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Summary

This hour introduced you to the world of networking. Network technology has come a long way in power increases and cost decreases. The true winner in the network advances has been the small office and home-based PC users. Just a couple of years ago, consumer computers did not even carry networking equipment because of the network's place in the corporate world. At that time, the network's place meant that the network technology was expensive, difficult to use, hard to install, and costly to maintain.

All that has changed. With the low-cost PCs that have flooded the PC market in the past few years, the demand for connecting PCs has increased as people buy second machines and laptops. Networks are popular for two reasons: Users of multiple machines can share files and printers, and file integrity is maintained when only one disk keeps the data used by several PCs. Fortunately, Windows XP takes much of the mystery out of the software side to networking setup by providing you with the Home Networking Wizard.


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