Setting up a home network has never been easier, but to get the very best setup, you might want to think about the equipment you will need. Read on for our comprehensive guide to home networking equipment and what it can do for you.
Your modem is a device that takes the signal from your Internet service and converts it so it can be used in your home. You could be given one by your service provider (for free or to rent), or you can buy your own – they cost as little as $15-$50. All options will be easy to set up, and you will simply need to follow instructions from your service provider.
Only a few families would be interested in home networking if it weren’t for the wireless router. This device allows you to access your Internet connection wirelessly, meaning you won’t be laying yards of bulky cable all over the place. They also have Ethernet connections, meaning a wireless router could act as a standalone replacement for an Ethernet hub or switch. Installation is simple – all you need to do is find your router through the equipment and enter the password for authentication.
Ethernet Hub & Cables
An Ethernet hub allows the devices in your home to access your Internet signal. Think of it as the plug sockets around your house. Every electrical device you want to use needs to be plugged in, so with the same principle, every connected device has to be connected to your Ethernet hub. You’ll also need to grab hold of some cables, to connect to the hub. Bear in mind that hubs are slowly going the way of the dodo and are now being replaced by Ethernet switches.
An Ethernet switch is essentially an upgraded hub. It works, in the same way, apart from the significant difference that it only routes data from the device that has requested it. This makes it a far more efficient device for your home network, and they are very adaptable, especially if you choose an unmanaged switch over a managed version. They are easy to install, and these days cost about the same price – or a few dollars more – than the older Ethernet hubs.
Connect Your Devices
Now let’s take a look at the kind of devices you can run through your home network. You can use your home network to run a high tech entertainment operating system, for a start. So, wherever you are in the house, you can stream music and video to a Wi-Fi-enabled TV, Blu-ray player or audio system. You can even use your network to set up a printer, a security system, or turn your home into a smart home. Want to enjoy the benefits of being able to control your light switches, coffee machines, and thermostats remotely and with your smartphone? Then home networking is your answer. Gamers can even take advantage by using 2 PCs or games consoles to play together at home or online.
As you can see, getting a home network up and running isn’t as hard as it seems. And the benefits of having all that entertainment at your fingertips is worth it, surely?