Q:

How do you set up a home computer network?

A:

Quick Answer

To set up a wireless home network using Windows 7, purchase and configure a wireless router, and connect all of the computers and devices to the router. You may also wish to connect the router to the Internet, which allows other devices in the network to access the Internet as well.

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Full Answer

To ease the process of setting up a home network, first determine what type of network best fits your needs. In most situations, this is a wireless home network using the Windows 7 operating system. When setting up a wireless network, you need to purchase a wireless router. If a wired Ethernet network is needed, purchase a hub or a switch, but note that switches generally provide a faster connection. Purchasing equipment that displays the "Compatible with Windows 7" logo makes the following steps simpler.

If the router or switch is Windows 7 ready, open the Windows Connect Now utility on a computer that has been connected to the router or switch, and follow the prompts. If the router or switch is not Windows 7 ready, research the IP address for your brand of router or switch. For instance, all Linksys routers have the IP address http://192.168.1.1. This takes you to the set-up utility, where you can complete the configuration of your network.

After configuring the router or switch, other computers may be connected to the home network via the wireless or Ethernet connection. If you wish to enable file or print sharing, set up a Homegroup by visiting the Network and Internet page within the Control Panel.

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