THE MAGAZINE

New in Plaintext

By Peter Piazza

Setting up a home network has become a necessity for any family with more than one computer. A home network allows everyone to share an Internet connection, share files, and even use the same printer. The thought of setting up such a network, however, is intimidating, given the amount of software and hardware involved.

A book that uses graphics to show these components, and to describe what they do and why they're needed, could go a long way to reducing the intimidation factor. Home Networking: A Visual Do-It-Yourself Guide is a book that accomplishes these tasks, and more.

The book begins with an explanation of the hardware in a section called "Making Sense of All That Stuff." It shows equipment such as network adapters, then goes on to help readers choose the type of network they need; and for those who choose wireless, a section titled "Deciphering the Protocol Soup" distinguishes between the various networking standards.

The book, written by Brian Underdahl, lives up to its title with an abundance of photos and illustrations, including a step-by-step guide to setting up a Linksys router and another that shows how to use Windows XP Network Setup Wizard. Troubleshooting sections at the end of each chapter will help readers to fix any problems that may arise.

Published by Cisco Press, the book is available online for $16.97.

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