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Chapter 30. Using Windows XP to Set Up a... > Deciding How to Structure Your Netwo... - Pg. 365

Using Windows XP to Set Up a Small Network 365 Notice in Figure 30.2 that the coaxial cable doesn't plug directly into the NIC. Instead, the cable plugs into a BNC port on the T-connector, and the T-connector plugs into the BNC port on the NIC. The idea is that you'd then plug another coaxial cable into the T-connector's other BNC port (for now, you can ignore the terminator shown in the figure), and then run that cable to another NIC on the network. Here are some notes: · If you're not too clear about how to hook up your network using coaxial cable, I'll discuss this in more detail later on when I discuss the "bus" network structure. (See "The Bus Structure" later in this chapter.) · Coaxial cable can't go any faster than 10MBps, so you can't use it with Fast Ethernet. · Again, be sure you purchase cables that are the correct length. If you're not sure which cable type to go with, don't sweat it just now. As I said, each type of cable is associated with a different network structure, so you should check out those structures before deciding on the cable. Deciding How to Structure Your Network The last thing you have to consider before getting down to the short strokes is the overall network structure. The structure determines how each machine is connected to the network. (Networking jockeys use the highfalutin phrase network topology .) There are lots of possible structures, but luckily for you there are only two that are suitable for small LANs: star and bus. The Star Structure In the star structure, each NIC is connected to a hub , which serves as a central connection point for