Serial Routers

Written by Amy Hunter
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When putting together a network, whether for home or office, there are several things that must be considered, including use, compatibility, cost, ease of installation and maintenance. The wide variety of choices, as well as the varied needs that we all have, make it hard to give a short answer to what will work best in any one scenario.

If you are interested in setting up a home network, it helps to understand some basics about how a router works. The basic use of a router is to allow more than one computer to share the same IP address. The IP, or internet protocol, address is your computer's unique fingerprint on the Internet. The IP address is the method that system administrators can use to identify your computer. By sharing an IP address, all of the computers in your household can have internet access.

A router acts as a messenger, relaying data between your broadband internet connection and individual computers. You will connect a network adapter to each computer that you want connected to your network. This adapter will send data from your computer to the router. The network adapter will normally plug into the USB port on your computer.

Many people are choosing to go toward a hybrid network. In a hybrid network, you have both wired and wireless connections. You can have a wired connection to the desktop computers in your home, particularly if they share an adjacent wall. Then you can use a wireless system for your laptop computer. This will allow you to use the laptop anywhere in the house, as well as other locations that have wireless access. By doing some basic research, you can find the situation that will work best for you and your needs.

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