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Uniting Your Computers, Laptops and Wireless Electronics

by Paul Sanders

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Man using a laptop computer on his home wireless network

Separately, each of your computers, laptops and other electronics serve individual purposes. Together, all of your electronics can share files, Internet access and data storage; compatibility makes handling your digital life that much easier. Try some of these tips to start making computers, laptops and wireless devices work together more easily.

Connecting Wireless Devices:

  1. Set up your home wireless network. Most computers, laptops and even hand-held devices have wireless capabilities. You can set up a home network with a wireless router and an Internet connection. You can also use signal repeaters and boosting antennae to eliminate any wireless "dead" spots where your computers, laptops and other electronics can't get a signal.

  2. Use a networked home server. Part of reason for uniting your computers, laptops and wireless devices is to make file sharing easier between devices. This will be easier with some centralized storage, like a home server or networked external hard drive. Your computers, laptops and smartphones can then access files directly from the server, without connecting to other devices directly. Networked storage is also a good way to set up a reliable backup for your computers, laptops and other devices to duplicate important files.

  3. Choose devices with compatible features. Your electronics don't necessarily have to come from the same manufacturer to be compatible -- although it helps. There are a few compatibility issues to look out for:

    Compatibility Issues

    • Signal: Make sure your computers, laptops, hand-held gaming systems and other devices use a wireless signal that's compatible with your wireless router.

    • Operating system: Try to have the same operating system installed on all of your computers, laptops and netbooks. An older operating system may have trouble communicating with a newer one.

    • Updates: Make sure you do regular software updates on your computers, laptops and other devices; such updates often address compatibility issues.

  4. Protect your devices from malware. On a shared network, a virus or spyware on one machine can more easily spread to other computers, laptops and other devices. Keep your network signal encrypted and make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date on all of your computers.

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