If you have more than one PC in your home it makes sense to set up the PCs on a home network. PCs that are connected together on a network allow each user to have access to the printer from a central location, share an Internet connection, share files without having to copy them to a portable storage device, and collaborate in multimedia applications such as gaming.
Installing a home network is getting to be very cost effective and there are several routes you can take to establish a home network.
Home Network Setup
To create a home network it is necessary to install several different network components.
- Network Cards: Obtain a network card and install one on every PC that you want to connect to the network. If your PC does not already have a card preinstalled you can pick up a network card for as little as $20. Each network requires a driver which is included with the card. The driver is what allows your operating system to control the network access for your PC. Once all of the network cards are installed in each PC, the first step has been achieved to allow each PC to communicate with one another.
- Network Connection Options: You have several options when it comes to installing the network connection. You can connect all of the PCs together by running network cable to every PC. This is a fairly easy procedure if the computers are located all in one location.
If the PCs are located in different rooms of the house you may want to opt for a radio modem or a telephone line network. A radio modem is capable of connecting all of the PCs in your network without having to use a series of cable wires. A telephone line network allows you to network all of the computers in your home through the use of your telephone line.
- Wireless Router: If the thought of installing a lot of wires does not appeal to you can also consider creating your network through a wireless router. It is fairly cost effective to install and is capable of connecting all of the computers in your household to one another, as well as a central printer and shared wireless Internet connection.
Setting up a wireless home network simply involves installing and configuring a wireless router and implementing wireless network cards in each PC provided they do not already have WiFi. It is also necessary to have a DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) or cable connection already installed. The software that comes with the setup equipment will walk you through the installation step by step.
The type of home network connection you choose will depend upon your individual needs and the location of the PCs in your home. If you have a high speed broadband connection, a wireless connection will provide you with the most mobility and the least amount of wiring.