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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Information Technology is the fastest growing industry in the world IT jobs increased 108 this year and is expected to continue at this growth until 2006 Although not all of us intend on being systems analysts or network administrators a basic knowledge of computer networking is a useful tool in practically any career Also networking in the home is good way to share computer resources and exchange information for very little money and even less effort Before you understand how to network you must understand what networking is Basically computer networking is connecting two or more computers together so they can exchange data This can be done through wires fiber optics with infrared cameras and even through radio waves Most of the time it will be through wires because the other methods are expensive Networks enable companies to provide great services extremely fast and all over the world Before going further into details about networking it is imperative that you understand some of the basic terminology so that you can better grasp the concepts First off you must understand the difference between hardware and software Hardware is anything that you can physically touch in a computer This consists of computer components like monitors printers keyboards hard drives mice CD-ROMs sound cards video cards etc Software is the actual information that is in a computers hard drive or on a disk CD or DVD The disk itself is not software but the data inside it is This could be any program like Windows 98 Word and Excel It is also all your games accounting programs graphics programs etc For the most part the only software that has an effect on networking is your operating system or OS and your protocols An operating system is the software on your computer that runs all your hardware and all your other software Most home computers will run on Microsoft Windows
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