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Chapter 17. Managing Files Using a Network > Setting Up a Local Area Network

Setting Up a Local Area Network

Almost any Macintosh computer comes out of the box network ready. Setting up a Local Area Network or LAN, is fairly straightforward. Local Area Networks are a group of local computers hooked together. For example, you could create a LAN for the computers in your office or create a LAN for your home computers. Macintosh even allows you to connect with Windows computers without having to purchase additional software. In fact, all of the software you'll need to create and maintain a LAN is built into Macintosh OS X. All you have to do is buy a couple of cables, connect two or more computers together, and you're ready to network. Let's complicate the situation and say that you're going to hook up more than two computers. In that case, you'll need an Ethernet cable for each computer and an Ethernet hub. A hub is a device that lets you connect multiple computers together. Every Macintosh sold comes with an Ethernet port. To set up a LAN, draw out the layout for the network to determine where the computers are and the distance between each unit. Purchase the cables (make sure they're long enough), and the Ethernet hub (you can purchase Ethernet supplies at almost any electronic store). Plug one end of the Ethernet cables into each of the computers, and the other end into the hub (make sure you plug the hub into an electrical outlet). Once the network is established, you'll need to set up the individual computers for file sharing and to recognize the LAN.


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