Tips On How To Set Up A Home Network Using Switches
When most people start to think about setting up a home network, they don’t realize that they may already have one. If your ISP (Internet Service Provider) gave you a router you probably already have a home network. A home network is the private collection of devices that are connected to your router or switch. It’s also known as a local network, and you can use it for many different things. You can use it for multiplayer LAN game playing, or you could stream your media across your network. You can use your home network to share files, or you can open it to the public, and use it to host a website, run a Minecraft server, use it as a PBX call management server, or almost anything else you can think of.
First, let’s talk about the equipment you’ll need for a home network. Your Modem is provided by your ISP, and it turns their network signal into a standard computer network signal. The router is the central point of contact between your internet connection and the devices on the network. The router will have WiFi connectivity and LAN ports. Some ISPs give you a single device which has the modem built in, but you can usually configure these to be modem only devices, and buy a router that suits your needs. If you have separate devices then use an Ethernet cable to plug the router into the modem, using the WAN (Wide Area Network) port on the router. Switches can extend the network, turning a single port into more ports. Consumer switches come in 4, 8, 12, and 24 ports. Home network switches are usually unmanaged, which means that you don’t have to configure anything. You can find managed switches, which means that you can set up the features, but they are more costly.
Lina Banks, of DataHighwayGateways, says that most people don’t understand the type of network connection they need. She said it can seem like a bit of a minefield, and it does stop some people from getting the most out of a network that is already present in the home, just being underutilized. An Ethernet/LAN network refers to the cables plugged into the back of your router or switch. LAN cables can achieve speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, although some computers may be limited. They can also run up to 100 meters without degrading the performance. The downside is that you may need to put holes in your walls or leave some cabling running between doorways. WiFi/Wireless LAN is an option that doesn’t leave any visible cabling. Although, the downside is that they have limited range, and you may find some interference from other devices.
The speeds are similar to Ethernet speeds, but only with a compatible router, a compatible device and ideal conditions. The newer AC routers do focus the signal to the remote device, which makes the connection more reliable. Another option is Power Line Networking, which means that you use the mains power electrical distribution to piggyback your network signal. All you need is an adaptor, which can be connected to your devices via an Ethernet cable. The signal is carried using existing wiring, and it does perform better than wireless. The speeds achieved depend on the age of your wiring, radio interference, and the distance between the points, but half gigabit speeds are possible. If possible, you should always choose Ethernet, as it’s faster and more reliable. Powerline adapters are a good second choice, with a wireless network being the last option. As it stands, the fastest wireless routers have very few compatible devices, which makes them not only expensive, but they won’t work for every device in the home.
Ideally, you would use Ethernet cables and wire all the devices in your network to the switch, as this will give the best performance for every device. This won’t work for most mobile devices, as they need a wireless connection, but it would give the best performance to all the other devices on your network.