Networking

Networks and the Super7 System

Introduction
In a study conducted last year by the market-research firm Dataquest, results indicated that the number of homes with more than one PC has reached significant proportions; over 15 million, in fact, with that number expected to double by the year 2000, a number of technology vendors see a natural progression toward linking them together. While many home PC owners are somewhat apathetic, some are now beginning to step towards networking as implementation has become simpler and less expensive. Even many of the smallest of small businesses, owned by a generation whose VCRs still flash 12:00, and never thought they'd ever have to learn computers, have started to implement networking as a means of cost efficiency.

The home and SOHO (small office,home office) networking arena has some great new technologies available, but the one thing holding it back more than anything, is it's lack of standardization. This leaves small business owners and SOHO operators wondering which technology to sink their money into. While 10baseT has a proven track record some feel it is too large scale and intrusive for many small concerns. Is a wireless LAN to buggy to trust? And what about HomePNA? Can your computer use your existing telephone lines and still give you standard telephone access without error?

In setting up a few networks for small area businesses I have learned another thing vendors need to realize; that most small businesses can't afford to either hire system administrators or take the time required to learn all of the intricacies involved in maintaining a flawless network. So, networking for the masses needs to be made as simple as setting a VCR up to tape a movie off a cable hookup.

All of this and next month we'll be taking a look at networking and the super7 system. Starting with the very basics, we'll discuss as much as we can to help you along the path towards setting up a small LAN/WAN of your own. After we've covered the basics we'll take a look at just some of the available hardware and software you will use to create and manage a successful network.

The list of links below can help you learn more about networking and it's components...

Networking 101a
HomePNA
HomeFree
HomeFree Phoneline
SiS900 Fast Ethernet Controller
1998/1999/2000
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