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Introduction

Introduction

A decade ago, the Internet took off, thanks to a number of happy coincidences: PCs were cheaper and easier to use than ever; computer scientists developed an easy way to share information over the Internet (the Web); and some guy figured out how the Web could be used to help trade his girlfriend’s Pez dispensers (eBay). The rest, as they say, is history.

Home networking today is undergoing similar growth, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. Thanks to computer prices dropping even further (many homes now have multiple PCs), operating systems that have built-in networking capabilities (true for both Windows and the Mac OS), and a growing number of devices such as printers, stereos, and game consoles that are ready to network, more and more people are coming to the tantalizing, yet potentially hair-pulling conclusion: “Hey, maybe it’s time for me to set up a home network.”


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