Creating a Simple and Inexpensive Network

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What type of network would you recommend and why?
The very fist thing that must be taken into consideration in setting up your network is what capabilities do you want your network to have. The relative ease and low cost to set up a Peer-to-Peer networking system to form a small Local Area Network is the recommendation I am making for your company. Peer-to-Peer networks offer no centralized data storage and eliminate the control over sharing files from one main server. Each computer system connected can share resources that they deem necessary. (Bird, D., Harwood, M. – 2003) While a server network does offer more security and centralized data, there is no need for a small network of four computers to tackle such an endeavor. The cost of setting up a server network is also much more expensive in that one computer would need significant upgrades to be able to handle software such as Windows 2000 or Linux Red Hat and also to provide data storage and backups for the entire network. As you are currently using Windows 98, the need for additional software is not required to benefit from basic network functions such as shared use of directories, drives, or printers and can extensively simplify internet access at each terminal. (Bird, D., Harwood, M. – 2003) What type of upgrades might be needed?

The only upgrades that you would need to purchase for the systems are network interface cards (NICs), cables and a hub, switch or router. Each machine on the network can be installed with a NIC that connects to the computer’s bus, and to either 10base-T (twisted pair) or coaxial cable. The Ethernet transmits data by means of packets and automatically adjusts to the addition of computers to a net. NICs all have a unique address built in at the factory to facilitate this. After you install the NIC in each system, you will then need to install the driver for the card by using the Windows 98 installation procedures and diskette supplied by the NIC manufacturer. NIC’s can...
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