Computers Computer Networking

How To Connect To a Local Area Network

Introduction

If you use a router to share a broadband connection via a modem, then you are using a local area network (LAN). High speed connections, such as digital subscriber line (DSL) or cable broadband have more than enough bandwidth for the average user. When you use an Internet service provider to gain a single connection to the web via a modem you are using a wide area network or WAN.

Desktop and laptop computers are not the only devices on the planet that can benefit from being connected to a local area network. Consumers can also connect a Wi-Fi capable smartphone or tablet PC to the wireless router. This helps people save money by not having to subscribe to an expensive data plan from the cellular service providers. Alternatively, the simplest way to connect devices to the local area network is to attach an Ethernet cable to the network adapter port on a desktop or laptop computer.

Step 1

Identify the device that you will use as the centralized hub for your local area network. Again, this is usually a wired or wireless router, but other devices exist that can support a LAN, such as a switch. Many people often refer to the router as a high tech switch.

Step 2

Plug an Ethernet cable into one of the other four Ethernet ports on the router which is the center of the local area network.

Step 3

Connect this cable to the Ethernet port on a computer. Wait for both the router and the operating system to establish a connection, for the purposes of having a local area network.

Step 4

Look at the network icon at the bottom of the desktop. This icon may animate or change colors as it is trying to establish the local area network.

Step 5

Hover your mouse cursor over the network icon or click directly on the icon to get the status of the local area network. If it shows that the connection has been made, proceed with using the Internet, sharing files or however else you plan to use the LAN.

Tips and Comments

If your router has no security protocols in place for the wireless local area network, click on the Network icon on your computer to view available wireless networks. Click the "Connect" button next to the name of  the wireless connection that shows in the networking utility. However, you should strive to establish security protocols.

Sources and Citations

  1.  " Create a homegroup." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Create-a-homegroup>.
  2. " Create or modify network profiles." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Create-or-modify-network-profiles>.
  3. " Install a printer on a home network." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Install-a-printer-on-a-home-network>.
  4. " Join or create a workgroup." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Join-or-create-a-workgroup>.
  5. " Set up a computer-to-computer (ad hoc) network." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Set-up-a-computer-to-computer-ad-hoc-network>.
  6. " Set up a security key for a wireless network." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Set-up-a-security-key-for-a-wireless-network>.
  7. " Start here to set up a home network in Windows 7." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/start-here-to-set-up-a-home-network-in-Windows-7>.
  8. " Why can't I create a homegroup?." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Why-cant-I-create-a-homegroup>.
  9. " Why can't I join a homegroup?." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Why-can-t-I-join-a-homegroup>.
  10. " Why can't I connect to a network?." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/cant-connect-to-a-network>.
  11. Boyer, Gloria. " Why network?." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/why-network>.
  12. " Networking home computers running different versions of Windows." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows

 

By Adri Buckminster, published at 03/29/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
How To Connect To a Local Area Network. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.

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