Friday, September 30, 2011

Home Computer Networking Tips

To create a network at home you only need a couple of things:
  • A router or switch
  • LAN Cables with RJ-45 adapters
  • Network adapters on all the computers you want to connect
Yes, the list is that short for home computer networking. Now all you need to do is start measuring the length of each cable going from where the router is to each computer. You want to have cables as short as possible because in some cases signal strength might be influenced by this factor. Also it is desirable to have easier cable management to be able to hide the cables efficiently when the network is finally running. make sure that the cable is sufficiently long enough so that if you need to shift the computers, the network cable can reach that place.
Some people have asked me whether they need professional help and I usually think that you don’t. If all you want to do is share an internet connection you can simply connect the hardware pieces mentioned in the list and in 80 percent of the cases your computers will be instantly connected to the internet. If that is not the case, you will need to use the generally intuitive setup wizard that is integrated into the software part of the router. So, in conclusion I don’t think you need an expert for home computer networking.
How expensive is this sort of networking as we compare it to a company network? Well, the cables and RJ-45 adapters are pretty cheap (maybe 20 dollars for a normal sized house with 4 computers). The router itself can be as cheap as 20 dollars (I recommend spending a bit more money on this one to make sure that you will not have problems with it). As far as the network adapters are concerned, all computers built after 2000 come with an on board LAN card so you don’t need to spend any kind of money on those. Totally, I would have to say that it costs roughly 50 dollars to benefit from home computer networking.
You can find that it is even cheaper if all you need is a simple network to play some games with your brother/sister. All you need to purchase in this case is a crossover LAN cable and you are good to go. If one of those computers has two network adapters installed you can even share an internet connection with this type of small home network.
Note that in home computing, a network switch would be the best logical choice, both in terms of cost and effectiveness. if you are going for a wireless network, then I suggest that due importance is given to security. You wouldn’t want un authorized people to log into your network and steal the data from your computer.

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