Networking your home

Tips & Hints

10 June 2002

As more homes get high speed Internet connections, more homes want to share those connections.

Networking computers is about sharing resources, you can share printers, files, modems and Internet connections. Sharing an Internet connection means everybody in the house doesn’t have to fight over the Internet computer. Usually a network will be cheaper than each computer having it's own printer, modem and connection.

The cheapest and standard way to connect computers close together is with Cat5 cable. This is easy if the computers are in the same room but can get messy and expensive when running through walls or floors. If you decide to run cables through your house make sure the electrician you use is certified to install data networks.

The alternative to cable is wireless. Cat5 networks are faster than wireless networks and there are some security aspects. But for home use speed isn’t an issue as the speed of a wireless network is still faster than broadband Internet connections.

Once the computers are connected you will need a router. This will connect your network to the Internet. All the newer routers have the capacity to connect to dial-up, cable or ADSL Internet connections automatically. Routers have the advantage of maintaining your connection and providing basic security for your systems.

Once everything is connected you will have to configure your router to connect to your ISP and your Internal network to the router. You will need to setup your network TCP/IP connections to suit the router. This will vary according to your router and Internet provider. Sorry, you'll have to read the manuals.

Excellent resources about Internet connection sharing are OzCable Guy and Practically Networked, the broadband resource is The Whirlpool. If it all this seems too hard then the OzCable Guy has a referral list for installers of equipment and cable in your neighbourhood.

Happy surfing and watch your download limits.

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