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Broadband Bible, Desktop Edition

Broadband Bible, Desktop Edition

James E. Gaskin

ISBN: 978-0-764-56951-7

Jul 2004

614 pages

Select type: Paperback

Product not available for purchase


  • This book outlines everything people need to make the move from a dial-up connection to an always-on DSL or cable Internet connection that is up to forty times faster than a standard modem connection
  • Nielsen estimated there were thirty-nine million U.S. homes with broadband access in April 2003
  • Gaskin explains available broadband options, shows how to pick the right one, describes wireless alternatives inside and outside of buildings, details how to connect more than one computer to a home broadband connection, and provides information about securing your wireless network
  • This new Desktop Edition format provides need-to-know coverage of all topics related to broadband home networking in an easy-to-use format that will appeal to novices and techies alike
  • Offers a useful customer service FAQ and a Web directory appendix that lists Web sites for additional utilities, tools, games, and more


Part I: Determining Which Broadband Is Right for You.

Chapter 1: Why You Need Broadband Internet Access.

Chapter 2: Getting Familiar with Broadband Technology.

Chapter 3: Types of Broadband Providers.

Chapter 4: Types of Alternative Broadband Providers.

Chapter 5: Emerging Broadband Service Options.

Chapter 6: Pros and Cons: Choosing Your Best Broadband Option.

Part II: Practicing Safe Broadband.

Chapter 7: Understanding Computer Security.

Chapter 8: Examining Your Home Broadband Hookup.

Chapter 9: Examining the Multitenant Broadband Hookup.

Part III: Moving from Stand-Alone PCs to a Network.

Chapter 10: Server and Storage Options.

Chapter 11: What You Need to Know About Desktop Networking.

Chapter 12: What You Need to Know About TCP/IP Networks and Routing.

Chapter 13: Backup and Disaster Recovery.

Part IV: Linking Your Network Devices.

Chapter 14: Wired Connection Options.

Chapter 15: Wireless Connection Options.

Chapter 16: Wireless Security in Depth.

Chapter 17: Avoiding Wireless Eavesdropping and Hacking.

Part V: Troubleshooting.

Chapter 18: Troubleshooting Internet Access Problems.

Chapter 19: Troubleshooting Your Side of the Connection.

Appendix A: Quick Hits Roundup.

Appendix B: Additional Web Directory Listings.

Appendix C: Broadband, Internet, and Networking Definitions.


“…with more exchanges being upgraded next year it might be worth getting a copy of this book.” (Shetland Times, 3rd December 2004)

""…provides plenty of useful information…"" (Windows XP Made Easy Magazine, August 2006)

Companion Site

Author Links

James Gaskin's Network World column:

...and the blog that goes along with it:

For more information about this book - visit the author's website at:

There are a variety of actual newsletters collected on the NWfusion site that address the same issues as in the book, such as:

To read some older material by James Gaskin visit:

Music Sites: Listen and Download

GarageBand: Discovering the best independent music. does a good job showing the most popular tracks in each main genre with their Charts pages. Many of the songs allow you to download an MP3 file for personal use. GarageBand also makes it easy to find CDs for sale by groups, it shows whether they have live gigs planned (although those don't seem to be up to date), and you can leave messages for the artist or group. The site also helps you find groups who "sound like" another band.

SoundClick: What a click!

Perhaps the most popular of the music sites after the unfortunate demise of, SoundClick appears to be chasing that market full tilt. They promise to create playlists so people can string together their favorite tunes, like did, and they now show the number of plays a tune has gotten.

CDBaby: A little CD store full of independent music.

Built by a working musician trying to market his own music, CD Baby now showcases nearly 55,000 CDs, all straight from the artist. You can listen to tracks CDs, search genres you like, and crank up your PC speakers.

Internet Underground Music Archives

The Internet Underground Music Archive (IUMA) started in 1993, one of the first music sites on the infant WWW. Also includes a streaming radio station, and a strong focus on offering multiple tracks from every artist. Free MP3 downloads, streams in MP3 or Real format, links to CD sales and the like.

Vita-minic: download all the free music you want

Connected to IUMA, VitaminiC offers much more international exposure and song protection by using Windows Media format files.

Ampcast - another site to try to fill the hole from

Another artist-oriented site, Ampcast started in 1998 and already includes playlists to gather favorites together. They stream plenty of tracks, provide downloads, and sell CDs directly or direct you to other sites.

Acid Planet: your world of music (especially if you use Acid music software)

One of many sites sponsored by music tool vendors, this Sony-owned site to showcase artists using their products. In this case, Sony now owns Acid Pro and Sound Forge, among others.

BeSonic (English and German)

Not only another music product vendor (TerraTec sound hardware), BeSonic offers a ton of European groups (TerraTec is a German company). Their excellent Mood Radio screenshot is at the beginning of this section. They also provide a visually cool artists "cube" to help locate groups playing the type of music you want. Many artists provide a playlist of their favorite BeSonic artists, offering another way to get some interesting connections to different artists.

ArtistLaunch: The sound of independents

Pretty self-explanatory, but this site adds some nice touches with a CD catalog listing CDs for sale by genre. The graphics are large enough to actually see the CD cover, an unusual idea for many sites.

DMusic: Your digital music oasis

Yet another artist promotion site, with an icon by songs to let you send a friend a link to that song. Clever marketing.

Streaming radio sites:

Video Sites: Stream or Download

While the computer has yet to supplant the TV as a great place to view films, there are plenty of sites offering video that works just fine on your computer. In a few more years with a bit more hardware, you will be able to stream broadband video directly to your TV, but not yet. However, many companies use computer-based training, which includes video and audio clips. More fun than training films, however, are the Web sites filled with interesting video stories you won't see on your TV anytime soon, so enjoy them on your computer now.

Mainstream and advertising supported

Atom Films: Instant Entertainment

Originally independent and pushing the Internet bubble, is now owned by Macromedia, the people who make Shockwave and Flash. Still edgy, since Macromedia appeals to many creative people, is a fun place to visit.

IFilms, including Instant iFilm

Another edgy entry, includes more adult short films than you may want your children to view. But the Rated R ones are still funny or thought provoking, or both. Some of the famous short films that have been e-mailed around the Internet started here.

Guide to new and upcoming movies and DVD releases

Not edgy, unless you think movie trailers for R movies push the boundaries of good taste. But when you hear about a new movie through the grapevine, the trailer is usually here waiting for you.

Music TV

Used to be edgy, now alternately mainstream, corporate, tired, greedy, or historical. But there are a ton of music videos here, and few things on the Web benefit more from a broadband connection than music videos.

All major network television Web sites

ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and even Fox offer plenty of streaming video, although most from the "TV rerun" closet. The news sides of the major networks often include video from other parts of the world not shown on network television often.


Apple: See the new iPod ads

Apple computers didn't invent multimedia computing, but don't say that to a Macintosh fan unless you want to fight. The QuickTime player is a must-have, even when you already have Windows Media Player and Real Player on your system.

A broadband test drive

Yes, a car magazine site. Look to the bottom of the home page for the Video section, and enjoy car videos almost never seen on TV or anywhere except a dealership. Enjoy them at home without a salesperson bugging you to sign on the line.

Odd and thrilling (and funny) independent

Award winning sites from all over

This group picks the best of the Web each year and shows the winners and runner's up. Not all of these are videos, obviously, but the ones they have will amaze you. They are all actual award winning sites and you will agree the level of quality rises far above any site collection you've seen before.

Music videos, film, music, anime and others

Music videos you won't see on, and short films you won't see on the other film sites.

Laugh at some strange things

Cable access meets the Web. No clue who is behind this, or what the site hosts are thinking (or smoking). That's a joke, because some of these videos are hysterical.

Laugh a little more, eh

Sketch humor translated successfully to the Internet. Canadian humor loosed upon the world.

Web Cam Sites

A Webcam network

Shows some of the most interesting webcam sites I've ever seen, including an office in Tehran and

Watch the rain in Spain

Weather cams galore.

High-end Webcams

This is the company who made the cameras for the check cashing monitoring project. They also sell many of the traffic cameras and other used in public places.

Broadband telephones

One of the first companies to offer VoIP products to the consumer and small business market.

Game Sites

General Support Sites

Clearing house for broadband information and rumors

Speed Test Sites


There needs to be some place where Web sites that don't fit easily into the flow of a chapter can be listed, so this is it. Many times, a site is slightly off the track of the chapter narrative, so putting it in the chapter doesn't fit well. Other times a site may have some valuable information on the topic, but the site itself focuses on a different topic.

Sometimes, I find sites doing my research that don't exactly fit, but are too cool to forget and ignore. So here they are, organized by topic.

Reference Sites

The Web Encyclopedia for technology

Obviously slanted toward technical areas, but the host ( includes a wealth of other content, including a Small Business Computing Essentials area.

The TechEncyclopedia

Presented by competing magazine publisher CMP, this encyclopedia site often includes diagrams and other linked information.

The standard for real-world encyclopedias now online

Anyone not regard the Britannica as one of the leading real world reference sources for the past 50 years or more? Now they're online.

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers

If you want the detailed scope and the product is electrical or electronic, you can find it here. Or at least find the standards the product is supposed to follow.

Broadband everything (almost) here

This site has more information about more broadband providers than any other I found. If you have a question and this site doesn't have the answer, you have a tough question.

DSL-Related Sites

The "official" DSL site

The DSL Forum would like you to believe they are the official site, but I think there are many other definitive DSL site options out there. At least this is a good place to catch up on global information.

DSL for consumers

The DSL Forum's view of the world of DSL for consumers.

More DSL specifics in depth

Another site with plenty of information about various flavors of DSL and working with your provider.

Cable-Related Sites

National Cable & Telecommunications Association

Read what the cable industry says about itself.

Cable Modems Galore

More information about cable modem innards than I ever thought existed.

Cable Modems Galore again, and more

Another site full of information about cable modems and other home networking help.

Entertainment Sites

Customize your streaming radio

An interesting site with a different presentation model.

Modern Alternative rock

Lots of undiscovered artists, some undiscovered talent, and forums to talk about both.

More independent music

This site offers streaming radio and plenty of information about the bands, including a 1-10 rating system for tunes.

Music lists deep and cheap

An interesting approach to selling online music. This site varies the price based on music popularity. Popular music is 90 cents, or even a little more, per song for download. Some music, especially independent artists, can be had for a nickel or dime per song. I found the Greatest Hits of the Chad Mitchell Trio for a dime a song.

Linux Desktop Information Sites

Run Linux on your PC

Collection of information, software, reviews, advice, arguments, and fascinating advancements in the world of running Linux on your desktop. I guarantee that a Linux desktop package for less that $100 will give you everything that Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Office System will give you, and you'll have fewer problems.

Linux questions answered

More people in the Linux community take time helping new users than in any computer community I've ever seen. If you have questions, they will help you.

A small business guide for Linux on the desktop

Good overview article about moving your small business to Linux. Save money, save time, work smarter. A good combination.

Wireless Sites

WiMax subscribers in NY, Boston, Chicago, and other cities

This company has working WiMax installations in multiple northeast cities. I interviewed the cofounder for a story in Network World's NWFusion Small Business Technology site (see my link at

WiMax news and information

Expect many more WiMax information sites to appear as 2004 turns into 2005.

The European world of wireless standards

News of wireless implementation in Europe, where many countries are more conducive to wireless advances than is the US.

Get in touch with the universe (they say)

A dealer site, but full of interesting links, products, and information about broadband wireless.

Personal Area Network wireless

This group wants your pants pocket devices to talk to your shirt pocket devices without wires. Any maybe your shoe phone, too.

Wireless LAN Security

The official title is "The Unofficial 802.11b Security Web Page." How's that for irony? But there are more security tips here than in most places.

Security Config

More tools for the paranoid. I just hope they aren't tools for the stalkers as well.

Steve Gibson's Products

Outstanding products, including free security checking software. Well worth a regular visit.

Security options for businesses

Plenty of information and products for companies working to improve their security profile.

Security Sites

The Government's site

Your tax dollars at work helping to fight cybercrime.

The Encyclopedia of Computer Security

More security information than you want to read at any one time, or the nightmares will keep you up as they kept me from sleeping.

Maximum Security for a Connected World

Less establishment and more street, this security information strips away any veneer of safety you may think you have when computing.

Political Sites of all Persuasions

The Recording Industry

Amazingly clueless group who should stop suing their customers and figure out a way to harness the demand for online music for the good of their artists and the fans.

Defending Freedom in the Digital World

The antidote to groups like the RIAA who are trying to force obsolete intellectual property ideas onto new technology.

Political commercials

A Web site created for the contest to find a commercial that CBS refused to air during the 2004 Super Bowl. Maybe if CBS had put this on the air, people would have had something to talk about beside Janet Jackson.

Challenging the Status Quo

The group that sponsored the contest for the Bush in 30 Seconds commercials. Too bad they got less exposure at the 2004 Super Bowl than Janet.

Miscellaneous Sites

Advocates for Fiber to the home

They want more fiber in our broadband diet. Good for them.

The Many Paradoxes of Broadband

Scholarly article with questions, answers, and though-provoking arguments.