Home Networking Simplified: An Illustrated Home Networking Handbook for the Everyday User


An illustrated home networking handbook for the everyday user

Building a network doesn't have to be all work and no play—it can actually be fun! Home Networking Simplified is an illustrated home-networking book for everyone from Grandma Mary to your tech-savvy teenage neighbor.

Home Networking Simplified gives you the most basic need-to-know...

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An illustrated home networking handbook for the everyday user

Building a network doesn't have to be all work and no play—it can actually be fun! Home Networking Simplified is an illustrated home-networking book for everyone from Grandma Mary to your tech-savvy teenage neighbor.

Home Networking Simplified gives you the most basic need-to-know info and then teaches you how to get the most out of your home network:

  • Learn the basics of home networking, from connecting to the Internet to connecting your computers
  • Create a basic home network
  • Grow and update your network with confidence
  • Secure your home network and protect yourself from hackers and viruses
  • Go wireless to put your computers where you want them—not just where cables reach
  • Learn about the latest technologies, emerging trends, and coolest toys

Whether you’re a newbie, a geek, or someone in-between, Home Networking Simplified helps you harness the power of home networking.

Debugged by The Geek Squad

This book is part of the Networking Technology Series from Cisco Press®, the only authorized publisher for Cisco Systems®.

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Editorial Reviews

This is an almost perfect book on home networking for the person who has a Windows computer or two (and nothing else) and knows nothing. It pains me to admit that I have a number of friends who fall into this category and I would have no hesitation in lending them a copy of this book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587201363
  • Publisher: Cisco Press
  • Publication date: 5/25/2005
  • Series: Networking Technology Series
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.98 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Doherty is currently the director of Strategic Marketing with Symbol Technologies. Prior to joining Symbol, Jim worked at Cisco Systems, where he led marketing campaigns for IP Telephony, and routing and switching. Over the past several years, he has taught professionals in both academic and industry settings on a broad range of topics, including networking, electric circuits, statistics, and wireless communication methods. Jim is the co-author of Cisco Networking Simplified and wrote the Study Notes section of the Cisco CCNA Exam #640-607 Flash Card Practice Kit. Jim holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from N.C. State University and an MBA from Duke University. Jim also served in the United States Marine Corps, where he earned the rank of Sergeant, before leaving to pursue an education.

Neil Anderson is a manager in Enterprise Systems Engineering at Cisco Systems, currently responsible for enterprise branch-office networking and teleworking systems architectures. Neil has 20 years of diverse telecom experience, including public telephone systems, mobile telephone systems, IP networks, wireless networking, and home networks. Neil has held roles in Research & Development, Systems Engineering, and Technical Marketing. At Cisco Systems, Neil has worked with Virtual Private Network (VPN), Voice over IP (VoIP), and wireless LAN (WLAN) technologies, focusing on converged networking solutions for enterprise and small business customers. Neil holds a bachelor's degree in computer science.

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Table of Contents



Part I Networking Basics

Chapter 1 What’s a Network?

PC Hardware and Network Interface Cards

Installing Devices in Computers

Configuring New Devices in Microsoft Windows

Chapter 2 Networking Fundamentals

Bits and Bytes

Network Media Types

Twisted-Pair Cable

Coaxial Cable

Wireless Networks

Comparing Media Types

What Is an IP Address?

Dynamically Allocated IP Addresses

Domain Name Server (DNS)

Chapter 3 Connecting to the Internet

The Internet


A Network of Networks

What Are HTTP and HTML and What Do They Do?

Internet Access Options


The Internet and Its Applications


E-Mail Tools

What Is Up with the @ Sign?

Sending E-Mails

Receiving E-Mails

How to Build It: Connecting to the Internet

Decide on the Type of Modem

Physically Install the Modem

Internal Modem in a Desktop Computer

Internal Modem in a Laptop Computer

External Modem

Configure Windows to “Talk To” the Modem

Set Up a Dialup Connection to the Internet

Set Up Access to E-Mail

Chapter 4 From the Geek Squad Files

Part II Simple Home Networks

Chapter 5 Creating a Basic Home Network

Planning a Network

Designing Your Network

Building Your Network

How to Build It: Connecting Two Computers

Decide on the Type of NICs

Physically Install the NIC

Internal NIC in a Desktop Computer

Internal PCMCIA NIC in a Laptop Computer

External NIC for a Desktop or Laptop Computer

Configure Windows to “Talk To” the NIC

Build a Network Between the Two Computers


Using a Hub, Switch, or Router

Set Up the Network in Windows

Troubleshooting Tips: Building a Network

Chapter 6 Sharing Network Resources

File Sharing

Printer Sharing

Practicing Safe Share

Sharing Guidelines

Network Design Guidelines

How to Build It: File and Printer Sharing

Enable File and Printer Sharing

Share a File Over the Network

Map a Shared File Folder as a Disk Drive

Share a Printer Over the Network

Map a Shared Printer

Add Security Precautions to File and Printer Sharing

Chapter 7 High-Speed Internet Access

Broadband Revolution

Different Types of Broadband




Wireless (Cellular)

Accelerated Dialup


Need for Speed

Selecting a Broadband Service

Online Resources to Help You Choose a Broadband Provider

Keep This Important Information

How to Build It: Broadband Internet Access

Decide on a Home Network Design

One-Computer Network

Two-Computer Network

Multiple-Computer Network

Wireless Network

Router Comparison

Set Up the Broadband Equipment

Broadband Cable Connection

Broadband DSL Connection

Configure the Router for Broadband Service

Configure the Router for the Home Network

Check the Access to the Internet

Chapter 8 From the Geek Squad Files

Part III Look Ma, No Wires

Chapter 9 ABGs of Wireless

Wireless LANs

Standards Soup




Comparing the IEEE WLAN Standards

Selecting the Right Wireless Standard for Your Network




Additional Considerations


Chapter 10 Going Wireless at Home

Planning Your Wireless Network

Wireless Network Topologies

Sketching a Network Layout

Making a Shopping List

Turning Up the Network

Select an SSID

Select a Wireless Channel

How to Build It: Going Wireless

Install and Set Up a Wireless Router

Install and Set Up Wireless NICs

Configuring an Existing Built-In Wireless NIC

Check Wireless Network Operation

Chapter 11 Securing Your Wireless Network

Why Should I Worry About Wireless Network Security?

What Do I Do About It?

Don’t Advertise Your Wireless Network

Scramble Your Signal

How to Build It: Securing Your Wireless Network

Stop Advertising Your Wireless Network

Enable Wireless Encryption

Enabling WEP Encryption on the Wireless Router

Enabling WEP Encryption Using the NIC’s Utility

Enabling WEP Encryption Under Windows XP

WPA Encryption Example

Disable Ad-Hoc Networking

Wireless Security Checklist

Final Thoughts on Wireless Security

Chapter 12 Wireless Away from Home

What Is a Hotspot?

How to Find a Hotspot

Hotspot Options and Costs

How to Build It: Using Wireless Hotspots

Discover and Connect to a Hotspot

Pass the Hotspot Membership Test

What Not to Do When Using a Hotspot

Chapter 13 From the Geek Squad Files

Part IV Security of Home Networks

Chapter 14 Protecting Your Network from Intruders

Introduction to Security Software

Lines of Defense

Security Software “Bundles”


How Firewalls Work

What Firewalls Protect You From

Hiding Your Network Addresses

How to Build It: Protecting Your Network from Intruders

Turning on a Firewall in the Router

Installing a Personal Firewall on Each Computer

Installing a Professional Personal Firewall Program

Installing a Free Personal Firewall Program

Enabling the Windows Firewall

Keeping Windows Security Up to Date

Where to Go for More Info

Chapter 15 Viruses and Other Malicious Software

What Is a Virus?

Where Viruses Live

Other Nasty Stuff


Trojan Horses

Protecting Yourself Against Malicious Code

Common Sense

Antivirus Programs

How Do Antivirus Programs Work?

What Happens with New Viruses?

How to Build It: Preventing Viruses and Other Malicious Software from Infecting

Your Network

Turn on Antivirus Protection at Your Service Provider

Set up Antivirus Protection on Your Home Computers

Make Sure Automatic Updating Is Working

Perform an Initial Virus Scan

Where to Go for More Info

Chapter 16 Other Vulnerabilities (Spam, Cookies, Pop-Ups, Spyware, and Scams)


How Spam Works

How to Block Spam


How Cookies Work

Bad Cookies


How Pop-Ups Work

How to Get Rid of Pop-Ups


How Spyware or Adware Works

How to Get Rid of Spyware and Adware

Additional Scams


Urban Legends

How to Build It: Preventing Network Vulnerabilities

Turn on Spam Blocking at Your Service Provider

Set Up Spam Blocking on Your Home Computers

Avoid Phishing Scams

Set Up Spyware and Adware Blocking on Your Home Computers

Set Up Pop-Up Blocking on Home Computers

Where to Go for More Info

Chapter 17 Keeping Your Family Safe on the Internet

What Are the Online Dangers?





Illegal Peer-to-Peer Sharing

Protecting Your Family from Online Dangers

How to Build It: Making the Internet Safe

Decide Which Parental Controls Are Right for You

Enable Parental Controls at Your ISP

Enable Parental Controls Using Your Home Router

Enable Parental Controls on Home Computers

Security Bundle Parental Control Option

NetNanny Option

How to Track Internet Activity

Where to Go for More Info

Chapter 18 From the Geek Squad Files

Security Checklist

Part V Advanced Home Networks

Chapter 19 Wireless Print Servers: The Cure for Joy

How to Build It: Wireless Print Server

Set Up the Wireless Print Server for Your Wireless Network

Connect Printers to the Wireless Printer Server

Install the Wireless Print Server Driver on Each Computer

Print a Test Page

Chapter 20 Video Surveillance

How to Build It: Wireless Internet Video Cameras

Set Up the Wireless Internet Video Camera for Your Wireless Network

Configure the Video Camera Security

Viewing Video from Within Your House

Viewing Images with an Internet Browser

Installing and Viewing Images with the Viewer Client

Viewing Video over the Internet

Problems with Viewing Video over the Internet

Use the Video Camera as a Motion Detector

Chapter 21 Internet Phone Service

How IP Telephony Works

Broadband Phone Services

Broadband Phone Providers

Virtual Phone Numbers

Voice-Chat Services

How to Build It: Internet Phone Service

Setting Up a Broadband Phone Service

Choosing an Internet Phone Adapter

Setting Up the Internet Phone Adapter

Setting Up a Voice-Chat Service (Using Skype)

Chapter 22 Networked Entertainment Systems

How to Build It: Networked Entertainment Systems

Set Up the Wireless Media Adapter

Connect the Home Entertainment Center to the Wireless Media Adapter

Install the Adapter Utility Client on Your Home Computer

Playing Music

Viewing Photos

Chapter 23 Online Gaming

Gaming Servers

Options for Online Gaming

How to Build It: Online Video Gaming

Set Up the Wireless Game Adapter

Connect a Video Game Console to the Wireless Game Adapter

Connect to an Online Game Provider

Setting Up an Online Game Account

Detailed Troubleshooting Steps for Online Gaming

Chapter 24 From the Geek Squad Files



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