Q: I read the article on setting up a home network and I’m thinking of doing the same. How should I start?
–K. Walker , Grand Rapids, Michigan
A: Good question. First, start by doing your homework. Head to a bookstore or library. My favorite books on the topic are Networking Home PCs for Dummies by Kathy Ivens (Hungry Minds, $24.99) and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Networking Your Home by Mark D. Thompson and Mark Speaker (Que, $16.99). Next, check out your home setup and determine what will work best for you4cable or DSL, wired or wireless. Definitely ditch the dial-up.
Also, be sure to check whether DSL service is available in your specific area. Notice I said specific. Early on, many people found that some providers were slow to roll out DSL service in their area; even now, it still might not be available. If you’re not really sure broadband is available, head to Broadband DSLReports.com (www.dslreports.com) where you can check availability, see who’s providing service, and read what customers are saying about them.
As for the actual network setup, once you’ve done your homework, head online to HomePNA (www.homepna.org), which lists many of the products and accessories you’ll need to get started and provides links to the sites. Be sure to reread “Home, Sweet (Networked), Home” in the January 2002 issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE to see how other BE readers have set up both wired and wireless networks. And keep reading. In the coming months, we’ll provide even more information on pain-free ways to set up a network4at home and in your office.