Computer networks are no longer only available to large corporations with extensive information technology departments and dozens or hundreds of computers to manage and deploy. Today, a computer network can be set up in any home at any time: it requires neither specialized technical know-how or expensive equipment. Additionally, the simple act of connecting two computers together is more than just yoking one hard drive to another to create more space for more files; it can let you surf the Internet with your laptop next to the pool, listen to music in your study, look up recipes in your kitchen, or play games between two Playstation consoles. The question is: how do you do it?
Most homes today are equipped with DSL modems. They do one thing, and do it very well: pipe the Internet into your house. With them, you can connect one computer to it and surf the Web, comfortably and quickly, from your couch or the desk in your office. That's about the extent of it. But if you want to do more, if you want to share your Internet connection with more than one computer, or share a printer or external hard drive with a series of computer, or want to create a wireless network to free yourself from the tyranny of cables and ports, you're going to have to upgrade from your garden-variety DSL modem to something a little more powerful and a little more flexible: you're going to have to install either a router or a gateway.
Routers and gateways provide a number of functions that mere DSL modems do not. Specifically, they can route or share one Internet connection with multiple computers or other Internet-enabled devices in the home, including gaming consoles, media centers, and digital media players, etc. Most routers and gateways also feature more than one Ethernet port, which allows the user to set up a wired network. A wireless router adds the ability to set up a wireless network. All of these features, and more, create a safe, secure, and powerful network of devices that extend and expand the reach of your computers, making your life easier and more productive. Some of the higher-end routers (such as Actiontec's Wireless Broadband Router) even have the ability to move television shows and movies from your television's set-top box or DVR (digital video recorder) to computers or other mobile devices. Think of the possibilities!
The difference between a router and gateway is quite simple. A router does not include a DSL modem, which means that it will need to plug into your current DSL modem in order to connect to the Internet. A gateway includes both the router and the modem all in box.
Since most DSL users prefer to have one device, you may want to consider upgrading your DSL modem to a DSL gateway. Most gateways come in two varieties, those with wireless and those without and are available at a wide range of electronics stores, such as Best Buy and Circuit City, as well as online at sites such as Amazon, Buy.com, or the Actiontec online store. If you purchase DSL through either Qwest or Verizon, certified wireless gateways for either service are available at many of the retail stores above. Order today and do things with your electronic device that you never dreamed of before.