A Guide to Network Equipment

Towards the home user there is a great number of networking equipment on sale. The naming and specifications of such devices can be confusing to the novice. The following guide was created to cut through all the jargon and describe the terms, names and specifications rendering it better to make the correct decisions when setting up a home or small office network. kobenetwork

What is a Network?
A network usually involves multiple computer devices which can get in touch with the other person permitting the sharing of information or data together. With today’s technical advances systems are not limited to computers and laptops as they may have expanded to televisions, stereo equipment and even mobile telephones such as phones and tablet PCs. 

Wired Sites
Prior to the advances in cordless technology networks would mainly be “wired”. This would involve various devices between computers that could allow wires to be plugged into the machines enabling communication. These cables would limit the movement of the devices and on home networks would be improper as it would usually require the drilling of holes.

Wireless Networks
In the last number of years cordless networking has improved and now operates at rates that allow networking of kit reliably and more easily than previously.

Network Rate
Network speeds are important when deciding which way to go when building a network for the home or office. Born networks currently run at three speeds. These are measured in Megabits Every Second, the current rates are 10Mbps, 100Mbps and Gigabit which runs at 1000Mbps. 10Mbps is very outdated in the current networks as it may not cope with the transfer of information required by today’s applications and file sizes. 100Mbps can still be acceptable given that there is not too much multimedia requirements as these files are large and usually take up a lot of network bandwidth.

There are at the moment four wireless standards for use surrounding the home or office, 802. 11a, 802. 11b, 802. 11g, or 802. 11n. The first two standards 802. 11a and 802. 11b are incredibly slow and also very insecure to the point where they should not be taken on networks at all. 802. 11g functions at 54Mbps and is still useable on systems. It will work properly when surfing the internet and handles the copy of data at home or in the office. 802. 11n is the latest standard to be introduced and can operate at speeds up to 100mbps. This is the standard that ought to be implemented if using wireless networks.

Network Equipment

Wired sites require special cables or network cables to function. The computer, laptop or network equipment has to have a network dock to permit these wires to be linked to them. The port is called a RJ45 interface. There are a few of types of network cable that can hook up network enabled devices to a wired network, these are CAT5, CAT5e and CAT6 cables. In most of uses the CAT5e should be used as this could handle all network rates including Gigabit 1000Mbps rates of speed. Note that CAT5 does indeed not support Gigabit marketing.

Network Buttons
A networking switch can be used to hook up multiple computer devices using network cables. They usually have a number of RJ45 ports used to hook up the devices to the switch. They can come in various general sizes and have a varying amount of ports built/in. A network switch can have as little as four ports for home or small office use nevertheless they also can feature 8, 16, 32 and 48 ports, obviously the bigger switches are usually available on larger business networks.

Some switches come with a management software that can be accessed via an internet browser allowing certain settings to be altered in the switch such as enabling and devastating ports. It will also allow segmenting of the network but this is not usually a necessity for home and small office networks.

Network Routers
As the name advises, the role of the network router is to route traffic in relation to network. They take the data being sent around the network and analyse it and then send it to the necessary destination.

Typically a home router will interface with the various network equipment throughout the home and control the passing of information between they and even the internet with the modem. Before the common putting on modern routers, internet connection sharing between multiple devices was long worn out and very unreliable. These types of days many ISPs (Internet Service Providers) supply a router as part of their installation or package deal.

A router may also have wireless technology integrated allowing the connection of wireless devices to the network. These wireless devices then have the capability to access and promote resources on the network via the same router.

A normal home router will have four RJ45 jacks, a port for hooking up it online and cellular capacities letting it become the central networking device around the home.