Available technologies for home networking, network types:
Ethernet Network Using a Hub
Using a hub to create your home office network will
require purchasing a hub, network cards (NIC's) if your computer does not have them & cabling (ethernet/Cat 5) to connect the network.
Home Ethernet - SOHO Ethernet Using a Router
A router-based network will require the purchase of a router, NIC's and cabling (ethernet/Cat 5). You will not need additional software as the router comes with it's own programs.
Phone Line Home Network
With a phone line network, you don't have to worry about extra cables and where to place them safely. You can use your existing phone jacks throughout your home. You don't require a hub for this network to work.
Power Line Home Network
Power Line networks take advantage of the power outlets you already have in your house and don't require additional cables or other external devices such as hubs.
Wireless Home Networks
Wireless networks enable telecommuters to become truly mobile within their own home. You are able to work from any room or even outside. No added cables or wiring to worry about.
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Build an Ethernet network, a quick Guide to SOHO Networking
If you need to support a few computers use traditional 100BaseT Ethernet equipment and cables. Gigabit Ethernet may be faster, but the equipment remains relatively expensive, both
for small and large offices.
Don't forget that in addition to your Ethernet cables, you may need a router with an integrated Ethernet switch and possibly additional switches for larger networks. Some
routers include print servers or USB ports that let you attach external hard drives to your network. Such features make it easy to back up data and share resources from any machine.
Finally, you'll want to hide all these cables so they don't create an eyesore. Here's your plan:
1. Build the network around a four-port hub or switch to connect clients. If you need to
connect more than 10 computers, consider a switch with more ports--switches can handle higher traffic.
2. Hide the cables wherever you can, such as in plastic tubing, under wall molding or
carpeting, in a drop ceiling, inside conduits, or snaked through baseboard heating units. Putting them inside the walls is expensive, and it locks in a floor plan.
3. Limit cable length to less than 300 feet or the signal may become unreliable. You
can always span longer distances with a repeater.
4. Get the right cat 5, cat 5e or cat 6 cables! Cables are the number one problem
affecting networks. They are the main source for network downtime.
5. Draw a diagram of your network and save it in a place you won't forget. You may
also want to consider sticking a Post-it Note on the back of each device with key specs, such as the device's name and its IP address. This will make maintenance much easier.