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Home Networking with Windows XP

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					Home Networking with windows XP.

      Share a single Internet connection: Microsoft
       Windows XP has a feature called Internet Connection
       Sharing (ICS). Using ICS, one computer, called the ICS
       host, shares its Internet connection with the rest of the
       computers on the network. By sharing one Internet
       connection, you can simultaneously surf the Web on your
       computer while another family member checks e-mail on
       a different computer.
      Share a printer, scanner, and other hardware: You
       may have a printer that is connected to a computer in
       another room. With home networking, you can access
       this printer from your computer. You no longer have to
       copy a file onto a floppy disk and take it to the computer
       that has the printer.
      Share files and folders: Suppose your child asks you to
       look at a school report that is located on the computer in
       his or her bedroom. When computers are networked
       together you can, for instance, open the file from your
       computer, make changes, and then save the file on your
       child’s computer.
      Play multi-computer games: By networking and sharing
       an Internet connection, family members can play games
       on separate computers with each other or on the Internet.
       And while they're playing, you can be surfing the Web,
       too—for example, visiting your favorite financial or
       sports sites.

And there’s more: Microsoft Windows XP makes home
networking easier than ever. But first you must link your
computers together, by installing appropriate hardware in
each and by joining the computers with wires or by means
of wireless technology. This series of articles explains the
process from start to finish. You’ll learn how to choose the
right network technology for your home, the right
components to obtain, and how to install and connect them
properly. There’s also a section on protecting your home
network from outside hackers by creating a secure barrier
called a firewall, the same as that used by businesses.




Home Networking
Understand Small Network Technologies




You'll need to base your network on one or more of the network technologies,
or types, described below. In every case, however, you'll need these basics:

      One computer equipped with Windows XP and Internet access. This computer
       will serve as the network's central unit, or Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
       host. It should be your fastest, most capable machine.
      One or more additional computers running Windows XP, Windows Me,
       Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows 98. These computers are called
       clients and will connect to the ICS host.
      An individual network adapter for each computer.

You can include Windows 95, Windows 2000, Macintosh, or UNIX/Linux
computers on your home network. However, these computers may require
additional software to allow you to share folders or a printer. Consult the
documentation that came with those computers.


Network Types

While there are several different network types, this article explains the three
most popular types for home networks:

      Ethernet: The current standard technology and the one used by most
       businesses; links computers via special cable and a device called a hub.
      HPNA (home phoneline network adapter): Links computers via existing
       household telephone wiring.
      Wireless: Links computers without wiring, by using radio signals.

The following table lists other properties, advantages and disadvantages of
each network type:
                   Ethernet               HPNA            Wireless
Hardware           Ethernet RJ-45         Telephone       May need an access point, a
needed in          cables and a           cables and      piece of hardware that acts
addition to        network hub.           phone jacks     as a central transmitter of
network adapter                                           radio signals between
                                                          computers. Using an access
                                                          point allows networking
                                                          between any two computers
                                                          on the system and expands
                                                          the area radio signals are
                                                          sent.
Advantages         Currently the          Easy            Mobile; you can move your
                   fastest, most          installation;   laptop or desktop computer
                   reliable, least        computers       from room to room while
                   costly network         simply plug     remaining connected to the
                   technology. Most       into ordinary   network.
                   DSL and cable          phone jacks.
                   modems use
                   Ethernet
                   connections.
Disadvantages      Requires cables        Requires a      All networked computers
                   linking computers      phone jack      must be within a specified
                   or Ethernet wiring     near each       distance to communicate
                   (similar to phone      computer.       with each other. Currently,
                   wiring) installed in                   wireless networks lack some
                   walls.                                 of the capability of networks
                                                          using physical connections.
                                                          The cost of an access point
                                                          is an additional expense to
                                                          setting up the system.


Network Adapters

All computers on a network require a hardware device called a network
adapter. The easiest and fastest network adapters to install are external; that
is, they connect to a computer via the USB port on the outside of the machine.
Internal network adapters must be installed inside the computer, requiring you
to open or remove the computer housing. It is recommended that a qualified
technician install an internal network adapter.




To help determine which network technology best suits your needs answer these
questions:

      How many computers do you have?
      Where are they located—are they in the same room or different rooms?
      Are any of your computers laptops?
      Do any of your computers have network adapters installed? If so, what are their
       types (Ethernet, HPNA, or wireless)?

Apply your answers to the following examples of home network layouts and
configurations. These suggest how to use the different hardware choices
available and can guide you in deciding which hardware you need to buy.


Computers in the Same Room

You have a home office and all of your computers are in the same room. In this
example setup, the most cost-effective network technology is Ethernet. If none of
the computers has an Ethernet network adapter, purchase:

      One USB Ethernet network adapter for each computer.
      One Ethernet network hub with enough ports for connecting each computer.
      RJ-45 network cables for each computer.

Another solution is to buy wireless network adapters for each computer. An
added advantage of using wireless adapters, besides eliminating the need for
physical wires, is that you can easily add other wireless-equipped computers
such as laptops later.
It is common in either setup to connect the ICS host computer to the Internet via
an external DSL or cable modem attached to an Ethernet network adapter.
Should you do this, you must purchase a second Ethernet or wireless network
adapter for the host computer. The second adapter is necessary so the computer
can communicate with the other computers on the network.


Computers in Different Rooms

In this network example, you've recently purchased your new Windows XP
computer and set it up in your home office. You have moved your older computer
into your child's room. The new computer—which is the ICS host—has an
Ethernet network adapter attached to an external DSL or cable modem.
If there are phone jacks located near each computer, purchase:

      One external USB HPNA network adapter for each computer.




Home phoneline network using an external DSL or cable modem
HPNA kits are available that make it easy to network two computers together.
You simply plug the network adapter into the USB port on the computer and into
the phone jack. The computers are then networked together.
As in the previous setup example, another solution is to purchase wireless
network adapters for both computers. Simply plug an adapter into the USB port
on each, and the two computers can communicate using radio signals.
Computers in the Same and Different Rooms

In this example, you have a couple of computers in the same room, computers in
your children's rooms, a laptop, and perhaps one other computer in the kitchen.
One of the two computers located in the same room is running Windows XP and
has an external DSL or cable modem attached to an Ethernet network adapter.
This computer is the ICS host. The other computer in this room also has an
Ethernet network adapter. For these two computers, purchase:

      One Ethernet network adapter for the ICS host computer (in addition to the
       Ethernet adapter this computer already contains).
      One Ethernet network hub.
      RJ-45 network cables to connect each computer to the hub.




Mixed network environment using an external DSL or cable modem
For the computers in your children's rooms and the kitchen that do not have
network adapters, purchase:

      External USB HPNA network adapters for each computer.
      One HPNA network adapter for the ICS host computer.

Purchasing HPNA adapters assumes the computers are located near telephone
jacks. If they are not, or as an alternative, purchase:

      Wireless network adapters for each computer, including the ICS host.
Finally, for the laptop—let's assume it contains a wireless network adapter—
purchase:

      One wireless network adapter for the ICS host computer, unless it already
       contains one.

Notice that in this example the ICS host computer must contain three separate
network adapters! A simpler solution for such a complex network setup would be
to install wireless network adapters on all computers.


Sketch Your Own Setup

The locations of your own network components—computers, printer, etc.—and
the distances between them probably will influence your choice of network type
and wiring installation.
To better visualize your needs, you might want to sketch the floor plan of your
house showing the location of each device you intend to connect. Indicate the
locations of electrical and telephone outlets, and obstacles to wiring such as
walls and areas where exposed network cable might either be dangerous
(bathrooms) or unsightly (living room). Then join the devices by sketching in the
paths of the various cables required to connect them. If your Windows XP
computer is going to share its Internet connection, note that in the sketch, too.




Cable Modem
A modem that connects a computer to a cable TV service that delivers Internet access.
DSL
Digital Subscriber Line, a technology that greatly increases the capacity of ordinary
telephone wires to carry digital information.
Ethernet
A network type that is the current standard technology and the one used by most
businesses; it links computers via special cable and a hub.
HPNA
Home Phoneline Network Adapter, a network type that links computers via existing
household telephone wiring.
Hub
A hardware device that connects network components at a central location and transfers
data between all of them.
ICS
Internet Connection Sharing, which allows one computer, called the ICS host, to share its
Internet connection with the rest of the computers on a home network.
Network Adapter
A device that connects your computer to a network. This device is sometimes called an
adapter card or network interface card.
RJ-45 Cable
Registered Jack-45, eight-wire telephone cable used for linking computers to a local area
network (LAN).
USB Port
Computer connection port, or interface, for plugging in devices such as a keyboard,
mouse, printer, scanner, and telephone equipment. USB ports allow devices to be plugged
in and unplugged without restarting your computer.
Wireless
A network type that links computers without wiring, by using radio signals.



Visit the Windows Catalog to find networking products designed especially for Windows
XP.




  Home Networking
  Put It All Together




When you’ve made up your mind about the type of network that’s best for you,
make a list of all the components you will need. It may help to start by listing all
the equipment you have already have; that way you can more easily spot what
is missing. Here’s an example of how such a list might look:

                   Type of network          Type of Internet      Other devices
Computer
                   adapter installed        connection            connected
Study/Den (ICS
                    Ethernet                DSL                  Color Printer
host)
Son’s bedroom       None                    Internal 56k modem Digital camera
Daughter’s
                    None                    None                 None
bedroom
                                            Internal 28.8k
Family room         Ethernet                                     Printer
                                            modem


Afterward, compare your list to the items required for the network you’ve
chosen:

Network      Network adapters
                                     Hub type                Cables
type         needed
             One for each
                                     One that supports the   RJ-45 network cables
             computer—all must
Ethernet                             number of computers     for each computer in
             operate at the same
                                     in your network         your network
             speed
                                                             Telephone cables to
                                                             run from each
HPNA         One for each computer   None
                                                             computer to a phone
                                                             jack
Wireless     One for each computer   None                    None


Now go shopping!


Connect Components

When you’ve obtained everything you’ll need to build your network, arrange
the parts in their proper locations. Next, if you are using Ethernet or HPNA
components, link the computers by running cable between them (Ethernet) or
connecting each computer to the household telephone wiring via a phone jack
(HPNA), or by simply installing the wireless network adapter.


Run Windows XP Network Setup Wizard
The final step is to run Windows XP Network Setup Wizard. You’ll need to do
this first on the ICS host computer, then on each of the client computers. The
wizard guides you through the following steps:

        Configuring your network adapters.
        Configuring all of your computers to share one Internet connection.
        Naming each computer.
        Automatically sharing the Shared Files folder with the computers on the
         network.
        Automatically sharing printers that are connected to computers on the network.
        Installing a firewall.
        Installing network bridging components.
        Installing Internet Connection Sharing Discovery and Control components.

Run Network Setup Wizard on the Host

You must run Network Setup Wizard on the Windows XP ICS host computer
first.
To run the Network Setup Wizard on a host computer

    1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
    2. Click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Set up or change
       your home or small office network.

Follow the instructions that appear on the screen. Designate this computer (the
host) as the one sharing its Internet connection.


Run Network Setup Wizard on the Clients

After running the wizard on your ICS host computer, run it on the client
computers by performing the following steps:
To run the Network Setup Wizard on client computers

    1. Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM.
    2. On the menu that appears, click Perform Additional Tasks.
    3. On the next menu that appears, click Setup home or small office networking.

Run Network Setup Wizard from a Floppy Disk
If you do not own a Windows XP CD-ROM, you can copy Network Setup
Wizard onto a floppy disk while running the wizard on the ICS host computer.
Then use the floppy disk to run the wizard on the client computers. The floppy
disk is created when you run Network Setup Wizard.
If you ran Network Setup Wizard and did not create a floppy disk, you’ll need to
run the wizard again to create the floppy disk. While running the wizard, make
sure you use the same settings as when you ran the wizard the first time.
To run the Network Setup Wizard from a floppy disk

   1.   Insert the network setup disk into the computer you want to network.
   2.   Double-click My Computer.
   3.   Double-click 3½ Floppy (A:).
   4.   Double-click netsetup.exe.

The wizard tests to make sure everything on your network is functioning
correctly. When it is done, you’re ready to enjoy your home network!




Home Networking
Protect Your Network




When you create a home network connected to the Internet, you increase the
vulnerability of your computers to unauthorized access, including hackers and
viruses. To protect your network, you need to create a type of barrier called a
firewall. Windows XP comes with a firewall that you create when setting up a
home network.


How Does a Firewall Work?
Like an actual firewall built to prevent fire from spreading between adjoining
buildings, computer firewalls prevent the spread of unauthorized
communication between an individual computer or group of networked
computers and the Internet. One of the most effective ways to protect a home
network—and the least expensive—is to create a firewall on the ICS host
computer, and to make sure that computer is the only one on the network with
a direct connection to the Internet.




Ethernet network with firewall


Other Network Possibilities

Another way to protect a home network is to use a hardware device called a
residential gateway, or router.
Residential gateway
A residential gateway contains a firewall and replaces an ICS host computer
as the central Internet connection. Should a hacker manage to bypass the
firewall, the only access gained is to the device, which is in effect empty. A
disadvantage of a residential gateway is the extra cost it adds to putting
together a network.
You can create a home network having neither an ICS host computer nor a
residential gateway, but at a high cost to security—and convenience. With
such a setup, Internet access can be obtained by linking each computer
directly to the Internet service provider via the computer's own modem, or else
all computers on the network can be linked to an Ethernet hub, which functions
as a central Internet connection.




Computer connected directly to Internet
Neither of these methods provides firewall protection; and while Internet
Connection Firewall can be enabled on networked computers running
Windows XP, doing so prevents those computers from sharing files and
devices such as printers.

				
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