Requirements to Connect your PC to a Network

Unlike a Local Area Network, where the workstations are normally connected through cables, connection to a Wide Area Network is done through telephone lines, and so a telephone connection is a pre-requisite.

To connect to a WAN, you need a device called a modem, and a communication software for dialing and establishing a connection with another PC. ProComm, ProComm Plus, pcANYWHERE, Telix and Crosstalk are some well-known communication packages.

Lastly, you must subscribe and get an account to become a user of a WAN or BBS that you want to use.

The general features provided by a communication package are:

  • Operation in host and remote modes: If the communication software is running in the host mode on your computer, other computers can connect themselves to it and utilize its services. Your machine is called the host as it provides its resources to the others. When you connect to another host and utilize its services, you are said to be a remote user. In host mode, the communication software can handle the task of providing services while the host computer can be left unmanned.
  • Sending and receiving of files: This could be used to send a file to one or multiple destinations. Files are normally compressed and then transferred to save time on the network.
  • Automatic logging of incoming data to printer or disk: You may want to use this when you want messages/files that are received to be saved on disk or printed without prompting and disturbing your other activities on the PC.
  • Recording and playback of sessions and calls: This helps you keep track of all the calls made, duration and amount of data transfer for each one of them. You can also re-run a call. This is useful if the transfer of the same data has to be repeated.
  • Providing a Process Control Language: This helps you to program repetitive functions such as unattended file transfer to multiple destinations after business hours.