How to set up your home network

mm Paul Verbiton November 6, 2019
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Internet is life. This statement pretty much sums up today’s state of affairs. Nowadays, it’s difficult to imagine a house without a computer, smartphone, or internet access. In the United States, for example, 81 percent of households have a broadband internet connection, according to the US Census Bureau’s latest available document on computer and internet use.

Indeed, setting up an internet connection at home is becoming a routine household task. You can configure your home network to suit your lifestyle and budget. As technologies are ever-evolving and equipment depreciating, you can expect upgrades and tweaks to your setup.

For now, look into what this home network is about and what goes into this network in simple language.

Defining the Home Network

A home computer network or home data network is a system that allows several devices to connect to the internet and thus communicate with one another.

This home network can combine wired and wireless technologies to accommodate desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, and printers, as well as security cameras, thermostats, and other smart home devices.

Many reasons support setting up your very own home internet:

  • It’s cost-effective. Mobile data is expensive and limited. If you have a business, work, or school, paying for monthly subscription fees for internet service is cheaper than working in cafés or any place with an internet connection.
  • It’s convenient. You can research, stream movies, play games, and do anything online in the comforts of your home.
  • It’s capable of a lot of things. You can leverage the internet for your computers, home security systems, and VoIP phones, which can save on long-distance costs.

Setting Up Your Home Network

These are the three building blocks of a typical home network setup.

Modem

Short for modulator-demodulator, the modem is a computer hardware that converts an analog signal to a digital signal and vice versa. Essentially, the modem serves as a link between your home network and the internet service provider (ISP). The internet service can be delivered via telephone or digital subscriber line (DSL) or through a coaxial cable, as in the case of cable television lines.

Both DSL and cable modems are classified as broadband, which refers to high-speed internet access faster than a dial-up connection, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Fiber-optic networks, however, don’t need a modem because their signal is transmitted digitally through the glass wires.

Router

It’s a computer that moves data in the form of packets between computer networks. Through routing protocols, the router manages and directs traffic between such systems. The device often serves as a default gateway, which acts as an intermediary between the local area network (LAN) and the internet.

Wireless routers, for instance, spread the internet connection within the premises without the messy cables. This wireless configuration allows devices like smartphones, tablets, and printers to connect to the internet. Some wireless routers can have Ethernet ports to simplify the setup. Otherwise, configure your router to set a password and keep out Wi-Fi intruders.

Wi-Fi versus WLAN versus Wireless

Wireless is a general term to describe any connection without wires. WLAN refers to LAN that has a wireless connection. Wi-Fi, which stands for wireless fidelity, is a type of WLAN and created by Wi-Fi Alliance.

Switch

It is at the center of a wired connection. The hardware connects multiple computers to the internet via Ethernet, which refers to certain computer-networking technologies present in local area networks.

A network switch in most homes has four to eight ports. For businesses, they need to look into switches such as those that feature as many as 52 ports. The switches are suitable for enterprises of any size requiring the speed and reliability of an Ethernet connection.

For as long as desktop computers, modems, and VoIP phones rely on Ethernet, there is always room for a network switch and a wired connection.

Switch versus Hub versus Router

Put simply, a switch (switching hub or bridging hub) is a device smarter than a hub but is less intelligent than a router. A switch can limit traffic or data that goes in and out of a port so that all connected devices have full bandwidth. This is called switching. A router, however, can do routing and more with it being programmable.

The great thing about the above mentioned networking devices is that they are readily available. You just need to do your research on them, study the manual, or watch tutorials on how to hook them up for your home network.

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Category: Blog, Home & Garden
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Paul Verbiton

I enjoy spotting opportunities and doing my best to grab them if I can. I am eager to see the world, I love taking photos and writing, coming up with topics that are pleasant to read, funny, and interesting at the same time.

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