Building a home network may seem like a daunting task, but if you go step-by-step, you should be able to pull together a state-of-the-art setup. What is more, with a wide array of solutions in the market, there is no need to break the bank while at it. You have to cherry pick your hardware components and make sure they are compatible with high-performance, stable and secure networking.
The art of networking
One of the main dilemmas people face is whether the LAN should be wired or wireless. Well, these two options actually complement each other as home and corporate networks utilize both of them. The wireless solutions have unparalleled convenience working for them, but they do not possess that kind of stability like wired networks.
In terms of wired approach, the real question is where to lay the cables and what hardware to use. In a brand new home, you can lay multiple sets of Cat6 cabling in every room and connect them to one central wiring closet during construction. This is preferable to standard twisted-pair phone cabling because you can accomplish greater speeds.
However, most people do not have this kind of freedom. Namely, tearing down the walls just to be able to install data cabling is not a luxury you can afford. Thus, you have to pick a central termination point and run at least one set of cable to another room. In any regard, once the wired infrastructure is in place, you need to muse on an appropriate desktop switch.
It is a good idea to go for an eight-port desktop gigabit Ethernet switch because you will not lose a port for unlinking additional switches. Finally, pair it up with a gigabit Ethernet adapter in order to reach higher speeds than 100 Mb/s, which most wireless and router devices provide.
Optimum performance and security
Furthermore, you want an optimum wireless coverage and security. To pull this off, you will need a wireless access point with an integrated router: It acts as your broadband gateway in the central wiring location. After that, place another access point on the other side of your home and ensure there are no blind spots.
It is advisable to use dual-band 802.11 a/b/g solutions as they give you two radios and isolated radio frequencies. Also, do not forget to use a unique SSID for the wireless LAN and change the password in routers and access points. Finally, use a WPA-PSK mode on your access points and computer and come up with a random passphrase.
One final thing to pay attention to is WPA-compliant hardware. If there is a problem with compatibility, bear in mind that it is possible to use software to upgrade access points and LAN adapter to WPA or WPA2. Alas, some people will find this simple upgrade not possible.
They should ponder on purchasing a product such as 802.11 a/b/g Intel 2915 miniPCI adapter (for laptops) and PCI adapters from D-Link or Netgear (for desktops). The good news is that these pieces of hardware allow you to maximize the performance and to lower the costs of assembling a home network.
Block by block
The first thing to do is to lay the groundwork with smart wiring and then introduce the backbone of your home network, a wired Gigabit Ethernet hardware. Employ 802.11 a/b/g dual-band enabled hardware for maximum performance and WPA or WPA2-compliant solutions for maximum safety. That way, you should be able to build a network that will make your online experience flawless, and make even the business organizations jealous.