Chapter 5. Wireless and Networking

A network connects two or more computers, allowing users to exchange files, collaborate on projects, share printers, share an Internet connection, and more. All you need to set up a network is a broadband connection (for the Internet part), one or two hundred dollars' worth of equipment, and a little patience. But wait… it gets better. You don't even have to rip apart the walls to lay cable. If you're ready to cut the proverbial cord, you can build a wireless network (or expand your existing wired setup with wireless technology) and surf the Internet from your back porch.

That's the good news. The bad news is that while setting up home networks isn't too difficult, you'll likely face a whole slew of annoyances as you attempt to share your Internet connection, printers, drives, and folders. Of course, you'll also need to tackle knotty logon, password, and security issues with your network. Ready? Let's dig in….