Hardware Spotlight

building a computer

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Inside Your Computer

Networking Connectivity Basics

Networking Connectivity Basics

Learn About Networks and Networking

This section introduces you to the world of networks and basic networking.  You will find basic principles of computer-based networking.  Also, you will find information on how you can build your own "Home Network".

Just What The Heck!  Is Networking Anyway?

The ability (while using a computer) to share resources with another computer.  When I refer to resources I am talking about the ability to link to and use another computers files, even print using a printer not directly connected to the computer you are currently using.

At its most elementary level, a computer network consists of two (or more) computers linked together by a cable that allows them to share data.


A.K.A. - Networking is also known as:

  • Distributed Computing
  • Electronic Resource Sharing
  • Client/Server Computing


Why Do I Need A Network?

A very good I'm happy you asked it. Maybe you don't, maybe you do.  There are reasons for having a network. In his book titled "Demystifying TCP/IP", Ed Taylor provides some reasons for having a network...more


Who Has The Largest Network?

The largest and most popular network is of course, the internet.  This connection is usually made via what is known as an Internet Service Provider (ISP), such as America Online (AOL), Microsoft Network (MSN) or CompuServe.


Where To Buy Networking Components

These are the pieces you need purchase in order to start building your home network today.


Building A Home Network

A growing trend in the world of networks is the fast expanding small office Home Office (SOHO) market...more

Also visit Linksys section Home Office Networking...


The world of LANs and WANs

Computers can also connect or share resources by way of Local Area / Wide Area Networks.  These are often referred to as LANs and WANs.  This is the preferred connection of most companies large and small.


What Are The Types Of Internet Connections?

There are several ways to connect to the Internet. However, the four most practical types, are listed below:

  1. Analog (modems)
  2. ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
  3. DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
  4. Cable

Analog and ISDN connectivity, are essentially modems which require you to dial-up using your telephone lines. This simply means that every time you need to access the Internet, you must dial a number to secure a connection.

Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) and Cable modems, on the other hand, are permanent connections that are always "on." These devices provide immediate access to the Internet without having to dial any numbers.

DSL and cable are often referred to as broadband connections.  They are considerably faster than analog or ISDN modems. The drawback with these broadband connections is that they tend to cost more than analog and ISDN connections.

I Must Know More!