These days everyone is connected to everyone else via their desktop, laptop, smartphone, gaming system, and so on. They use these devices go online, send emails, share files, and more. And with so much information out there to be shared, we need to have a reliable network in the background allowing all that data to flow smoothly.
Computer networking has been around almost as long as the computer itself. But these days it’s way more advanced than back in the beginning when it was just a few computers in one centralized building or even in the same room. And there is much more involved technology-wise to keep everything communicating reliably and with the speed required to keep everyone happy.
This goal of this book is to help you increase your knowledge of how today’s modern networks operate and the hardware and software that is needed to make it all work.
I will discuss the basics and tell you what you need to know to get your network up and running, and also go into more advanced topics such as routing protocols so you can see that there is much more to networking than you might think. I’m not going to make things too complicated, since the purpose of this book is to increase your networking knowledge without making you want to give up on the subject entirely.
So, on that note, let’s get things started and turn you into a networking expert—or at least get you a few steps closer!
With technology growing at an ever increasingly faster rate, we find that more and more of our devices are connected to each other, and now we are at the point where we can control our entire home from our smartphone or computer. With this in mind, there is still a need to keep things as simple as possible for those who might not be as tech savvy as others so everyone has a chance to be “connected”.
Microsoft has done a pretty good job making things easy for PC users at home and even at the office with its Windows operating system. That’s most likely why it’s the most popular and widely used OS in the world. (Good luck going to your local electronics store and buying a new computer with anything else but Windows!)
With that in mind, there is a need to get our Windows based computers communicating with each other so we can do things such as share files and printers. This is where networking comes into play, and it is the technology used to connect not only our computers, but many other devices as well.
The goal of this book is to teach you how to network your Windows-based computers together so they can talk to each other and share information. This process is done differently at home and at small offices in comparison to larger corporations. Sure you can do it the way they do at work on your home network, but that gets much more complicated, and a lot more expensive. You will learn how to set up Workgroups, user accounts, file shares, printer shares, and even do a bit of network troubleshooting just for some added fun.
With everything being “connected” these days, we tend to rely on online services more and more just to get by with the basics such as paying bills, buying movie tickets, and communicating with friends and family. And if you are not online in one way or another, you might find yourself not being able to do things such as applying for a job or getting the instruction manual for your new TV.
Keep in mind that if you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way (while you still can) that is fine, but it’s always a good idea to get yourself acquainted with current ways of doing things for when the time comes where it’s the only way to do them. Even if you can still do things like go to the ATM for your banking, buy your movie tickets in person, and call your friends on the phone, it doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to start making the transition to the online world, even if it’s just for simple web browsing purposes.
The goal of this book is to first get you acquainted with what the Internet is and how it works. Then I will focus on how you can use the Internet to make your life easier and more productive… and even more fun! I will also go over how to keep yourself safe from all of those bad people out there that are looking to take advantage of those who are not so Internet savvy.
This book is not meant to be an advanced book on computing and the complex networking that makes all of the Internet magic happen, but rather was put together to give those who may not be the most technical people a leg up on how to increase their online skills and take advantage of all the cool things the Internet has to offer.