A network is the result of linking computing devices together with hardware and software that supports data communications across these devices. Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, System 7, and recent Macintosh OSX, operating systems are preconfigured to handle networking tasks. The goal is to share resources and hardware among several users.
There are two major forms of network technologies: Wired and Wireless.
Wired is known as Ethernet and is used more often by large businesses where workgroups consist of more than 12 people. Each computer is connected by wire to an Ethernet router. It allows shared access to a printer and hard drive storage. Networks also allow administrators to control individual access to software.
Wireless is more common among home and small workgroups. Instead of using wires, it uses special wireless radio frequencies. Each equipped computer is cordlessly linked to a wireless network router.
Among the reasons why Wireless is geared for home or small workgroups is the range limit of the radio frequencies, approximately up to 30 feet with 802.11g and up to 120 feet using 802.11n. Sometime in the future, working wireless distance may be extended to thousands of feet. Yet, for home use, Wireless (also known as WiFi) is best.
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