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Chapter 10. My Annotated Top 10 Reasons ... > Works effortlessly with PCs.

9. Works effortlessly with PCs.

Standards let everyone work together harmoniously. That’s why Apple has adopted so many of them. Take networking. Networking on a Mac is built on the same technologies used by PCs. As a result, the Mac is at home on PC networks (or just about any other kind), making the business of sharing files and printers with PCs entirely painless. And in Mac OS X you don’t have to be a network administrator to make it all work. What’s more, Gigabit Ethernet is built in. As is support for 802.11 wireless, so you can network without cables inside your house using AirPort or another wireless access point. Of course, you can also swap files via data CD, floppies, or Zip disks. And most new peripherals connect via USB or FireWire (two other industry standards), so you can use them with either PCs or Macs.

Apple’s AirPort is the easiest way to set up an 802.11b/Wi-Fi wireless network, and USB and FireWire are both standards. Gigabit Ethernet sounds impressive but requires special hardware that most of us don’t have. Not to worry—Apple’s Ethernet works just fine at the commonly used speeds of 100 Mbps and 10 Mbps.


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