(+) Do You Already Have a Local Area Network Installed in Your Home?

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy. If you are looking for genealogy-related articles, I suggest you skip this one. However, it answers a question that a newsletter reader asked and I suspect that many other readers have similar questions.

Several years ago, I published I Added Four Terabytes to My Personal Cloud at http://bit.ly/2hS5teP where I described my recent addition of a high-capacity networked disk drive to the local area network in my home. I now have more than five terabytes of available storage space, counting the new four terabyte disk drive plus some older devices I have used for several years. The space is available to be shared amongst all the computers owned by family members. In addition, any of us can access our files from anywhere in the world, using an Internet connection and a user name and password.

In addition, anyone with an in-home local network also can share the Internet connection with multiple computers, game consoles, VoIP telephones, cell phones (using wi-fi), tablet computers, home security systems, modern Internet-connected thermostats, FAX machines, and other Internet-compatible devices.

A newsletter reader recently wrote, “How can I use that if I don’t have a local network?”

I suspect the reader does have a local area network in her home but probably doesn’t know it. The same may be true for you.

Most broadband Internet connections these days include local area networks. If you only use your Internet connection on one computer, the installer probably never mentioned the network capabilities to you. There are a few exceptions, but I am guessing that 95% or more of all recently-installed, in-home broadband Internet connections include a local area network. If your broadband connection does include this capability, you can connect multiple computers, printers, hard drives, game consoles, and more to the network and share them amongst family members. Depending on the software installed, you might be able to securely access your files from places outside your home if you enable this capability. Most Internet providers do not charge extra for using additional computers on an in-home network.

How to Discover if You Already Have a Network

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