Creating a home network has a number of advantages. People can choose to browse the Internet at permanent workstations that use desktop computers, as well as utilize a laptop anywhere within the home or immediate area that is within range of the network. Multiple devices can be used simultaneously, using the same connection, which only adds to the versatility and convenience of the arrangement. While some may think that creating a home network is difficult, the fact is that just about anyone can manage the process.
The first step in creating a home network is to decide if the network should be wired or wireless. While it may be advantageous in some situations to install Ethernet cables in various rooms where Internet access is desired, most people find that going with a wireless network is much less restrictive. Assuming the connection is a strong one, a wireless connection is likely to work very well for just about any type of ongoing use, from looking up recipes to downloading music files. As a bonus, a wireless network can be set up to include easy use of peripheral devices like printers, cell phones, gaming systems, and handheld music players.
Keep in mind that when creating a home network, it is important to think of future needs as well as the current situation. Wired networks are limited by the amount of cable that is run, which means expanding access to another room or to additional devices will mean running additional cable. In contrast, a wireless network can accommodate additional devices with relatively little trouble. This feature can be very handy when there are overnight or weekend guests that want to use their own laptops to check email or look up information online.
Once the decision is made as to the nature of the network, the time comes to purchase the home network hardware and software needed. For a wired system, this means running the cable to different rooms, connecting the cable to a server or to a main computer that will function as the server, and connecting the laptops or desktops in other parts o the house via the cable. For wireless networks, this means the purchase and installation of a wireless router that also comes with boosters that can be positioned strategically around the home to preserve the integrity of the signal. In addition, all computers in the home must be equipped with an internal or external wireless card, allowing them to receive the signals broadcast by the router.
As with any type of router, it is necessary to install software on the host computer that makes it possible to activate the router and broadcast the signal. This is usually a simple process that can be achieved by following the manufacturer’s instructions, and normally will take nothing more than a few minutes to achieve. Software from the Internet service provider may also have to be installed to make sure the router is recognized, and the feed to the router is properly established.
The final phase of creating a home network involves securing access to the network. Here, a wired network offers a great deal of security, since it is possible to set up passwords that must be entered before accessing the network from any of the connected devices. With a wireless network, it is necessary to take steps to encrypt and protect the network with access codes. Since the signal is carried through the air to each device, it is not outside the realm of possibility that someone could park outside the home, and use a laptop with a wireless card to access and use the network without the owners permission.
In most cases, creating a home network requires a minimum of equipment and time. Wired networks are more labor-intensive, but can still be created in a relatively short period of time. Wireless networks offer more in the way of versatility and can be set up with greater ease. Consider the needs of the home, then choose the type of wireless network that will provide the most ease of use while still offering the security that you want and need for your system.