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Home computer networks can be beneficial in a number of ways. They can allow internet connection sharing, multiplayer gaming, file and printer sharing, etc. In most cases setting up a network and avoiding its pitfalls require some knowledge of the process. Let us discuss some of the home network problems that can spring up often. The choice of proper hardware can be a problem for the absolute beginner. There are an overwhelming number of options available and all options are not suitable for all situations. Proper research is vital before choosing network hardware and software. Another one of the common home network problems is that all areas of the house are not covered by the network. Providing LAN cable to some parts of the house is impractical and even Wi-Fi is not able to reach certain portions. It is essential that the network layout must be carefully considered before installation and user must be prepared to make the necessary concessions. Connectivity problems are quite frequent as well. Sometimes the computers are unable to "see" each other on the network or "talk" to a hardware device such as a printer. Sometimes internet connectivity is failing. These problems become frustrating when the user knows that he/she has installed the network correctly and done everything by the book. Often such problems are cured by taking a step-by-step approach towards the solution of the problem and checking out all the necessary requirements for correct functionality. Sometimes some networks have special computers or devices that refuse to connect to the rest of the systems. These special devices may include gaming consoles, computers with old operating systems, a wireless system on a wired network, etc. Because these devices are the odd ones in the group, they can have problems in connecting with the other devices. Often some special hardware, software and/or settings can be used to solve problems related to such devices. Another one of the frequently encountered home network problems is failure of some application to work. Online gaming, peer to peer sharing, instant messaging, etc are good examples. Tweaking the setting of these programs often gets them going. Common home network problems also include slow performance and unexpected breakdowns. Slow performance might be the result of a hardware or software problem or a virus/spyware might be the culprit. Reasons for unexpected breakdowns range from overheating/overloading of the wireless access point to outdated or incompatible network software.

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What You Don't Know About Home Networks Could Be Costing You More Than You Think