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Network jargon, access points, routers and more are covered in this easy-to-follow guide to setting up your home network

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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  June 30, 2010

A quick guide to setting up your home network, getting past the jargon and getting your routers, access points and other bits working in perfect sync.

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Setting up your home network obviously has many benefits, from allowing you to video stream, to being fully connected throughout your home. With these kinds of advantages there's a big incentive then to getting that network of yours setup right. Understanding the basics thereof is then crucial.

From the outset of setting up your network, one of the things you will need to consider is whether to go with a wired or a wireless network. Now, having a lot of Ethernet cables lying around the house might give you faster and more reliable internet and network connections, but too many cables, more often than not, also means that there will be a lot of messiness. A wireless network, on the other hand, has numerous advantages, especially when considering that so many devices from our phones to even our TV sets have wireless capabilities these days. This too, however, also has disadvantages as the design and layout of your house might just have those wireless signals bouncing off the walls.

It’s a good idea then to map your network, before going out and buying all your equipment. Many advise actually drawing out a diagram of your home, in which you map out how each room looks, so that you can connect it properly. You’ll also have to establish the kind of devices you have, such as printers, desktops, and laptops. Doing this will help to make it clearer about whether or not you need to go wired or wireless.

It's a matter of choice and preference about whether you go with a wired or wireless network, but your next consideration involves the connection standards you're using, whether it be IEEE 802.11b or IEEE 802.11g. Both have different speeds, with IEEE 802.11b being 11 Mbps and IEEE 802.11g being 54 Mbps. This is important when you need to routers and access points to match each other’s connections types so as to work effectively. The latest standard IEEE 802.11n, however, is compatible with both IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11g, so, it eliminates these compatibility concerns altogether.

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