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Chapter twenty. Setting Up a Home or Sma... > Understanding Different Types of Net...

Understanding Different Types of Networks

A computer network is, quite simply, two or more computers connected to each other. When the computers are connected, they can send electronic signals back and forth. This lets them communicate with each other (via e-mail, typically), or share things. The computers on a network can share files—that is, one computer can access the files stored on another computer. They can share printers, by sending their print requests over the network to the PC that is physically connected to the printer. They can share a single Internet connection, whether that's via a traditional modem or some sort of broadband connection. They can even share software applications. (Think multiple-player games here.)

The configuration part of setting up a network is handled by the operating system. Prior to Windows XP, it wasn't terribly easy. With Windows XP, however, it is easy. Very easy. Running-a-wizard type easy.


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