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Home networking interactive training review

How to make learning something new boring

If only it were that simple...

Our Verdict

Four nightmarish hours of our lives that we'll never get back


  • Covers the basics in some detail


  • Tedious and misleading

    Light on content despite being so long

    Far too much waffle

If networking your home sounds like a daunting task, a tutorial to explain all the tricky bits for you might seem appealing. Unfortunately, this particular offering from Thomson Skills is more likely to add to your confusion than dispel it.

This tutorial is, stylistically, disastrous. The narrator's nasal delivery makes him sound as though he has the flu, and he pronounces every networking term as though it's in quotation marks, even "wireless network".

He also uses terrible phrases: instead of "using the PCs and printers on our network", we're "leveraging the computing resources in our home network environment". It's just irritating. There's a map screen that enables you to select a lesson title, but you can't fast forward within lessons, forcing you to listen to the full dose of his simplistic droning every single time.

Proceed with caution

A clear warning sign when you first encounter this software has to be the sheer size of the presentation: the tutor witters on for an incredible four hours about home networking. Much of this material is repetition, telling us what we're about to learn, recapping what we've just learnt and generally stringing things out. The result is a highly frustrating experience that makes you long for the narrator to get to the point.

Despite being so lengthy, the tutorial is light on content. An agonisingly long time is spent convincing us of the benefits of home networking - a pointless exercise given that the viewer has just purchased the disc - and then testing us on this information.

Basic principles are covered in detail, but more technical aspects are skipped over. For example, we're shown how to change settings without any explanation of what the settings are for.

Details are missing and the net result is that we don't ever really find out how to set up a home network. Never have we had our time so comprehensively wasted.