernet' connection system. We can classify network technologies as belonging to one of two basic groups. Local area network (LAN) technologies connect many devices that are relatively close to each other, usually in the same building. The library terminals that display book information would connect over a local area network. Wide area network (WAN) technologies connect a larger number of devices that can be many miles apart.

    In comparison to WANs, LANs are faster and more reliable, but improvements in technology continue to blur the line of demarcation. Fiber optic cables have allowed LAN technologies to connect devices hundreds of miles apart, while at the same time greatly improving the speed and reliability of WANs.

    © DKA Associates 2016