How to Set Up a Home Network
Very few people had a home network 20 years ago. There was a lot of effort in setting up all those cables around the house, and then properly configuring Windows, drivers, and so on. These days, a home network is a must-have in any home, though. Fortunately, the entire process of setting up and administering a network is much easier these days. Read on to find out how you can quickly set up your home network.
Everything should begin with assessing the goals of your network’s existence. In other words, what are you trying to accomplish? If you’re only interested in getting Internet access on your phone, it’s much easier to purchase a data plan from your cell phone provider. Of course, if you are interested in streaming high quality HD movies, or if you are a gamer who spends many hours online each day, your needs will be different.
There are two solutions when it comes to setting up a home network: wired or wireless. With wired networks, you get the maximum speed, only being limited by your Internet service provider’s data speed cap. These wired networks are the perfect solution for people who are interested in watching movies or playing high-end games online.
This doesn’t mean that Wi-Fi networks can’t be fast enough! It’s just that with Wi-Fi, every wall, metal surface, piece of furniture, and so on can become an obstacle. The good news is that you can set up a Wi-Fi network, test it, and then, if the results aren’t that great, you can convert it into a wired network as well, without wasting any money.
Most people have wired Internet access brought to their doors. This means that your Internet provider offers you the possibility of connecting to its network using a cable. These days a few companies are implementing ultra high speed, 10 GB Ethernet connections, but the reality is that most of them only offer 1 GB packages, which – truth be told – are more than enough for most people’s needs.
So make sure to buy a fast package if your Internet speed demands are high. The next bottleneck is your router. For best results, be sure to purchase the fastest router available. This doesn’t mean that you should buy the most expensive router, though, but that you should purchase one which can also work using the latest wireless standards – 802.11ac at the moment.
Connect the Internet cable to your router, and then set it up. Detailed instructions are included in either the router’s manual, or can be downloaded from the Internet. Be sure to set up a WPA2 network and choose a very strong password for it.
At this point, you should be able to connect your smartphone to the newly created Wi-Fi network, using the previously created network name and password. If all your home devices include Wi-Fi chips, they should be able to connect as well.
If you’ve got an older laptop or computer, which lacks a Wi-Fi chip, purchase or borrow a Wi-Fi stick from a friend, plug it in, and then test the devices. Run a few real-life tests, finding out the actual download and upload speeds.
If you are happy with the results, congratulations! Your home network has been set up. You may only need to buy one or more similar (or better!) Wi-Fi sticks after you return the borrowed one.
Internet speed may decrease a lot, especially when your device is more than 20 feet away from the router, or when there are walls or other obstacles between them. If this is the case, you will have to set up a wired network, or use Wi-Fi signal repeaters. Fortunately, your wired network is already set up! You will only need to connect the router with your computer using a LAN cable. That’s all!