Michael Horowitz
Home => Networking Class  
[Formatted for Printing] From the personal web site of  Michael Horowitz
Computer Networking For Homes and Small Businesses

At Hunter College this is class 1534

If you are planning on setting up a computer network, the class starts with a brief review of the pros and cons of wired vs. wireless networks. We also briefly review the many available technologies used to link computers in a network. 

If you have a network mainly to share a high-speed (broadband) Internet connection, then these topics are relevant: 

  • Sharing files and folders 
  • Configuring TCP/IP
  • Network attached storage
  • Sharing printers 
Before networks were used to share an Internet connection, their main purpose was to share files. The class covers how to share files and folders on a network of Windows computers, including the various security options. Computers talk to each other on a network using rules/protocols known as TCP/IP. The class covers everything you need to know for setting up and maintaining a TCP/IP network. This includes DNS Servers, Default gateways, DHCP servers and clients, IP addresses and subnet masks and Ethernet. Network attached storage refers to external hard disks that, instead of connecting to a computer, plug into an Ethernet port. This makes the hard disk available to all the computers on the network. To share printers, we discuss using a Windows computer and using a hardware Print Server.

If you are sharing a high speed Internet connection, then a router serves as the heart of the network. The class covers many of the dozens of configuration options for setting up a router, with an emphasis on providing the maximum protection. Learn what to look for when buying a router. 

Anyone connected to the Internet needs to be aware of firewalls. The class covers what firewalls do and why they do it. The topics include:  hardware vs. software firewalls, the concept of ports (a core concept for any firewall), the difference between a good firewall and a poor one, recommendations on choosing a firewall, understanding the alerts from a firewall, testing your firewall and problems that a firewall can not protect you from. Nothing drives home the point of how dangerous the Internet is like watching a firewall protect an exposed computer in real-time. We will watch this live.

One class is devoted to WiFi wireless networks. We cover the different types of WiFi networks and many steps you can take to secure a wireless network including the use of a Virtual Private Networks (VPN).   

How would you like to work late one night but do it at home? Remote control refers to using the computer in front of you to take full control of another computer so that you can, for example, work from home and actually use the computer in your office. We can also do the reverse; if your computer is having a problem, you can let a remote techie take control of your machine to help fix it. 

These subjects will be covered only if time allows. 

The class covers Windows only, Macs and Linux are not covered. The Active Directory feature of Windows networks is also not covered. 

This is a six week class. There are no pre-requisites. 

Networking Links

Online banking too risky? Some say yes by Reuters November 9, 2005. Learn why in the class. See also my Links That Lie web page. 


Windows File Sharing 

Network Attached Storage 

Remote Control 


Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Cell Phone Networks 

Research an IP address 


Hosts File 

Wireless Computer Networks (WiFi)

wifinetnews.com As the name says, news about WiFi By Glenn Fleishman

Review: Belkin's Faster, Cheaper MIMO Router at Mobile Pipeline September 13, 2005. Belkin and Linksys have released second generation Pre-N routers. 

Compare and Contrast Linksys Generation 1 Pre-N with Generation 2 Pre-N. September 2005. 

The Linksys WRT54GX seems to be the best WiFi router. Be sure to update the firmware. Tom's Networking review (last updated Aug. 2005)

Playing All the Angles in a Wireless Home Network Kate Murphy, New York Times. September 11, 2005. An introductory article about WiFi networks. 

Find WiFi certified products at www.weca.net 

JiWire's Wi-Fi Security Test is an ActiveX program that tells you about your WiFi connection 

Stealing your neighbor's Net CNN/Money August 10, 2005. The spread of wireless is opening lots of opportunity to log on for free, but experts urge caution.

New wireless kit by James E. Gaskin in Network World June 13, 2005. A review of the US Robotics wireless network startup kit

Wi-Finally: wireless security that actually works By Brian Livingston in windowssecrets.com May 27, 2005  

You're Ice Cold at a Hot Spot: 7 Reasons Why By David Pogue in the New York Times. Things that can go wrong with WiFi. May 4, 2005

Growth of Wireless Internet Opens New Path for Thieves New York Times March 19, 2005

Deploying Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and WPA2 in the Enterprise by the Wi-Fi Alliance March 2005. PDF. 

The six dumbest ways to secure a wireless LAN March 18, 2005 by George Ou of ZDnet 

Worried about Wi-Fi security? January 19, 2005, CNET News.com

Tom's Networking Wireless articles      Alternate Link

Extend your reach with a long-range router reviews of four pre-N models by CNET. Varying dates. 

How To Steal Wi-Fi And how to keep the neighbors from stealing yours by Paul Boutin in Slate magazine. November 18, 2004. 

Linksys Goes Long with MIMO-based Wireless at ExtremeTech February 2, 2005. A review of a pre-N WiFi router. 

Linksys WRT54GX Router with SRX PC Magazine February 28, 2005  

Belkin's wireless router raises the bar for speed and range The Detroit News November 24, 2004. A review of a pre-N WiFi router. 

Belkin Wireless Pre-N Router By Trusted Reviews March 7, 2005

Belkin Wireless Pre-N Router PC Magazine October 7, 2004  

Belkin Pre-N Wireless Networking the Belkin Web Site 

Always On Wireless WiFlyer PC Magazine. February 28, 2005


Wireless System Architecture: How Wireless Works By Jim Geier Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Cisco Press. October 15, 2004. Apart from transmitting the information over the air, wireless networks are very much like wired networks. However, that seemingly small difference can lead to some very large problems if you don't understand the nuances of this medium. Read this chapter to find out how wireless networks work, and why they need to be administered differently from traditional, wired networks.

Wireless Security By Tom M. Thomas. Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Cisco Press. July 16, 2004. The basics of setting up security for a wireless network. The various ways in which a wireless network can be breached, and provides help in protecting against those attacks. Lisa Phifer's Wireless CORner has many WiFi links. 

Terabeam aims to solve 'last mile' data jam CNN February 2001. Using laser beams for broadband Internet access


Wireless Network (WiFi) Security

RFCs (Requests For Comments) Protocol Rules 

Thin Clients / Server Based Computing 

Protocol Numbers

Assorted Networking Articles

SMC 85 Mbps Turbo Powerline to Ethernet Desktop Adapter  PracticallyNetworked.com. February 27, 2006. A review of a HomePlug network adapter. 

Power lines to deliver Web service to Ill. city November 26, 2005 Associated Press 

Power Companies Enter the High-Speed Internet Market New York Times October 17, 2005. Can Con Ed compete with DSL and cable for high speed Internet access? 

Verizon's Fios Service Moves U.S. Internet Beyond a Snail's Pace by Walter Mossberg September 15, 2005

Karen Kenworthy has a newsletter. The December 8, 2004 issue covers The Internet Protocol, IP Addresses and IP Datagrams

Karen's December 16, 2004 issue covers Protocol Stacks, UDP, TCP and ICMP.  

Windows Networking 101 by Steve Gibson 

Who runs the Internet. An overview of 11 organizations. A Concise Guide to the Major Internet Bodies

Understanding IP Addressing: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know from 3Com. A 75 page PDF file that gets very technical. 

Internet Addressing and Routing First Step Nov 5, 2004 By William Parkhurst. Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Cisco Press. This chapter explains how internet routing works, and how internet addresses are assigned and utilized by network structures. 

How To Use IP And BGP To Troubleshoot Internet Connectivity by David Davis February 2005. 

Why You Want Your Own Network By Brian Underdahl. Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Cisco Press. October 29, 2004. For the novice, networking can seem like an intimidating concept, but this chapter will help you to manage your fear of networks and discover the joys of a home network.

The Battle for Your Automated Home: Insteon, ZigBee, and Z-Wave PC Magazine March 7, 2005

Other Networking classes 

CIFS: A Common Internet File System by Paul Leach and Dan Perry of Microsoft. Though based on the low-level file system implemented by Windows, CIFS is a platform-independent file sharing system.

Networking Related Web Sites

IEEE OUI and Company_id Assignments Answering the burning question: who made that Ethernet network adapter? 

ARIN WHOIS Database Search

www.practicallynetworked.com well regarded 

www.Protocols.com offers a comprehensive listing of data communications protocols, their functions in respect to the OSI model, the structure of the protocol and various errors and parameters.

Charles Spurgeon's Ethernet Web Site provides information about Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) local area network (LAN) technology. This includes the original 10 Megabit per second (Mbps) system, 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet (802.3u), 1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet (802.3z/802.3ab), and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (802.3ae).

The Internet Engineering Task Force has the original specs for IP, TCP and many more (index) in plain text format. There is also an tutorial on TCP/IP.

Extreme Tech networking articles

Windows 2000/XP file and printer sharing problems at Tom's Networking 

Exchange Point Information

Home Net Help.com 

How fast is your Internet connection 

Networking Software

LAN Monitor a program from Karen Kenworthy, free for personal and home use, that lets you see your computer's connections and conversations across the Internet. 

TCPView from Sysinternals.com lets you see all open TCP and UDP endpoints. On Windows NT, 2000 and XP TCPView even displays the name of the process that owns each endpoint. Includes a command-line version, tcpvcon. Free! 

TDIMON from Sysinternals.com. Free! See TCP and UDP activity in real-time with this advanced network API monitoring tool. 

NetStat Live from AnalogX. Free. See network activity in real time. Screen shot

HyperTrace from AnalogX is a free Trace Route utility. Article.

Traceroute.org trace the IP path from many locations on the Internet back to an IP address or Web site. 

VisualRoute from Visualware is a Trace Route utility that graphically displays the IP path through the Internet. Live Demo.

PromqryUI 1.0 from Microsoft detects network interfaces that are running in promiscuous mode.


Networking for Dummies, Seventh Edition by Doug Lowe $16 at Amazon, October  2004. Covers Windows XP SP2

TCP/IP Tutorial and Technical Overview A redbook from IBM is available for free as a PDF

TCP/IP Fundamentals for Microsoft Windows from Microsoft. November 2, 2004. The first 4 chapters of a book are available online for free. An introduction to the basic concepts and principles of TCP/IP, how the most important protocols function, and their basic configuration in the Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003 and Windows® XP operating systems. A discussion of concepts and principles to lay a conceptual foundation for the TCP/IP protocol suite.  

Network+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Second Edition January 2002 $37.79 at Amazon 

Internet Routing Architectures (2nd Edition) by Sam Halabi, Danny McPherson. About Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) that routes traffic from its origin on one network to its destination on another. 

Mike Meyers' Network+ Certification Passport January 2002 $19.79 at Amazon. I was not impressed. 

Connect Apple Macintosh and iMac computers that use LocalTalk to an Ethernet network. CDW web page.

Token Ring network adapters on sale at CDW  Madge RapidFire 3140V2 Token Ring Adapter (slow) and Madge Smart 100/16/4 PCI Ringnode (fast). Also Black Box Ethernet to Token Ring Adapter. Madge makes Token Ring Adapters

Above:  Software | Networking Articles | Web Sites | Books | Wireless


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 michael at michaelhorowitz.com   Last Updated: April 20, 2006  
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