Home Networking, Basic Understanding of Home Networks: If you have more than one computer user in your home and still have arguments about who gets to connected to the Internet, It’s time to consider installing a network.
If you are new to home networking, this is the place for you.
Our page is written for the beginner and explains everything you need to know in an very easy to understand format.
The cost of installing a home network is affordable for most do-it-yourselfers and the project can be completed in just a few hours.
Prices start at around $99.00 for a 2 machine network using standard Ethernet hardware, up to several hundred dollars for one of the newer technologies such as wireless, USB or phone line networking.
If you share your Internet connection: You will be able to connect to the net from any network computer at the same time.
Every computer shares a single Internet connection, whether it’s through a deal up modem, cable modem or DSL. There’s no need to have a separate connection or account for each computer.
If you have a Broadband connection, this is the best way to get the most out of your monthly service charge and probably the best reason to have a home network.
Share date: Because you can see what’s on any disk drive on any networked computer, you can easily copy or move files from one machine to another.
Game Play head to head: You won’t have to play against stranger on the Internet. Home rivalries can be work out by playing networkable games such as Unreal Tournament, or the kids can host a multiplayer game party.
Home Networking, what it takes: Best of all, home networks are faster, less expensive and easier to set up than ever.
If you’ve added a printer or scanner to your system and installed new software, you can handle the setup of a home network. It’s easiest with a kit.
The hardest part is deciding which network technology will best fit your needs and planning properly so you have all the right pieces.
Here’s a rundown of the basic component of every home network.
The Basics of Local Area Networking: Today local area networking is a shared access technology. This means that all of the devices attached to the LAN share a single communication s medium, usually a coaxial, twisted pair, or fiber optic cable.
The physical connection to the network is made by putting a network interface card (NIC) inside the computer and connecting it to the network cable.
Once the physical connection is in place it is up to the network software to manage communications between stations on the network.
The Media: The media carries the message. Networks use of two basic media types to connect computers, Wires that run to each computer or radio waves that carry network transmission wirelessly.
Wired networks are faster and less susceptible to interference from stray signals from other house hold devices (such as your cordless phone).
Wireless networks let you move computer to any location in the yard, while you remain connected to the network.
If one of your computers is a laptop, a wireless network gives you maximum mobility.
If planning on connecting two or more computers together to share files, printers and other resources is your goal, this page will introduce you to the concept of networking.
This page will not only help you troubleshoot, they’ll show you how to do system check ups, fix file sharing and printer sharing problems, and verify network security.
Adapters and hubs: An adapter is an electronic device that connects a computer to the media, thereby connecting the computer to each other.
Some adapters plug into a PCI expansion slot inside a desktop computer or into a PC Card slot on a laptop: these adapters are often referred to as network interface cards or NICs.
Some adapters connect to a port on the outside of the computer, such as the parallel or USB port. Each computer on the network needs a network interface card.
Hubs: The Central Connection Point. The hub is one of the most important elements of a LAN.
It is a central connection point for wiring the network and all stations on the LAN are linked to each other through the hub.
The term hub is generally associated with 10BASE-T Ethernet networks while the term multistation access unit (MAU), is used to refer to the Token Ring wiring concentrator.
These two LAN technologies use different media access methods hubs and MAUs perform different media access functions internally, but at one level they perform the same function: they are both network wiring concentrators.
Some networks require special hardware components so the computer will communicate with each other.
For example, Ethernet networks always need a central connection unit called a hub or router, Wi-Fi wireless networks always need an “access point.” To share Internet access, you’ll need a gateway.
This is sometimes built into a hob or access point but can often be one of the computer on the network.
Connection software: Both Windows and the Mac OS have built-in networking software for sharing files, printers and even Internet connections.
Usually, the only time you need to add networking software is if you want to use a Mac and Windows computer on the same network.
In this case you’ll have to buy a home networking product that supplies this capability, such as Miramar Systems $199. PC Maclan at www.pcmaclan.com.
Main types of networking!
There are five main types of home networking technology available: Fast Ethernet, phone line, power line, radio frequency and 802.11b (Wi-Fi). The first three use wires to connect computer: the latter two are wireless.
Fast Ethernet: For speed, For the fastest home network, choose Fast Ethernet also called 100Base-T. With a transmission speed of 100Mbps, it is far faster than any other home solution.
If you have game players in the house, this is the way to go. Fast Ethernet generally requires installing adapters in your desktop computers. You can add laptops to the network with PC Cards.
Fast Ethernet: can be costly because you have to run special wiring, called Category 5.
But is cheaper than the wireless networking setup. If your Cable or DSL internet service provider gives you IP address that you can share using a network hub.
A network hub provides a very inexpensive, fast and very flexible way of sharing your Internet connection.
The Cost: This could cost anywhere from $75 to $150 per computer, but it can vary greatly depending on house design.
You can eliminate the extra wiring costs if you put all the computers on the network in the same room. A 10-foot cable costs about $20, and an NIC card will cost you $20.
You can also save money by wiring the network your self. Note: that for every 328 feet of cable you use, you’ll also need a device called a repeater, it will boosts the network signal that fades over distance.
3com’s HomeConnect Home Network Kit Price $159 is a good example of Fast Ethernet. At (www.3com.com).
Regular Ethernet, which operates at 10Mbps, doesn’t make sense any longer for home network. The cost of the hardware isn’t much cheaper than FastEthernet, and the wiring cost are the same. Os go with the FastEthernet!
Traditional Ethernet: Pros-inexpensive to buy, very fast w/ speed up to 100 Mbps.
Cable can be run up to 328 feet. Additional cards are inexpensive with costs under $20.00 each for 10/100 Mbps cards.
Most common type of network in use. Cons-cable needs to run to each machine. You must open up your computer to install each card.
Building a home network by using one of two way!
Kits: Building a home network by using one of two ways: Using a kit or buying a kit is easier because you know that all of the parts work together.
Use PCI or USB adapters for a desktop system, and PC card for laptop, try to match the types that your computer manual. And or search for specs on the manufacturers Web site.
If you are setting up a home network for the first time, it would probably be a wise choice to buy a network kit since they include everything you need to install a two computer network.
Kits include 2 network cards, a hub, cable and installation instructions.
The one thing you do need to pay attention to when buying a kit is the length of the CAT 5 cable that is included with the kit.
Most manufacturers only include a 25′ long cable.
In most home installations, that is not long enough. You will more than likely need to purchase a separate cable of either 50 or 100 feet for your installation.
Using Phone lines or Power Line!
Phoneline or PowerLine: Pros no cable to run. You can use existing lines in place.
Speed up to 10 Mbps. Cons computer has to be opened to install card. Slower than traditional Ethernet. Additional cards are expensive.
New! Linksys Instant PowerLine EtherFast 10/100 Router provides the perfect solution for connecting high-speed broadband Internet to both your home powerline and Ethernet network.
Containing one WAN port, one 10/100 Ethernet port, and one powerline port, it’s specifically designed for local network users to share networking resources over powerline.
The Instant PowerLine EtherFast 10/100 Router is fully HomePlug 1.0 compliant. The PowerLine Router connects into a cable or DSL modem via the WAN port and then plugs into a power outlet with a regular 110-volt AC line cord.
It allows powerline-based devices to share a single, high-speed broadband Internet connection, files, printers, and more – simply by plugging into standard power outlets.
The PowerLine Router provides up to 14Mbps data transmission rate over powerline, firewall security from outside intruders and easy Web browser setup, as well as advanced features such as remote administration capability.
When you build yourself a powerline network with the PowerLine Router, no rewiring is required, and there’s no interference with normal power service.
More information about using your powerline as the fabric for your high-speed network.
HomePlug: (www.homeplug.com) HomePlug is a networking technology that uses the existing home electrical wiring to connect your computers. This is an old approach for home networking that never caught on due to technical difficulties.
The HomePlug Powerline Alliance has been working to fix those problems. Sonicblue (www.sonicblue.com) has announced HomeFree Powerline, a 10Mbps network kit that runs over the power lines in your walls.
You plug your network adapters into the outlets and your computers can talk to each other, no central hub and or access point is needed.
This could be the most flexible of all the wired home networking technologies. The kit cost $179 for two PCI or USB card adapters.
HomePNA 2.0: (www.homepna.org) HomePNA stands for Home Phone line Networking Alliance.
HomePNA 2.0 uses the existing telephone wireing in your home to connect computer at 10Mbps.
It can network all the computer that are attached to the same telephone line extension, using no central hub or access point.
You only have to add wires if you want to add phone jack extension. D-Line’s DHN-920: Home Phoneline Network in a box, it has two USB adapters and cost $150 (www.dlink.com).
HomePNA 2.0 is the way to go for ease of installation.
Using Wireless Networking!
Wireless: Pros No cable to run.
Cons expensive, slow with speed up to 2 Mbps. Distance is limited to about 75 feet. Additional cards are expensive.
HomeRF wireless: networks operate at 1.6Mbps, fast enough for sharing printers and for copying medium sized files. But, slower than Fast Ethernet 100Mbps. WithHomeRF you can roam with a computer up to 150 feet from the nearest computer on the network.
The HomeRF isn’t the best choice for sharing a broadband Internet connection (DSL) because it’s just not fast enough to keep up with DSL or Cable modems.
The cost is high expect to spend between $200 & $250 for each two computer setup. (www.homerf.org)
Wi-Fi wireless: is a step up from HomeRF, The 802.11b an 11Mbps wireless networking technology. Wi-Fi network is fast enough to share a DSL or Cable modem Internet connection.
Wi-Fi networks need a separate base station that handles network traffic, and usually also serves as a gateway to the net connection.
A two-computer network costs about $130 & $300 for two adapter and & $300 for abase station.
The Gateway Starter Kit (www.wavelan.com) it includes an access point and one PC card for $449. Expect adequate performance up to 300 feet from a base station, but the farther away you get, the slower the data travels.
Outside the signal is good up to about 1,000 feet.
The basic transmission rate of a Wi-Fi network is faster than HomePNA 2.0 and standard Ethernet, in real life it’s slower, usually around 5.5Mbps.
To make your sure Web pages and Email messages arrive at your computer reliably, The wireless networks need to devote more resources to error correction and recovery than wired networks do, leaving less bandwidth for your data.
New standard: Next year you might see the introduction of products using 802.11a standard, which will increase wireless speed to 54Mbps.
Need more networking infornation:
Networking Basics, Linksys: A group of excellent FAQ’s by LinkSys, a manufacturer of networking equipment here!
An educator’s Guide to School Networks: A complete book online intended as a primer for non-technical administrators – Source: The Florida Center for Instructional Technology, University of South Florida. here!
Connecting Your Network to the Internet: Using Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, making a connection to the Internet is easy, secure, and can be accomplished with relatively inexpensive hardware and basic Internet service provider (ISP) services.
This guide is intended for users of medium-sized Windows 2000 domain-based networks who want to set up Internet access and share it with local area network clients. Source: Microsoft.com
Network Tutorial: An introduction to basic wiring and network components that discusses the various network components which make up a network (bridges, routers, switches, cabling types, patch panels, etc.,). Source: D&M Electronics here!