Networks are still pretty fussy things, esp. when parts of the network don’t work. Most users don’t know how to handle the changes in network configuration or even which printers are connected to which ‘puters. At school, we have two network printers, but everyday at least one person will try to print on the wrong printer and call me over to ask why they can’t print. Eh! Did you turn on that computer/switch/printer? No! Perhaps that’s why. Networks are pretty simple to install, and mostly invisible to users…

When we first set up our network arrangements with a simple Linksys router type router, we had miles of cabling to install, but actual setup of the network itself was fairly automated. We only had trouble installing a computer on the network that had a very funky wireless setup, and after three wireless devices we ended up running a cable. Unfortunately, the cable connection didn’t work either! The other systems were easy to setup, and have had flawless performance. In fact, now there are five pcs on the network, four connected through routers, and one wirelessly. I’m planning to add a sixth, as well.

So if you’re humming and hawing about setting up a SOHO network, don’t. Just buy a decent router (not D-Link!), some extra network cables, and set aside a few hours to tie everything together! It’s not difficult. Then you’ll be able to share your folders, files, printers, etc. among all your computers… That extra redundancy is quite attractive, too!

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