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Chapter 15. Creating a Windows XP Home Network > Creating or Joining a Network

Creating or Joining a Network

In the previous chapter, I discussed the benefits of having a network. In this chapter, I’ll show you what you’ll need to buy to install your own home or small-office network using Windows XP Home Edition. Later in the chapter, I’ll cover the actual network installation.

This chapter is written for a small group of users, at home or at work, who want to set up a LAN for themselves. This type of LAN is called a peer-to-peer network because no one computer has a central role in managing the network. Windows XP Home Edition doesn’t have all the sophisticated corporate network capabilities of Windows XP Professional and Server, but unless you have more than 10 computers to network, you probably don’t need all those capabilities. For you, a peer-to-peer network might be just the thing to let you share files and printers with your housemates or co-workers. Creating a speedy, useful network isn’t nearly as hard or expensive as you might think. In fact, after you’ve done the planning and shopping, you should be able to get a network up and running in an hour or two.


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