How to set up a home computer network
Many people want to know how to set up a home computer network so that they can benefit from having a link for their computers, external storage devices, printers, game consoles, files, phones, and home entertainment systems that have network capabilities. wireless or wired.
The first stage is to decide your network architecture, that is, the type of network: wired, wireless or mixed, the devices you would like to include in your network and how they will be connected. Three main aspects to consider are:
- Network speed
- The ease of wiring (for non-wireless devices)
- The cost
The three most common types of networks are (1) Ethernet (wired connectivity using a special cable), (2) Wireless Ethernet (Wi-Fi), or (3) Telephone line (HPNA). In addition, there are networks that use domestic electrical wiring for communication. The wireless network (Wi-Fi) can operate in one of two radio bands: 2.4 or 5 Gigahertz or in both 2.4 and 5 Gigahertz radio bands in dual band wireless networks.
Ethernet network configuration
If good speed is your main concern, Ethernet is a good choice. The standard Ethernet router speed is 10/100 Mbps (mega bits per second) and you can now find 1000 Mbps routers. It is also the least expensive of the network types. However, once everything is connected, all three networks work the same.
Every home computer network that has more than two devices (computers and / or peripheral devices) consists of a central device: a network router (wired and / or wireless) and some network adapters, which connect network peripherals such as computers, printers and storage devices to the network.
After choosing the correct type of network router, the next step is the selection of an adapter, of which Ethernet has three options: USB, PCI, and PC card. USB adapters plug directly into your computer or any peripheral device with a USB port, but the USB connection is generally limited to 54 Mbps. PCI adapters (wired and wireless) are less expensive and very fast, but are inserted internally, for which will need to open the computer. PC cards are for laptops.
After this come the cables for the connections between the computers. Ethernet cables are of different CAT numbers which are an indication of quality. CAT5, CAT5e, CAT6 are of good quality. Connecting two computers will require a crossover cable. Connecting three or more computers requires an Ethernet router, switch, or hub.
Next, install the network drives and the accompanying network card in your PC, following the instructions in the installation procedures. When the network drivers are installed correctly, the link lights for the bulge and the Ethernet cards come on. The link lights will not turn on until everything is connected properly.
Determining how many routers or hubs, cables, and adapters you need depends on the number of computers and peripheral devices you are connecting. Two computers will require a crossover cable, two adapters, and a router, hub, or switch (optional). Three or more computers require a router, hub, or switch plus adapters and cables for each machine. Later you must configure the network and this stage has four main elements and two levels.
4 setting items:
- Network adapter driver
- Microsoft Windows Client
- Microsoft Windows File and Printer Sharing
2 levels of configuration:
- The first level of configuration is protocol levels, which refers to the language computers use to “talk” to each other. For basic home networks, NetBEUI is a good protocol, as it is quick, simple, and easy to configure.
- The second level of configuration refers to how Windows ‘talks’ to other Windows during file and print sharing through the first level of protocol. The second level has two parts: “Client for Microsoft Windows” and “File and Printer Sharing” for Windows.
After network setup
Once setup is complete, move on to troubleshooting. This means clicking on the “Network” folder in Windows Explorer to make sure you can see all the other computers on your network. If you get a “network unreachable” message, try again after a minute or so, as the first time the network takes a while to fully initialize the router and peripherals. If it still doesn’t work, turn off the router or hub and reboot, then reboot the computer, followed by the other computer and all other peripherals (if applicable).