5 Easy Steps to Build a Home Network
A home network offers lots of freedom to use your computers and other devices from different parts of your home or small business. With a network, you can share printers and files, music, video and other things with all your computers.
Below are the 5 basic steps for building your own network:
1. Purchase and install a router so all of your computers and devices can use one Internet connection and communicate with each other. When you install the router, you'll set up a network name. If you want more flexibility in your network, install a wireless router.
2. Connect all of your computers to the router/network. You can connect the computers with a cable, although it may get crowded around the router. Better yet, set up a wireless connection so you can work from different parts of the home. Most laptops and desktop computers have wireless capability, and if they don't, you can get a wireless adapter (they're easy to install).
3. Connect your printer to any computer that is connected to the router. After you share the printer on the network, all other computers in the network will be able to print from this printer – no more emailing files to the computer connected to the printer. You can have as many printers as you like.
4. On each computer, share the files, music, videos, and anything else you want with the other computers in your network – again, no more emailing back and forth between computers. Simply open the shared folder on any computer connected to the network.
5. Secure your home network so neighbors or hackers can't access it. Wireless routers send signals several hundred feet in all directions, so anyone nearby could log on to your network and potentially access your data and shared files if you don't use some common security precautions. Most routers come with security settings, but it's up to you to use them.
To help with many of these basic steps, check out Cisco Network Magic. It's a simple-to-use application designed for home users - no IT degree required. It helps you connect computers and devices to your router, share printers, files, music, video, and set up basic wireless security. And once your network is set up, Cisco Network Magic also helps you monitor what your kids are doing online. So check it out.