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Types of Ethernet Devices

Just as there are many ways to cable an Ethernet, there are many different devices that make a computer able to communicate via Ethernet.  Some computers, for example those built by Sun, Silicon Graphics, and Apple's iMacs, have Ethernet built into them.  All you have to do is hook a cable to one of these, set up your network information using tools provided by the operating system of your computer, and your LAN is running.

However, if you are like most computer enthusiasts, you own at least one PC -- a personal computer based on an Intel 386, 486 or Pentium central processing unit (CPU).  This Guide covers how to network using Windows, which runs on PCs, which usually do not have have built-in Ethernet interfaces.  So if you plan to network two or more PCs, you get to learn how to install Ethernet network interface cards (NICs).  You poor thing.

Oops, sorry to frighten you.  Actually, installing a NIC can often be easy.  If it turns out it isn't easy, at least it will be a character-building experience.  So let's get on with building character!

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