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Chapter 16. Creating a Windows XP Pro Network > Creating or Joining a Network

Creating or Joining a Network

In the previous chapter, I discussed the benefits of having a network, whether it's between two computers in your home, ten in your office, or thousands spanning the globe. In this chapter, I'll show you what you'll need to buy in order to install your own home or small-office network using Windows XP Professional. Later in the chapter, I'll cover the actual network installation.

This chapter is directed primarily toward 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. This type of network doesn't take full advantage of all of Windows XP Professional's networking capabilities, 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 is just the thing to let you share files and printers with your co-workers or housemates. Creating a speedy, useful network isn't nearly as hard or expensive as you might think. In fact, once 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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