Home Network Components

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How to Install Wireless PC Network Hardware

All manufacturers of wireless adapter cards (for desktops) and wireless PC Cards (for laptops) include their own installation and setup programs — which also create the necessary wireless connection automatically [more…]

Configure a Router

Configure your router to make your network complete. You need to configure the router so that it can communicate with your network components. Fortunately, the configuration steps are rather straightforward [more…]

Connect Peripherals to Your PC

Peripherals are externally hooked up to your computer. Your actual PC, itself, is nothing but the console (or tower). Everything else is considered a peripheral. To do much of anything with a PC, you’ll [more…]

How to Choose Wireless Home Networking Equipment

You don't need all that much to put together a wireless home network. The basics include a wireless base station (an access point — AP — or wireless home router) and appropriate wireless network adapters [more…]

Selecting a Router or Switch for a Home Network

Building a home networking system requires basic hardware: a router, switch (or hub), network adapters, and network cables. If you’re building a wired home network, you'll need to know what types of networking [more…]

Network Adapters for Home Networking

Computers and other devices require a network adapter (or network interface card, NIC) to connect to and communicate on a network. Most desktop and laptop computers sold today have a built-in network adapter [more…]

What Kind of Cables Should I Use in my Home Network?

A key component in wired home networks is — wires! More correctly, cables. Twisted-pair Ethernet cable is the most common type of home network wiring used today [more…]

Wireless Security Protocols: WEP, WPA, and WPA2

Various wireless security protocols were developed to protect home wireless networks. These wireless security protocols include WEP, WPA, and WPA2, each with their own strengths — and weaknesses. In addition [more…]

What Are IP Addresses in Home Networking?

Every device on a home network must be uniquely identified with an IP (Internet Protocol) address. An IP address consists of four sets of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by a decimal, such as: [more…]

How to Manually Configure Home Networking Devices

You can manually configure network properties (such as an IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway) for your home networking devices, on all of the Windows 7 computers on your home network. It only [more…]

Changing or Removing Passwords on a Windows 7 Home Network

It is a good security practice to regularly change your password on a Windows 7 home network. On the flip side removing your password isn’t such a good security practice, but you may find that it is necessary [more…]

How to Delete User Accounts on a Windows 7 Home Network

When a Windows 7 user account is no longer needed on your home network, you can delete the user account from your computer or network. You cannot delete the account that you are currently logged in as, [more…]

How to View Performance Information in the Windows 7 Action Center

In addition to security and maintenance details, the Windows 7 Action Center gives you quick access to other Control Panel features, such as computer performance information. To use Action Center to view [more…]

Deciding Where to Save Backups on a Windows 7 Home Network

You can save your Windows 7 home network backups on several different types of media using Windows Backup. These include hard drives, CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, and network shares. With Windows 7 offering [more…]

Connecting to Your Home Network Over a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Once you've set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your home network via the Network and Sharing Center in Windows, you're ready to connect to the network! Additional configuration may be necessary [more…]

How to Restore a System Image in Windows 7

If you've created a system image using the Windows 7 Control Panel, you can use this image to restore your computer system in the event of a hard drive crash. You should create a system image on a regular [more…]

What is an IP Address?

An IP address is assigned to every computer on an Ethernet network. Like the street address for your home, an IP address identifies network computers. It helps traffic flow between computers because each [more…]

How to Find Your PC’s IP Address in Windows XP

When your computer is on an Ethernet network, it has an IP address that tells the network where to find that PC. It helps traffic flow between computers because each one has its own IP address. If you [more…]

What is DHCP?

On a modern Ethernet network, with a robust router as overseer, IP addresses are assigned to each PC as it joins the network. The process, which is automatic, is referred to as [more…]

Hardware You'll Need to Network Your Smart Home

When you're getting ready to network your home to turn it into a smart home, you might be surprised at how many cables, cords, connectors, jacks, controllers, panels, and other gadgets it takes. The following [more…]

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