Component Problems”You Can't Get There from Here
Just as in a large corporate network, you might have a problem with one or more
For example, most network adapters have two LEDs you can examine. One is called the link LED and the other is used to
Another thing to think about is that many small hubs or switches have an "uplink" port that allows you to connect the device to another one when you want to expand your small LAN. The pinout for this port is not the same as it is for the other ports. The transmit and receive pins are swapped. If you need to plug a computer into an uplink port, you can usually do so, but there will probably be a small button or switch you need to use to change it from an uplink port to a standard port.
Secure Those Cables!
A common problem with small offices or home offices is that you are not using a structured wiring plan. That is, you just string cables from here to there and plug things in. If you have a twisted-pair network cable lying on the floor near your desk, use tie-wraps, scotch tape, or anything else that you can to make sure that the cable doesn't just lie on the floor where you can roll over it with a
If you suspect a problem with the cable, trace it from the network card back to the hub or switch/router to be sure that it hasn't been damaged. Never try to "stretch" a cable or pull too hard on it when you are moving things about. This too can damage the cable and cause it to generate so many errors that the network becomes unavailable to the attached computer.
If you have installed a router/switch device between your network and a broadband Internet connection, be sure to read the manual thoroughly and understand how the device should be configured. Many come with default settings, but you need to fill in some information, such as the address of the broadband link, if your service provider gives you a static address. In most cases, the provider will be using DHCP also, so you won't have to make any changes. If you do have to make changes, write them down and keep the information handy for later troubleshooting efforts.
Earlier in this chapter, you read that it's not a good idea to mix computers you use for play with those you use for business on the same network. If you do, you are just asking for trouble. If you play Internet
Remember that the firewall capabilities of a small switch/router are minimal and are designed to protect you from simple attacks from the Internet. It might be that the default settings are very stringent, and if you end up making changes that relax the firewall settings, you might also be opening a door that can allow bad things into your small LAN.
For more information about how firewalls work and the features that are important, see Chapter 49, "Firewalls."