Wired & Wireless Networks.

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Home Or Office Networking
With most homes or offices having a fast broadband connection and an increasing number having more than one computer, more and more people are starting to investigate setting up a network.

Setting up a network is a great way to get more use out of your computers and peripherals, and to have more fun with them. With a network, you can:

Share a single Internet connection among multiple computers.
Share files among computers.
Use a printer connected to a different computer or to the network
Play recorded TV, videos, and digital music stored on your computer on your Xbox 360

Choosing which type of network to install can be tricky. A wired network? or a wireless network?

Wired networks, also known as Ethernet networks, connect your computer to your Internet connection and other computers using cables that look like a thick phone wire.

Wireless networks use radio waves to transfer data between computers and peripherals.

While both have their advantages, they also have their disadvantages.

As you will see below, there are many ways in which you can set up a home wired or wireless network. The same applies in an office environment.

The range of equipment available is mind boggling. It varies dramatically in price and function. Having installed well over 500 wired or wireless networks I have come to rely on certain products which, while they may not be the cheapest (but they are far from the most expensive), have proven to be very reliable.

If you would like to know more about setting up a home/office wired or wireless network, or you already have one and would like to make sure it is set up securely and correctly, or you have any questions about computer related issues, then feel free to mail me.


Wireless Networking

Portable & Flexible

Wireless networking devices enable you to use your computer, laptop or games console anywhere in the house and be on the network or get access to the Internet. Even if you have a large house, wireless signal will generally go through walls and ceilings*. If you need to go extended distances you can use access points to boost the wireless signal.

Cost Effective

Buying and installing structured Ethernet networking cables into your home can be a costly exercise. Setting up a basic wireless home network can cost significantly less.

Neat & Safe

If you choose to set-up a wireless home network you do not need to run cables across your house, which can create trip hazards across rooms, hallways and stairs. Also choosing to set-up a wireless home network means that you do not need to run cables underneath carpets or drill holes through walls or ceilings to pass cables through.

Wired Networking

Faster

Wired connections can reach networking speeds of up to 1000 Mbps with the correct networking equipment, necessary for bandwidth hungry users such as avid gamers, graphic designers or users downloading large media files. However, for most users 54 or 108 Mbps networking speeds (see below) are more than sufficient for everyday networking activities such as: Emailing, surfing the web, downloading files, music and video and playing console games.

Reliable

Physical, fixed wired connections are not prone to interference and fluctuations in available bandwidth, which can affect some wireless networking connections.

Secure

If you decide to build a wired home network, you don't have to worry about your networking signal travelling through the air and being intercepted by eavesdroppers (snoopers), which can happen if you don't protect your wireless network. Security encryption standards are very effective for wireless networks - you just need to ensure to add passwords to your wireless network settings to stop neighbours from stealing your wireless connection. **

Speed

Wired

Fast Ethernet (up to 100 Mbps) and Gigabit Ethernet (up to 1000 Mbps).

Fast Ethernet is more than ample for general home networking, e.g. messaging, sending documents, printing, scanning etc. Gigabit Ethernet is better for bandwidth hungry graphics and video users or avid gamers playing real-time network computer games. Which type you can employ will depend on the network adapter installed in your machine and the type of switch/router you use. There is an older standard which runs at 10Mbps.

Wireless
              
Choosing the right wireless networking speed and range to suit your individual requirements can be a confusing business!  Please note this is just a guide, every home is different and I cannot guarantee coverage and speed.

Standard Wireless Coverage

Up to 54 Mbps

Known as '802.11g' Products

This wireless networking option provides reasonable wireless coverage at the lowest price.

Ideal for use in modest properties (e.g. Flat, 2 Storey Terraced House) and ideal for these uses:

*       Surfing the Internet
*       Email and online chat
*       Sharing small files
*       Printing documents
*       Streaming music

Or, if you need more coverage…

Extended Wireless Coverage

Up to 108 Mbps

Also known as RangeMax™ or Super G™ Products

This option provides increased coverage and bandwidth over the standard option, but comes with a slightly higher price tag.

Ideal for use in larger properties (e.g. Semi Detached House or Bungalow) or modest, but older properties made from thicker materials (e.g. Victorian or Edwardian house) and ideal for these uses:

*       Surfing the Internet
*       Email and online chat
*       Downloading most files
*       Printing documents
*       Streaming music
*       Wireless file storage and sharing
*       VoIP Internet calling

Or, if you need even more coverage…

Maximum Wireless Coverage & Bandwidth

Up to 300 Mbps

Also known as RangeMax™ NEXT Wireless N Products / MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output)
(based on Draft 802.11n Standard)

This option provides whole home, maximum coverage and bandwidth, enabling households to simultaneously connect to multiple Internet services at the same time. The additional coverage and greater bandwidth naturally means a higher price tag than the standard and extended options.

Ideal for use in large properties (Detached House or 3 Storey Town House) and/or for these simultaneous uses:

*       Surfing the Internet
*       Email and online chat
*       Downloading large files
*       Printing documents
*       Streaming music
*       Wireless file storage and sharing
*       VoIP Internet calling
*       Video streaming - including HD
*       High resolution online gaming
*       Wireless network multi-player gaming


 * There are limitations and range varies according to the physical structure of your home/office, microwave and cordless telephone interference.


** This is classed as theft. A recent court case saw a West London man fined £500 and sentenced to 12 months' conditional discharge for hijacking a wireless broadband connection

 

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