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Chapter 2. Home Networking Basics > The Two Flavors of Home Networks

The Two Flavors of Home Networks

Home networks come in two basic flavors—wired and wireless. Each has its own advantages as well as disadvantages. Depending on your situation, you might find that a wired network fits your needs, or you might want to opt for a wireless network. It's even possible that you'll want some combination of the two. The equipment—printers, webcams, game consoles, and home entertainment centers—discussed in Chapter 1, “Why You Want Your Own Network,” plugs into either the wired or wireless hardware framework described in this chapter.

Wired Networks

A wired network is one where each computer is connected to the network through a cable, as shown in Figure 2-1. These cables typically look like a slightly fatter than normal telephone cable. Until fairly recently, wired networks were the only available option.


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