Home networking in the digital age
When computers first became available to the general public, it was rare for any home to have more than one unit, let alone a network of computers.
But as modern technology became cheaper, more accessible and within the reach of everyone, tech-savvy homes are now linking up their laptops and
plugging in their PCs into home networks.
What is a home network?
A home network is simply a method of allowing computers to communicate with one another. If you have two or more computers in your home, a
network can let them share:
â€¢	Files and documents
â€¢	An Internet connection
â€¢	Printers, print servers and scanners
â€¢	Stereos, TVs and game systems
â€¢	CD burners
To set up a home network, you'll need a few basic components including more than one computer, hardware such as a router and software, either built
in to the operating system or as a separate application, to co-ordinate the exchange of information. You will also need a â€˜path' for the information to
follow from one computer to another. This is usually supplied via a WiFi system. The two most popular home network types are wireless and Ethernet
networks. In both of these types, the router does most of the work by directing the traffic between the connected devices. By connecting a router to
your dial-up, DSL or cable modem, you can also allow multiple computers to share one connection to the Internet.
With any network, there are always risks. If all of your computers are connected to the same network, a virus uploaded onto one computer will infect all
the other computers linked to the same system. This is why it is imperative that you install effective firewalls and anti-virus software into your network
to protect your system from outside attacks.
Most routers combine wireless and Ethernet technology and also include a hardware firewall already built into the system, but you can increase your
security by adding your own software protection. Software firewalls installed onto your computers block all incoming infor