How to Set Up a Home Network
Being able to share your Internet, files and printers is the goal of
setting up your home network. While the kids are playing the latest
online game, you can be emailing your boss - or your customers. A
successfully configured home network can dramatically increase your
productivity, and give you more free time.
How do I share my Internet connection?
For most of you with a broadband cable or DSL connection, your home
network will start with a broadband router. The job of the router is to
deliver the web to all of your computers, so they can be online at the
same time. There are a few major brands, and they all have browser-based
configuration. Since they all need to connect to a typical cable or DSL
connection, any setup differences will be merely cosmetic.
What about dialup?
For those of you on dialup, you won't be getting a router. Instead, you'll be using the built-in capability of Windows to share out
your dialup connection. This feature is called ICS (Internet Connection Sharing). If you have just 2 computers, you'll need a crossover CAT5 Ethernet cable to run directly between your computers. For 3 or more, you can use a hub and regular CAT5.
What about wireless?
With wireless home networks, you'll need a wireless home router. It's
best to buy a router that has the capability of serving wired and
wireless computers, as this has the most flexibility. These "combo"
routers are only a bit more expensive than their wireless-only counterparts.
The important thing to look out for is the standard at which your
wireless router operates. You'll need to be aware of the 3 wireless standards that are available, not all are compatible with each other:
- Wireless G: Operates at 2.4GHz, which is the same frequency as microwave ovens and some cordless phones. Any time you have two electronic devices running at the same frequency, you get interference - this includes your next door neighbor's router. Most people opt for this standard. Also known as "802.11g".
- Wireless B: Operates at the same frequency as G, 2.4GHz. The only difference is that B is slower than G, although B will not slow your broadband Internet. Since G is available at nearly the same cost, this standard is slowly disappearing. G and B are compatible, you can mix and match on the same wireless network. Also known as "802.11b".
- Wireless A: Operates at a higher frequency of 5 GHz. It has less range than G/B, but is far less susceptible to interference. Be aware that A is not compatible with G or B, but if you have issues (like an apartment with wireless next door), wireless A is the way to go. Also known as "802.11a".
In theory, your neighbor may be able to surf the web on your connection. Configuring security protocols at the router and at your computers can help prevent intrusion.
How do I share my printer?
There are two ways to do this: You can simply share out the printer from the host PC, or you can get a print server. A print server is a small network device that connects your printer to your router. In effect, your printer will be "on the network"; not physically connected to any PC. Print servers can be wired, wireless, or both. Be aware that "multifunction" or "all in one" fax/scannner/printers are not compatible with print servers, but you can share them out from a host PC.
How do I share my files?
No matter which version of Windows your computers run, they all can share files on your home network. You'll need to change settings at each of your computers to take advantage of their built-in sharing capability.
At right is a common way to access other computers - by "seeing" them from your PC. Here we have a Windows 2000 PC, a wireless XP laptop, an old Windows 98 desktop, and another XP computer at right, all "visible" and accessible on our home network.
How can I troubleshoot my home network?
Most home networking problems that occur fall under two categories:
- Connectivity: Things have to be connected and configured. This means all wireless and other network settings must be correct. Firewalls, although quite necessary in today's world, will totally prevent file sharing unless they are properly configured. A bit of knowledge about TCP/IP - the language of all networks - will help you tremendously in all aspects of home network troubleshooting.
- Permissions: When trying to access a shared item on Windows 2000 or XP Pro, you may get a "permission denied" or "access denied" message. This is because the other PC does not know who you are. There are a few ways to get the other PC to "let you in".
Want to take on setting up a home network yourself?
Our guide makes it easy for you with the power of
Why hire an expensive in-home technician? Our detailed and
guide will enable you to quickly
connect all your computers together,
so you can share your Internet, files and printers.
Visual screenshots of router and computer settings show you exactly what to do. Sharing your Internet connection, files and printers has never been this easy!
They allow you to understand home network topology, and expand your perception of the mechanics involved.
Whether you're going wired or wireless, or with or without a router, you'll have a clearer understanding of the "big picture". Windows Vista, XP, 2000 and 98 are covered in great detail.
Windows Vista screenshots are also included! You're shown exactly which settings to change on your computers. There's no guesswork here, the screenshots in the guide will look exactly like what you see on your own computer. You'll feel confident about applying network settings, because you're shown what they are supposed to look like. Screenshots make this guide very easy to follow.
Take your laptop out by the deck or pool. Wireless is also a must for apartments that don't allow holes to be drilled for network cables. You'll learn wireless router settings for connectivity, security, and minimizing interference, as well as how to install a wireless card into a laptop. Specific wireless settings for Windows Vista and XP are also covered!
The central point of your home network. You'll learn how to connect your wired or wireless router to your cable or DSL broadband modem, and solve common problems. Tips on improving wireless reception and security are included.
Using one of your PC's as a router to share a dial-up connection is also covered.
Learn what it looks like to share files and printers, whether you have Windows Vista, XP, 2000, 98, or all of them!
You'll have an extensive reference to setting up and maintaining your home network with this full-color guide.
Arranged first by topic, then by operating system, the expandable table of contents lets you click on the topic you need to review. The sample section at right organizes the three methods of accessing shared files.
The guide is also fully searchable by keyword, and has a traditional table of contents for printing.
We'll show you how easy it is to follow our guide.
Follow the next excercise to determine your computer's IP address:
Click on the Windows logo, type cmd in the Search box, and press Enter. Don't "search". You're not searching for something - you're entering a command. Just press Enter.
Windows XP / 2000
Go to Start...RUN:
Type ipconfig in the resulting black command window and press Enter. You're after the "IPv4" address, and you may have to scroll up to find it. Here, it's 192.168.2.103.
Type cmd and click OK:
Type ipconfig in the resulting DOS window and press Enter. It will report 3 important values: Your IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway. Based on these values, you can determine a wealth of information about your home network.
Wasn't that easy?
You've just completed "What's My IP address?" on page 22 of the guide. Easy to follow and straight to the point, right? The entire guide is comprised of step by step screenshot instruction like that above. If you're looking for simple instructions that you can follow,
you've found them!
- With more than 95 screenshots, diagrams, and photos, this guide offers you exactly what you're looking for: an easy to follow home networking tutorial that actually works.
- The guide was written and the screenshots/photos were taken as a home network was actually being set up - it does not get any easier or more realistic than this.
- The guide is so easy to use that even a computer novice can follow it, yet it's also comprehensive enough to benefit experienced users, with advanced troubleshooting techniques and alternate networking methods that network administrators use. Even these are easy to follow, it's all represented with step by step screenshots.
- Downloaded by hundreds of PC users, we’ve had the opportunity to constantly improve the guide, optimizing it according to our customers’ feedback, requests and suggestions.
- Instantly downloadable - The ability to immediately get the guide means that you can get started right away without the hassle of waiting for a printed book or CD to be delivered.
You get one month of prompt, professional online support. If you have any questions or run into the slightest trouble, we are here to help you. Just use our Contact form or email us at email@example.com. Feel free to ask us questions about guide content, whether the guide applies to your specific situation, or anything else that you may have questions on.
You will be able to set up a home network using the guide, or we'll refund your money. There's absolutely no risk to you.
Once purchased through our secure shopping cart, you'll receive a link to instantly download your guide!
The guide was just updated in February 2007 and covers Windows Vista, so there's no wondering if it's up to date. We also accept international orders - the currency conversion is automatic and transparent. We've sold guides to the UK, Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, even Iceland! Your card will be charged from "Kelso Consulting Group".
Download it today and master your home network!
Bonus - 90 minutes of downloadable "desktop" instructional videos with sound!
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