You know, back in my day, each household had one Internet connection, and one computer connected to it. None of this Internet-sharing-wireless-router jibber-jabber. If you wanted to browse the Web, print something, listen to MP3s, or anything else, you used that computer. Now, the first thing every house guest asks after they take off their coat is "So, what's your Wi-Fi password?" The nerve!

With the holidays come house guests, and those house guests often bring smartphones, media players, tablets, laptops, and e-readers -- all with a Wi-Fi connection. But even hardened PC veterans who crimp their own Ethernet cables don't always manage their Wi-Fi network that well. That's why we've compiled a few handy basic Wi-Fi tutorials that walk you through the basics of securing your network and answer fundamental questions like "Why do I need a router?" and "How safe is my Wi-Fi encryption, really?".

And that's not all. Once you've graduated past the basics, we'll walk you through our best tips and tweaks to optimize your Wi-Fi network for the fastest connection and best coverage possible. When was the last time you updated your wireless router's firmware? (Probably the last time you needed an excuse to escape a family holiday get-together.) So get to reading, quick. Your Wi-Fi network isn't going to tune itself.

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