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Wireless Routers > 
Home Network Building Guide
 

Home Network Building Guide

Table of contents


Why do I need a home network?

Broadband Internet is currently very popular, especially in homes with more than one computer. A network is a cost-effective way of allowing a number of computers to share a single Internet connection to surf the Internet, access email or Internet-based applications.

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Preparing the hardware

The following is the essential hardware needed to build your home network.

Modem

Years ago, we used dial-up modems to connect a regular or ISDN phone line to access the Internet. In the broadband era, modems are still required for connection to the Internet, and based on the broadband service type and service provider you select, you may need to purchase or rent a DSL or Cable modem.

Router

A router connects computers in your personal LAN (Local Area Network) to the Internet (WAN, or Wide Area Network). This allows computers to share the Internet through one Internet connection and enables them to share files and printers within the network.

Routers for the home typically provide a built-in switch function with 4 ports – this allows for the connection of at least 4 network clients (computers) to the router. Users of notebook computers can opt for a wireless router in order to setup a Wireless LAN

More information:
Wireless Router Buying Guide

AP

An AP (Access Point) is a network device that allows wireless clients to communicate with a wired network. For example, if you already have a home network and have a router and a switch, but want to provide wireless connectivity, all you then need is a wireless AP. Wireless APs may also be used to expand a wireless network connection range.

More information:
Wireless AP/Bridge Buying Guide

Network adapter

A network adapter is an essential client device that needs to be installed in each computer in the network. The network adapter allows a computer to connect to the network. There are both wired and wireless network adapters available for purchase depending on the network you want to setup. You will not need to purchase network adapters for pre-built desktop and notebook computers that feature their own built-in wired or wireless network adapters.

More information:
Wireless Adapter Buying Guide

Switch

A network switch is a wired networking device that joins computers or other devices in a network, and transfers data with each device in the network at full transmission speeds. Routers for the home or small office are generally built with an internal 4 port switch that allows for the connection of up to four computers. To connect more computers it may be necessary to purchase a real network switch.

More information:
Switch Buying Guide

Network Cable

The network cable is an essential accessory that connects wired network devices.


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Hardware Installation

After you have purchased all the necessary hardware, follow these steps to get your home network up and running:

Step 1: Connect the telephone line to the modem or Cable line to your DSL or Cable modem.
Step 2: Use 1 network cable to connect the WAN ports on your modem and router.
Step 3: (Optional) Use 1 network cable to connect the LAN ports on your router and the AP if building a wireless network.
Step 4: Install network adapters (wired/wireless) in the client computers. Connect wired network adapter to the router’s LAN port using 1 network cable per computer.
Step 5: If you have purchased a switch, connect the switch's LAN port to one of the router's front ports, and each computer's network adapter to the switch's front ports.
Step 6: Install the network adapter's driver on each computer (if needed) and configure the settings in the OS or provided application.
Step 7: Consult the user manual to setup the router/AP.


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« Wireless Routers Glossary
How to Protect Your Wireless Network »
 
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