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How to Set up a Home Windows Hacker Lab

This is a newbie-friendly chapter from the 3rd and 4th editions of Carolyn Meinel's The Happy Hacker book. You can find a more advanced version of this information, including how to build routers and network many operating systems, in her book, Überhacker!

In this chapter you will learn:

Wait!  Isn't Win95/98 Hacking Lame????

Ethernet networks of Windows 95/98 computers are a common networking scheme in schools, businesses, and even the military.  I recently was a subcontractor to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Off-Line Intrusion Detection Program.  The people running this program say that even in the security-conscious US Dept. of Defense, the majority of their computers that have access to the Internet are on humble Ethernet LANs populated by Windows 95 and 98 computers. 

So next time someone claiming to be an uber-elite hacker makes fun of you for doing research on a Windows Ethernet LAN, remember to quietly snicker.

What Is Ethernet?

Today some 80% of all LANs use Ethernet.  That's because it is inexpensive, (mostly) easy to set up and run, and because it will allow you to run Internet Protocol over your LAN.  This makes it a natural for hooking up computers to the Internet. 

Ethernet is a "protocol," that is, an agreed upon way of doing things.  Ethernet protocol is a way to transmit data over short distances (of about a soccer field in length).  Ethernet is not a specific physical device.  Rather, it is a technique that can use many different kinds of cables, with electricity or light used to carry data.  Ethernet also allows other data transmission protocols to be used within it, for example TCP/IP (the protocol that runs the Internet), Novell or NetBUI.  So you will have many choices about how to physically set up an Ethernet, and what kind of networking software to use with it.

More about setting up a home hacker lab --->


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