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Chapter 30. Using Windows XP to Set Up a... > Getting a Machine Network-Ready - Pg. 367

Using Windows XP to Set Up a Small Network 367 Pros--It's easy to add and remove computers from the network (just plug them in and out of the hub; the network isn't affected if one of the connections goes down; it can be very speedy if you go with Fast Ethernet; it's the most common configuration, so you have a greater se- lection of NICs and hubs. Cons--This is more expensive because it requires a hub; it requires more cable because each cable must run from the NIC all the way to the hub. · NICs with BNC ports arranged in a bus structure that uses coaxial cable to connect each com- puter directly. Some pros and cons to consider: Pros--This is the least expensive option; it requires less cable because each connection has to reach only to the next computer. Cons--It's harder to add and remove computers from the network because each change requires changing the cabling on one or two other machines; the entire network goes down if one connection goes down; it's limited to 10Mbps; there's a lesser selection of NICs. Of these two configurations, the former is the one I prefer, and it's the one I used to put together the test network that serves as an example throughout the chapters here in Part 6, "Windows XP on the Network." Getting a Machine Network-Ready After you've made your decision about what network hardware to purchase, and after you've in- stalled that hardware, your next task is to set up each machine for networking. Throughout the rest of this chapter (as well as the next chapter), I use the word "workgroup" a lot, so let's take a second here to be sure you know what I'm blathering on about. In network lingo, a workgroup is a small collection of related computers on a network. In a large corporate network, for