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Chapter 18. Networking > When Does it Make Sense for Me to Network My Home?

When Does it Make Sense for Me to Network My Home?

If you decide to subscribe to broadband Internet service, you will quickly discover its benefits, as discussed previously in this book—higher speed (bandwidth) and an “always-on” connection that renders dialing up with your modem each time you want to connect unnecessary. With that higher bandwidth, you will realize there's enough speed to share that connection with others in your home and not see a noticeable drop in performance. If you secure a broadband connection, you will likely see performance ranging from 384 kilobits per second (Kbps) all the way up to 2 megabits per second (Mbps). Comparing that with your 56-Kbps dialup modem today, that's a 6x to 35x improvement.

Another reason to think about getting networked when you move to broadband is security. The benefit of an always-on connection carries a caveat. To ensure that your connection doesn't become an available means for shady characters to hack into your system, you need to institute security measures, which are built in to many home networking solutions today. While you could purchase firewall software to load on each PC in the home, this type of software requires quite a bit of time and repeated effort to manage. Given that every Internet-accessing device is connected through the home network, built-in security provides complete security for the whole home, not just for your computers. The key is to find a home networking solution that offers truly robust security, which we'll cover in a few pages.


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