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What Every New Internet Subscriber Should Know About Home Connectivity And Networks

With internet connectivity becoming nearly essential for homes and businesses alike, there's a lot to consider. Unfortunately, as the internet and computer networks become more commonplace, so does the misinformation that abounds about the use of both. Before you set up your first home internet connection and network your computers together, it's important that you know the truth behind some of the most commonly repeated beliefs about internet connectivity and home networking. Here's a look at what you should know about some of the most widespread statements.

A Network Isn't Useless Without Internet Connectivity

As a home user, when you hear the word network, it probably makes you think instantly of the internet. The truth is, a network and the internet are two different things. A network connects several computers and devices in one place so that they can communicate. You don't need the internet to do this.

One of the great things about networking your equipment is that you can access information on any computer from anywhere within the network if you've shared that data to the other computers. For example, you can store photos on your desktop's hard drive and edit them from your laptop if the photos are shared to the network.

You can also network printers so that every computer in the house can print to the same printer. Whether you just want to share files between the computers or have access to your music streaming files from any computer in the house, a network can be helpful even when you're not connected to the internet.

You Won't Always Get the Rated Bandwidth for File Transfers

When you subscribe to a home internet service, you'll be provided with the upload and download speeds that your internet service is rated for. In theory, this would mean that every file you transfer, whether uploaded or downloaded, would be transferred at that rate. The truth is, you won't always get the peak transfer rate for files. In fact, you'll probably come in just under it most of the time, but sometimes it may be much slower.

The speed fluctuations happen because your connection isn't just responsible for uploading and downloading your files. It also has to transfer other data, such as packet headers and control messages. These things are necessary for information processing but will take up some of your allotted bandwidth in the process.

There are many websites out there that will allow you to test your internet connection speeds. This can help you monitor the rate at which data is flowing both into and out of your connection.

You Don't Have to Install a Router to Set Up a Home Network

When it comes to setting up a home network, many people believe that you have to install a router to connect your computers and devices. A router definitely makes home networking easier, because it allows you to share the internet connection to all of the computers through one device while also ensuring that firewall protection keeps your computers safe.

If you don't want to use a router, you can still establish most of the same things through a bit more complex process. You can connect two computers through a peer-to-peer connection for file sharing, or you can set up your primary computer as the gateway device that shares an internet connection and all other available resources for the other devices in your network.

When you get ready to set up your home internet connection with a local internet service provider, the technician can help you evaluate what you'll need from both your internet connection and your home network, then recommend the equipment setup that will work best for you.

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