Home network – how to set it up and what to look for?

The Internet is now an integral part of our daily lives. We don’t just use it on computers and phones. It also applies to the range of all smart devices. Our own home network will allow us to create a more profitable infrastructure.

What is a home network? Clarification of terminology

A home network is always not only access to the Internet, but also a number of other aspects. It is also a group of terms related to the whole home Internet access infrastructure and the concept of LAN (Local Area Network). This includes not only the connection itself, but also the various devices and media used to transmit the signal. They can be routers, switches and modemsas well as all the necessary cables used to build the network.

This is the whole fund that allows us to build our home network and work without problems. However, each case must be considered separately and a number of factors must be taken into account. In this article, we will introduce the most important of them and show the most important aspects that are worth paying attention to during construction. own home internet network.

Why is a home LAN good?

It’s hard to imagine working without the Internet today. In the world of billions of connected devices, it is worth paying attention to the proper design of the network in your home. Fast and hassle-free access to the Internet from any equipment is a guarantee of a stable connection when using streaming services or VOD services. This is also an interesting topic for amateur players who want to achieve ping as low as possible during online skirmishes.

We also use it more and more smart devices. The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is television, but it does not end there. Modern home appliances allow us to connect to the local home infrastructure. Of course, we are talking about smart washing machines, refrigerators, ovens or any other device. Such solutions allow us to increase the comfort of life, taking our apartment to a new level of intellectual housing.

The combination of devices in the home network infrastructure does not only allow us to monitor the condition and operation of household appliances, lighting and garden systems. It also allows you to control individual elements without moving from your chair or sofa and even away from home. This not only affects our comfort, but also saves time and money better control of media consumption.

Home network when working remotely

It is also worth paying attention to the home network when working from home. This is especially true today and in the age when solutions are found home office gain popularity. In this case, we cannot afford to interrupt the internet meeting with the main customer with an unstable connection. When working from home, investing in proper infrastructure and Internet access pays off.

How to create a home network? Where to start?

Each case may require individual and different solutions. First of all, it is worth thinking about what our needs are, what infrastructure we have so far and what opportunities we have to expand it or create a completely new one. Some technological issues will be better to live in one block, while others for an individual single-family home. Finally, before you start designing a home network, it is worth considering the advantages and disadvantages of the planned installation.

Are we satisfied with the home LAN network used in the devices provided by the provider?

Theoretically, the equipment provided by the ISP should work. However, the issue is more complicated. Our ISP usually provides a very budget device with very little flexibility and often interrupted configuration features. Such devices provide only an absolute minimum when it comes to home LAN. They can also become an emergency and it is often difficult to download a service or the latest program. A better solution would be to create a real home network that fully meets our expectations. So what will we need?

What should a home network infrastructure consist of? Necessary equipment

The range of devices is incredibly wide, almost as wide as the possibilities of creating a home LAN. There are many companies on the market that offer such solutions. There are three main devices used in home networks:

  • modem – converts the signal from the provider to one that is suitable for the user’s devices,
  • link – connects different segments of the computer network;
  • router – is responsible for connecting different types of networks.

Not all of them are necessary for any implementation, but they help to increase the scale and flexibility of our project. It is worth considering three or two devices that combine the functionality of different devices. They may be more expensive than a single pass or router, but they save space. When choosing devices, keep in mind that this is the case adapted to the strength of our relationshipto make full use of its potential. If you want to increase the speed or expand the infrastructure, it is worth doing it with a small margin.

Modem, router and switch – what is it?

For people who started their adventure with home networks, we will try to briefly explain why each device is.

Modem It is a device located on the first line, right next to the access point brought to our home by the Internet provider. Allows you to connect to the provider’s infrastructure to access the Internet. This can be in the form of a cable modem that we connect with a suitable connector or a pair wrapped in optical fiber. There are also LTE modems that allow you to connect wirelessly using a SIM card – similar to mobile phones.

Today, modem functionality is often installed on a router

Router allows you to disconnect your home network from the connection provided by your ISP. It is the heart of our home LAN network, ensures its good implementation, and will be its main access point. It redirects network traffic from the Internet to our network and vice versa. It often happens that the router is installed in the same case as the modem.

TransitionI mean transitionallows network diversification. Each router has its own ports that allow devices to connect directly to it, but their number can be very small. In this case, you must select a link. It is responsible for the internal network traffic so that all packets from the router pass to the appropriate devices and perform this task in a different way – from the equipment to the router. This is an optional device. This is not necessary as long as the router has enough ports.

Home network - connection
Switch is a great way to expand your home network infrastructure

Cable connection or Wi-Fi network?

Many say so cable connections are the most reliable and the least emergency. Of course, a wired network has many advantages and is worth using whenever possible. Already at the design stage of a house, apartment or interior, it is worth including cables in our development plan. This is especially important when we want to install a neatly installed or under the floor cable. With wired communication, we are not limited to the thickness of the walls or wave distortions that exist on the air. We just put the equipment in the socket and it works!

When there are many stationary end devices, cable connections are also worth using. In addition to personal computers, it can be a smart TV or smart household items. Thanks to this we will not have to configure any additional configuration on the device – simply connect the cable to the appropriate port on the device and it is already on the network.

What if the construction phase is long overdue, the repairs will not take place, and the visible cable connections will disrupt the plan of our favorite apartment? A home Wi-Fi network is useful, ie a network based on a wireless connection. As a result, we will avoid knocking down unnecessary walls or masking elements of cable infrastructure with residential equipment. Home wi-fi network It is also a good solution when we mainly use mobile devices such as mobile phone, tablet or e-book reader.

We know this from our own experience it is best to combine both communication standards. It is worth using cable connections for stationary devices, and it is worth setting up a home wi-fi network for mobile devices. Then our needs will be met one hundred percent.

Organization of access points to the home network

It is no less important than the infrastructure of the home network optimal placement. We need to think about where the devices that require a cable connection will be, and we need to provide internet outlets in these places. If we want to live in a truly smart home for the 21st century, it is best to create such dots in every room.

In the case of a home wi-fi network, the location of the router will be crucial. It is better to place the signal in a central place so that it covers all the buildings. If the walls are too thick or there is frequency interference, it is worth buying additional signal amplifiers. repeatersthis will allow us to reach every corner of the house via the internet.

Home network ancillary devices and services

A home network is not just about sharing a printer between different computers. Its additional features are worth considering. There may be such an example NAS network driverswill facilitate the exchange of resources between our devices. This solution can be used as a home backup of files, as well as a device that has access to them from anywhere.

When creating a network infrastructure, it is worth considering grouping some elements in a neat switch that we can easily access. So-called for this purpose server cabinets (shelves) with adequate air circulation. We can put a modem, a router, an additional switch, as well as a network drive. This will allow us not only easy access, but also to keep the equipment in order in the apartment. An additional key lock of such a cabinet will protect us from unwanted configuration changes by outsiders

Potential expansion of the home network

When deciding to build your own home network, it is worth considering the constant development of technology. We can expect that in a few years we will want to expand the range and functionality. This is how you design a local area network expandable and quite flexible. For cable connections, we recommend using at least the sixth version of cables that support speeds of 1 Gb / s. When choosing a router, it is worth choosing one that supports the 5 GHz frequency band and implements the Wi-Fi 6 standard. This will allow you to easily expand and expand the connection in the future.

Different home networks, but common ground

Each home network is somewhat different, but each has the same goal – to provide a fast and hassle-free connection to the Internet and other devices. At the design stage, special attention should be paid to our individual needs, as well as the technical conditions of the building or the layout of the rooms. In one case, the simplest modem with a router connected in a common housing may suffice, while in another we will have to lay a few meters of cable with additional switches. Keep in mind that the appearance of any home network will depend on the requirements and conditions of use!

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