Benefits of a Wired Home

By creating a wired home for yourself, you will essentially be implementing some new technology such as routers, switches, and hubs. Don’t know what any of these mean or how they work? Let’s take a look at these and other pieces of wired equipment.

Hubs

A hub is specifically designed to join multiple computers or devices together, but can only allow a single device on its network to communicate at a time. Hubs can be utilized for file sharing and connecting to other devices, whether you are equipped with internet capabilities or not. When you are running Windows, Mac, or Linux, a hub supports any computer running any operating system. The speed of these hubs depends entirely on the network they support.

Typical hubs today commonly support 100 Mbps. These hubs are equipped with what are known as Ethernet ports, for use with connecting other devices to the hub. Most hubs contain between 4 and 5 ports.

To install a hub to a group of networked computers, you must connect one end of an Ethernet cable to the hub and the other end to the device. It’s an extremely simple process. However, because of advanced performance benefits, most home networks today utilize network switches instead of hubs, which we will look at next.

Switches

A local switch is similar to a hub in that it can join multiple computers or devices together, but with a switch, all devices are joined on a local-area-network (LAN) and switches have many more capabilities than a typical hub.

For instance, local switches can receive and look at data packets to determine where the packet is coming from and where it is going. By sending these packets to the connected device only, network bandwidth is conserved, which is a huge advantage over a hub. Most network switches can typically support either 10/100 Mbps Ethernet or the much faster 1 Gbps Ethernet.

Similar to hubs, network switches vary in terms of how many devices that they can connect, but the standard is normally between four and eight.

Routers

A router is the most efficient and widely-used piece of equipment used in homes today. A router is used to join two computer networks together with variations including broadband, DSL, and cable modem routers.

Most homes normally use an IP (Internet Protocol) wired router. This type of router connects the home’s LAN to the wide-area network (WAN) of the internet. Certain routers can also monitor and filter the traffic received, based on the IP address being used, meaning that you can throttle the speed of certain websites. A broadband router, one of the types described above, is widely used in homes because of its features and functionality.

A broadband router combines a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server with a firewall and a network switch and is typically used with DSL internet or a high-speed cable modem. To use a broadband router, Ethernet cables must be run from the router to the modem and from the modem to the computer. Broadband routers are a great option for LAN gaming, a home office, file sharing, and surfing the web.

Benefits

There are plenty of benefits to installed wired networking in your home. For one thing, it is very cheap to setup and maintain, as routers, switches, and hubs are inexpensive. Wired networks are also extremely reliable because unlike wireless, you hardly have to worry about a loss of connection, unless something happens with your ISP’s (Internet Service Provider’s) network. Wired networks also offer significant performance, ranging from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps and the only major difference is the cost you will pay for the speed.

Regardless of which type of technology you decide to utilize to create a wired home for yourself, they are extremely easy, inexpensive to set up, and provide significant benefits. Routers, although the most expensive out of the three, aren’t very pricey at all and offer a fast connection and security precautions to ensure that you are always safe when using the network. Wired networks are a great route to go!

Phillip Reese has worked in information technology for over a decade. His home office, where he markets products ranging from cisco memory to microwave radios, utilizes switches, routers and CAT6 cables to keep the data flowing.