Introduction

These notes explain how to connect computers together using a small network. The techniques I describe are suitable for a home or a small office.

Networks allow computers to share resources - disk space, printers, an internet connection and so on. The ethernet networking technology is cheap and very effective. You can build a working network for as little as £20. I show how to connect PCs running Windows and Linux, but ethernet supports just about any type of computer.

You might have a network containing just Windows PCs, just Linux PCs or a mixture and you can connect to the internet in all sorts of ways. I cover a lot of possible configurations, so the document is quite long. Don't panic: you only need to understand the relevent bits. I've broken it down into separate web page, one for each major section. They are written in very basic HTML to make them printer-friendly.

Networking can be a bit fiddly, so I give detailed step-by-step instructions when appropriate. To understand why you are doing what you are doing, you also need some background explanation. I try to give enough of that without overwhelming you.

This document is copyright © Merrow Internet Services Ltd 2002. You may store it on paper or on a computer for private study and give it to other people for the same purpose. You must not change it in any way or exploit it for commercial gain.