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Chapter 18. Networking

Chapter 18. Networking

A home network can be many things to many people. To most, it is a means by which to share an Internet connection between multiple computers simultaneously. Beyond PCs, it enables an entirely new range of devices to share the Internet connection. Whether it be networked PCs, televisions, or telephones, more and more devices will start featuring the ability to connect to a home network for Internet connectivity. For example, personal video recorder (PVR) technology is becoming more and more popular and soon will allow us to download content not only from television, cable, and satellite services, but from the Internet as well.

Although the greatest benefit of a home network is clearly its shared, simultaneous access to the Internet, other benefits exist as well. A home network lets you share files and/or printers between computers in the home. Giving family members access to files on one PC from another can be powerful. The same goes for printers. A child can look at the family calendar on Dad's PC or print her science report using the color printer connected to Mom's PC. Additionally, many kids these days are hosting “LAN parties,” where they play computer games against one another from different PCs in the same house. Many computer games are designed with this kind of functionality, and this can be safer than having children interact with strangers on the Internet.


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