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Table Of Contents  The TCP/IP Guide
 9  Networking Fundamentals

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Networking Fundamentals
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What Is Networking?
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Introduction to Networking

In this day and age, networks are everywhere. The Internet has also revolutionized not only the computer world, but the lives of millions in a variety of ways even in the “real world”. We tend to take for granted that computers should be connected together. In fact, these days, whenever I have two computers in the same room, I have a difficult time not connecting them together!

Given the ubiquitousness of networking, it's hard to believe that the field is still a relatively young one, especially when it comes to hooking up small computers like PCs. In approaching any discussion of networking, it is very useful to take a step back and look at networking from a high level. What is it, exactly, and why is it now considered so important that it is assumed that most PCs and other devices should be networked?

In this section, I provide a quick introduction to networking, discussing what it is all about in general terms. I begin by defining networking in the most general terms. I then place networking in an overall context by describing some of its advantages and benefits, as well as some of its disadvantages and costs.

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