Setting Up a Local Area Network
Getting Started (features vary by model)
A home local area network (LAN) may consist of either a wired or a wireless network that
you can use to connect the computer to other devices on the network, including other
computers. The network components may include a hub or a switch, which can connect
multiple devices to the network, or a router, which can connect computers or a broadband
Internet connection to the network. This network connection also enables you to share data
and printers or other devices among your computers. The network connection to the
Internet is usually through a dial-up or cable modem.
A wired network uses Ethernet cables to connect the devices on the network. For example,
the Ethernet cable plugs into the computer network interface adapter and the router.
A wireless network uses radio waves to connect the devices on the network. For example,
both the computer and the router have an antenna and adapter that use the same
Wi-Fi industry standard: 802.11n, 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11a.
The preceding illustration shows a home LAN. The desktop computer has a wired
connection to a wireless router. The desktop computer also has a printer that it shares with
the other computers on the network. Each notebook computer has a wireless connection to
the network router.