Home Networking Solution

In today’s world, the ‘Internet’ is not simply something you use on a computer; it has become part of every-day life both in the home and on the move.


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Most of us want to connect many devices to our home network to enable them to be linked together and help us in our daily lives. Many devices in the home will connect using wireless (or “wi-fi”) connections whilst others will connect using an Ethernet cable. A few devices may have SIM cards (e.g. mobile phones and tablets) that connect to the mobile networks.

It’s important to plan your home network before deciding which technology or combination is best for you; you don’t want to pick one and purchase the equipment only to find it doesn’t have enough range or flexibility. Make a list of the devices you want to include in your network and have a think about where they will be located in your house, particularly if you were thinking of having a wired network. Check down the list and have a look at which devices will need to adapters (mentioned later) if you’re thinking of choosing a wireless network.


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Types of Networks

The three most popular types of network for the home are wired, wireless and powerline.

Wired home networks require all devices to be connected via Ethernet cables to your broadband router. This option is often best if your equipment is near the router. Your devices will require an Ethernet port, which rules out most smartphones and tablets. Other devices (e.g. Nintendo Wii) may require an additional Ethernet adaptor to be connected this way. If you have a streaming media player connected to your TV the best streaming experience will be obtained by using an Ethernet cable.

Wireless allows the devices to be connected via Wi-Fi, which is needed for smartphones, tablets and a perfect solution both for laptops, many games consoles and if you want to connect many devices without running cables. A wireless network will require a central router and almost all the broadband providers supply a home gateway that connects to the broadband and also offers wireless connectivity, if not you can usually add a separate wireless access point. You will also need to bear range in mind when considering a wireless network.most will cover a reasonable area; there are some exceptions and limits, so it’s best to talk to your broadband provider for advice.

Wired Ethernet

Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi)

Powerline Networking

Wireless Network Security

Wired networks use Ethernet connections between your devices and the router over a Cat5e or Cat6 cable. Although you can buy these cables in many DIY or electronics stores and even supermarkets, they are usually very expensive as compared to buying them online, so do shop around. Your router may also come with one or more cables included.

Wireless LAN is a great idea for home networking if you want to be able to move freely around your home with your devices, such as a laptop or tablet. The most popular wireless specifications used for home networking today is 802.11n. Some very old devices may only support 802.11b or 802.11g, whilst the newest devices will support 802.11ac. The difference between these is the theoretical speed they can support:

Powerline networking is great for homes where wired networking is not a viable option and wireless is impractical, for example due to thick walls or longer distances. HomePlug adaptors are used in existing power sockets to connect computers and other devices to your broadband router. As Powerline networking does not require any new wires, it can be a very cost efficient way to run your network. Although the adaptors do require electricity to run, they don’t substantially add to your electricity bill.

It’s essential to consider security when setting up a network, particularly one where you will be potentially sharing your personal details between devices. This is particularly important if you are running a wireless network as you need to ensure it cannot be used by neighbours or passers-by who could download pirated content from the Internet, leaving you to explain why this has happened from your broadband connection.

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