Network Equipment – Basic Guide

There is a large number of networking equipment on sale. The standards and pruning of those devices can be confusing to the newcomer. The following manual is designed to cut through all of the jargon and explain the terms, names, and specifications making it simpler to make the correct decisions when establishing a home or small office system.

What is a Network?
A system usually consists of multiple computing devices that can communicate with each other enabling the sharing of information or data between them. With today’s technical advances networks are not confined to computers and laptops since they have expanded to televisions, stereo equipment, and even mobile devices such as tablets and tablet PCs.

Wired Networks
Before the improvements in wireless technology, networks could largely be”wired”. This would entail devices between computers that would permit cables to be plugged into the machines enabling communication. These wires would limit the motion of the devices and on home, networks will be impractical as it would ordinarily require the drilling of holes.

Wireless Networks
In the last few years, wireless media has improved and today works at rates that allow media of equipment faithfully and more easily than ever before.

Network Rate
Network speeds are important when deciding which way to go when constructing a network for the home or workplace. Wired networks currently run at three rates. All these are measured in Megabits Per Second, the current speeds are 100Mbps, 10Mbps, and Gigabit that runs at 1000Mbps. 10Mbps is quite outdated in today’s networks as it can’t cope with the transport of information and file sizes. 100Mbps can nonetheless be acceptable provided that there aren’t too many multimedia requirements as these documents are large and usually take up a great deal of network bandwidth.

There are now four wireless criteria for use around the office or home, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n. The first two criteria 802.11a and 802.11b are very slow and also very insecure to the point at which they should not be used on networks in any way. 802.11g works at 54Mbps and remains usable on networks. It’ll work adequately when surfing the internet and handles the transfer of information in your home or the workplace. 802.11n is the latest standard to be introduced and may operate at speeds up to 100mbps. Here is the standard that should be implemented if using wireless networks.

Network Equipment

Cables
Wired networks need special cables or network wires to function. The computer, laptop, or network equipment should have a network port to enable these wires to be connected to them. The port is known as an RJ45 port. There are a couple of types of network cable which can connect network-enabled devices to a network, these are CAT5e, CAT5, and CAT6 cables. The CAT5e ought to be utilized since this can deal with all network speeds including Gigabit 1000Mbps rates. Note that CAT5 doesn’t support media.

Network Switches
A network switch is used to connect multiple computer apparatus using network cables. They often have quite a few RJ45 ports used to connect the devices. They can come in various sizes and have a diverse amount of vents built-in. A network switch may have as little as four ports for either home or small office use but they also can include 8, 16, 32, and 48 interfaces the larger switches are usually found on bigger business networks.

Some switches come with a management interface that can be accessed via a web browser allowing certain settings to be manipulated from the change such as enabling and disabling ports. This is not usually a requirement for small and home office networks although it is going to allow segmenting of the community.

Network Routers
As the name implies, the part of this network router is to route traffic around a community. They examine it and take the information being transmitted across the community and send it.

Typically a home router may interface with the various network equipment around your home and handle the passage of information between those devices and even the internet via modem. Ahead of the application of contemporary routers, internet connection sharing between devices was long-winded and quite unreliable. These days several ISPs (Internet Service Providers) supply a router as part of their installation or bundle. Some companies who are manufacturing communication still making progress in the field.

A router might also have wireless technology built-in allowing the connection of wireless devices to the community. All these devices then can share and access resources on the network via the router.

A typical home router may have four RJ45 ports, a port for connecting it to the internet and wireless capabilities allowing it to develop into the central networking device around the house.

Network Attached Storage
NAS or network-attached storage was once only used for business to store data shared amongst devices on the network. There are now devices designed to do this for home-usage. The network-attached storage is one or more hard disk drives contained in a box that ports with all the home network. These can be linked to the router or switch. They have an interface that could be retrieved using a web/internet browser enabling simple configuration and backing up etc.. These devices have been accessed by computers, laptops, etc using media letting surfing, copying of documents to and from the network-connected storage.

Media Players
These are a few of the latest network devices which can be installed around the home. They can interface with the home television and even stereo equipment allowing pictures and sound files to be played. Media players have been put with network-connected storage obtaining media files and playing them.

Network Cards and Adapters
These devices are used to connect a device to the system. They can be wired or wireless. A PC should come by default with these fitted. In case a computer/laptop does not have network capacities or doesn’t have the necessary capabilities for the network to which it is linking then an adapter may be purchased to enable the link to be added.

Overview
There is a lot of diverse network equipment that can be used around the home or office and hopefully, this guide has cleared up some of the confusion regarding the technology out there. If you’re uncertain of your needs then a simple search will bring countless results enabling research and advice from other users that have established their network.