Is P2P Networking Right for You?

What sort of networking is right for you? While most people in America access the Internet through a typical client-server model, there is another way. Peer-to-peer networking, often simply referred to as P2P, is a decentralized approach to networking in which network computers connect with other machines directly rather than using a central hub to access the worldwide web. What are the benefits and drawbacks to this approach? Read on to find out.

What is P2P?

Odds are good that you’re already at least partially familiar with P2P networking. It is the default form of networking on small networks and is especially common as part of home networking. In these situations, the computers that are running the same network protocols are usually physically near each other, either in the same building or right next door. In this model, because there are so few computers, it’s easier for the computers to communicate directly with each other rather than go through a central hub first. To use an analogy, a P2P network is like calling to somebody in another room. If they’re nearby, it’s easier just to use your voice instead of looking for a phone and placing a call.


Alternatives to Windows and How to Make them Work for your Network

Most businesses use Microsoft Windows in some form or another, but it is not the only operating system out there. Whether for business reasons, compatibility purposes, or just personal preference, some companies choose to use an alternative operating system for their business network, such as Linux, Apple’s Mac OSX, or Novell’s NetWare. Is this a move you should make? What are the possible implications? Read on to find out more about these alternatives.

Why Seek an Alternative?

If Windows is so popular, why would anybody seek an alternate system? There are a number of answers to this, and it usually boils down to business needs and personal preference. First of all, it’s important to remember that Windows isn’t used because it is unquestionably the best operating system out there, but rather because it is most convenient to many users. It comes bundled on most computers, which means that those who don’t want to look for alternatives have something suitable right in front of them. However, there are other systems that work better in some ways than Windows. Mac OS, for example is ideal for design work, while Linux offers more customization.


Getting Acquainted with Network Hardware

Where do you start building your network? The process can be quite intimidating at first, since there are so many different pieces of hardware and software to focus on. But once you take the time to learn about the elements of a network installation, you’ll find that it’s really not very hard to understand at all. Here’s a brief review of the hardware essentials to setting up a network. Once you’re familiar with these, getting started should be a breeze.

The Network Hub

A hub looks like nothing more than a small rectangular box, but it is one of the most essential pieces of hardware your network can have. The hub is what joins all computers on the network together, serving as the central point where data is sent to and received fr om the Internet at large. A network hub isn’t all that different from a major airport hub. An airport hub receives passengers from many smaller airports and then routes them to their destinations across the world. In the case of a network, the passengers are packets of information coming from your network, and they get rerouted to their destination online. A hub is a simple but essential device that uses a standard wall outlet for power.


A Step by Step Approach to Building a Network for your Business

So you’ve decided to take the jump and set up your own network for your business. This is an essential step in forming or improving any business, since so much work is now done away fr om the office. There are a lot of potential pitfalls that you need to be aware of, but these can be bypassed with some careful planning. Presented below are some simple decision you should make to ensure that you establish the most effective business network possible.

Wired or Wireless?

Whether you choose a wired network wh ere the computers are connected directly to a router via Ethernet cable or a wireless network that uses Wi-Fi connectivity is largely a question of how your office area is set up. For traditional offices that have desktop computers and plenty of space to run cables, having a wired option is probably a good idea. This allows you to have the best speed and reliability possible. If you have employees using laptops or notebooks to connect to the network, however, a wireless choice will allow them the chance to move freely without being anchored to any one point. A combination can also be used, using wired setups for desktops and wireless for traveling employees.


An Introductory Road Map to IP Addresses

When you get a letter in the mail, how do you know it was intended for you? The answer, of course, is because it is addressed to you. Computers have addresses as well, known as Internet Protocol addresses or simply IP addresses. Knowing how to use an IP address is a key component to being able to effectively navigate the Internet. By managing your own IP, you can determine who has access to your machine and much more.

The TCP/IP Protocol

The heart of a computer’s ability to navigate the Internet and receive information is the Transmission Control Protocol, or TCP. The TCP/IP protocol forms the standard of all online communication. TCP is used to connect to servers on the Internet and is essential to being able to send data. Meanwhile, IP serves as the unique identifier for your individual computer and is essential to being able to receive information fr om other sources. Your IP address comes in one of two different forms: IP Version 4, or IPv4, and IP Version 6, or IPv6. All computers have at least an IPv4 address, and many computers are now using an IPv6 address as well. The difference between them boils down to a matter of complexity.


Exploring the Basics of DNS

What’s in a name? In the case of DNS, the answer is quite a bit. DNS, or Domain Naming System, is one of the basic building blocks of the online world. This naming system allows a computer to be identified by other machines, which is essential to web based communications. Most systems automatically set a DNS, but there are advantages to knowing more about it and being able to customize the system for your own purposes. Read on to find out more.

The Phone Book of the Internet

Many people refer to DNS as the phone book of the Internet, because that is essentially what it is. If a site’s public IP address serves as its phone number, its DNS name is the actual phonebook listing. To clarify, every website out there has a public IP address. This is usually represented by four sets of numbers separated by dots, such as In fact, if you type in “http://” followed by the IP address into your browser’s navigation bar, you will land at that site just as though you had entered its domain name. However, most people remember names better than numbers, so it’s easier and more effective for a company to use a memorable domain name rather than the public IP address.



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