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An introduction to the concept of home networking and a broad overview of the benefits, as well as types of networks you can choose from.

A home network is a great way to get more value from your internet connection. With a home network, you don't have to pay for separate internet connections to your computer, tablet and smartphone. You can share a single connection among several devices. Even if you only have one computer, a home network is a great convenience, allowing you to connect wirelessly to the internet and use your notebook computer anywhere in the house.

Now, here's how it works. Your home internet connection is a bit like your TV antenna in that it comes into your house at a single point. This is either your phone line, a dedicated cable or a 3G receiver. Similar to a TV antenna where you can split the signal between a telly in the lounge and one in the bedroom, your internet connection can be split between different devices in different rooms. To do this, you need a router. This takes a plug from your modem and acts like a sort of signal box, allowing multiple computers to use your single internet connection.

Computers can connect to a router using a blue cable like this one. It's called an Ethernet cable but many routers also have WiFi, a wireless standard that lets computers connect via radio antennas. When you don't have to connect by wires, you can use a portable computer anywhere. You can browse the web from the couch, the bedroom or out on the balcony all with WiFi. Remember too that WiFi is especially important if you have an iPad or another tablet since these devices can only go online wirelessly.

Apart from talking to the internet, computers on your home network can talk to each other. This means you can swap files, say download a large number of photos from the PC of a visiting relative without having to use cables, DVDs or even USB thumb drives.

You can also back-up all the important information on your PC to a hard drive like this one and it's done automatically and without wires over your home network. It means if your PC is damaged, stolen, or even if you sell it, all your files are still safe on the network.

A home network gives you security, flexibility and value for money. Set yours up today.