In the last few
years networking has turned into a more attractive market
for the average end-user, sharing files or broadband over a
network is nothing new, however accessibility to these has
improved considerably, indeed, an even more drastic change
has been seen with the wide adoption of wireless
Over the course of the weeks and months
to come, we will attempt to explain and educate you about
what the great world of networking is all about. At the same
time we are glad to welcome Curtis MacAulay who will be
joining TSí editorial staff as our new Networking
This first article is meant to be
served right as an introduction to networking.
We will go through the common wording,
the different protocols, teach you in a few steps what is
needed to set up a home network. We are hoping after reading
this article you will be able to decide which type of
network would suit your needs better, either Ethernet or
Wireless (802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g). Then, in follow-up
articles we plan to cover step by step procedures and give
guidance for achieving more specific tasks. Our mailbox is
open for any suggestions you may have for future content,
So you want to learn about networking?
If not, you wouldnít have read this far.
Letís go over your choices. The
different categories to consider are:
And Firewire, if you want.
Ethernet and Wireless are
the obvious mainstream choices so thatís what we will cover
in detail but hereís a brief explanation of the others so
you can have a better idea.
Phone-line uses your existing
phone line wires in your house, and yes, you can use your
phone at the same time. Power-line is much the same
by using your existing 110 volt power lines that run through
your house. Each of these require special hardware for your
computer. Power-line is also very dangerous because of
blackouts or brownouts caused mainly by storms and power
Bluetooth is a wireless protocol
and requires only a Bluetooth adapter for your computer.
Bluetooth does not need an access point but the drawback is
its short range of only about 30 ft and a much slower
transfer rate. Bluetooth is expected to take over infrared
ports but not quite replace other wireless technologies that
offer a larger range.
Firewire is a wired connection
which has some impressive features, namely its speed for
such an easy connection. The problem with it for now, it
isnít an accepted standard and there is a lack of decent