CONTENTS Home networks – Ethernet network – Phone line network – Power line network – Wi-Fi network Questions
Multiple computers in a home or home office can be connected via a home network. Advantages include: simultaneous access to the internet and access to files on other machines, computers can share peripherals (i.e. scanner, printer etc.), each computer can then play multiplayer games with players on other computers in the house. Four types of home networks: Ethernet, phone line, power line and Wi-Fi.
Ethernet Requires connecting each computer to a cable. Cables can be ran through walls, ceilings and floors. Hardware and software can be difficult to configure for the average home user.
Phone line network More popular in the US than Australia. Easy-to-install and inexpensive. Uses existing telephone lines. You connect one end of a cable into a computer, and the other into a telephone jack. Does not interfere with voice transmission over the telephone line (i.e. you can talk on the phone and use the internet at the same time).
Power line network The existing low-voltage power lines in homes and organisations can be used to transmit data. Uses the electricity cables in the premises. One end of the cable plug into the computers USB port, and the other into a power socket. The data transmits through the existing power lines to another networked computer.
Wi-Fi network Uses radio waves to send signals over a distance of up to 50m. Each computer accessing the network needs built-in wireless networking capabilities or a wireless networking card, which communicates with a combination router- wireless access point. Even in this situation, one computer will often connect to the router via a cable. Advantageous as computers can access the network from different parts of the house, however strength of signals do become weaker and this reduces transfer rates.
Many vendors offer home-networking packages that include all the necessary hardware and software. Some also offer intelligent networking capabilities. An intelligent home network also extends the basic home network to include features such as lighting control, thermostat adjustment and a security system
Questions Describe the advantages of setting up a home network. There are three common types of home networks. What are they? Which one would you choose and why? Suggest a home network for the Jacksons who live in a suburban area and have three teenage children. Include what security measures they will need to consider, and provide them with a quote for the setup of the overall network (including desktops/laptops, other necessary hardware, cables, modems/routers etc.).