Networking helps multiple computers to share resources like hard drives, printers, internet connection, VoIP etc. You need not buy all these components for each computer that you will add to the network. In a network setup, you can also share a broadband service between multiple PCs and all the users can go online at the same time.
If you have many internet users in your home, home networking is the best solution for all reasons. You might want to setup wired networking using Ethernet cables. However, the main disadvantage of wired networking is that it does not allow as much flexibility and mobility as wireless networking provides. The network area is also cluttered with cables in a wired setup.
Apart from sharing the files, printers, if you want to share broadband, you need an internet connection. Both ADSL and cable broadband can be shared and you need a DSL or cable modem based on what type of broadband connection you have.
How to set up networking?
To setup home networking, you would require router, network cables (in case you prefer wired network) and wireless router and access points if you choose the convenient option of going wireless.
You would also require network adapters which convert the broadband signals and transmit them to your PC. The network adapters can be plugged into USB port or slid into the expansion slot.
This is how wireless networking works:
The wireless router is connected to your modem through the network cable. If your PC comes with built-in network adapter, it will immediately get signals from the wireless router as soon as it is connected to internet.
After connecting the computers to the routers, configure the router. Do not forget to enable the security features like WEP and WPA as they help protecting your PCs from hackers.