Archive for the ‘IT Network (power over Ethernet)’ Category

Building a small network – Explained

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Building a small network.

Building a small network.
Never fear-it’s easy to build a twisted-pair Ethernet network. In fact, it’s the simplest and most inexpensive network you can build, and it’s worth installing for even just two or three PCs. Your small network doesn’t have to be slow either-most of today’s Ethernet devices support 100-Mbps Ethernet as well as legacy 10baseT. These dual-speed devices sense and adjust automatically to the speed of connected devices.

Build a basic Ethernet network.
The most basic Ethernet network uses an Ethernet switch to enable two or more PCs to communicate directly with each other. This very simple network, which operates without a network server is called a peer-to-peer network. See the diagram below.

All you need are an Ethernet adaptor card for each connected PC, an Ethernet switch, and some CAT5e unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable. If your PCs have built-in Ethernet like many of today’s PCs do, you don’t even need Ethernet adaptors.

To build your network, connect the Ethernet port on each PC to a port on your Ethernet switch using the CAT5e cable. Snap-in, modular connectors make connecting the cable to the PCs and the switch as simple as plugging in your phone. If you need more ports, just connect another switch to the first.

And don’t worry about software—if you have Windows® 95 or later, you have all the software you need for a small peer-to-peer network.

Add a print server.
Even a very small network can benefit from the convenience of a print server, a specialised network device that enables network users to share one or more printers. It accepts print jobs from users and manages these jobs on each printer. See the diagram below.

Typically, a print server is a freestanding device that’s connected between the network and the printer. A freestanding print server is very easy to install—just connect it to your Ethernet switch using CAT5e cable, then connect the printer using a parallel printer cable.

A print server for a small network may also be built into another device, such as a switch or a broadband router.

Your print server will probably come with software utilities to install on your PC, and you’ll need to do some configuration to set it up. But, once installed, it’s virtually transparent to network users.

Connect your network to the Internet.
A remote access router enables your entire network to share a single Internet connection. The small remote access routers used in small and home office networks are usually referred to as broadband routers because they connect your network to broadband DSL or cable modem Internet services. See the diagram below.

A remote access router enables two or more computers to share an Internet connection by using a technology called Network Address Translation (NAT), which enables all the computers on your network to share a single IP address.

Although the primary reason to install a remote access router is the convenience of having all network users share an Internet connection, a router also helps keep your system safe from hackers. NAT masks your true IP address, providing firewall protection between your network and the Internet.

You install the remote access router between your Ethernet switch and your DSL or cable modem. The DSL or cable modem is usually provided by your Internet service provider and has an Ethernet port, which may be a regular LAN port that can be connected by straight-pinned CAT5e cable or may be a WAN port that requires a special cross-pinned CAT5e cable for connection to the Ethernet switch.

Remote access routers normally require extensive setup and configuration but, once installed, operate transparently.

Broadband routers for small networks also often feature a built-in Ethernet switch and print server. This means you only need the broadband router plus some cable to turn a few unconnected PCs into a secure, multifeatured Ethernet network.

How to Use Your Home’s Wiring for Networking

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Powerline adapters can help you bridge the gaps in your home network.

Until recently you had two options for setting up a computer network in your home – wired or wireless.

First on the scene was wired networking. The upside is clear and reliable connections between your computers and all the devices attached to your network – printers, external storage, etc. The downside: unsightly wires everywhere.

Then along came wireless technology. No more wiring clutter. All your networked devices could “talk” to each other throughout your home without stringing wires across the floor, over doorjambs and around corners. The use of the new “802.11n” technology with its ability to send wireless signals further and stronger makes the wireless option even more popular.

However, in some homes wireless networking literally runs into “walls.” Your home may have “dead spots” caused by such things as lathe and plaster, steel, aluminum or stone walls, alcoves or other building design elements that block wireless signals.

But, fear not, there is an easy fix to these situations. It is called “powerline networking.”

Networking companies like D-Link offer Powerline Ethernet (wired) Adapters, inexpensive devices (under $140 per pair) that take advantage of your home’s existing electrical wiring. You’ll need at least two to create a network, and more adapters can be added depending on the configuration of your home.

Simply plug them into your wall sockets to create or extend the digital network in a house or apartment. It turns every power outlet into a possible network connection where you can plug computers, digital media players, game consoles, network storage units and other devices in your home’s network.

Certain home appliances, like vacuum cleaners or hair dryers, can slow down your powerline connection, but the overall benefits far outweigh any performance loss and are well worth the cost. In fact, in addition to plug-and-play installation, D-Link’s powerline adapters can prioritize Internet traffic to allow larger data files like movies and video to flow through your network at greater speeds than word processing documents, for instance. They also have security and power-saving green features to boost your network’s effectiveness.

So go ahead. Plug in a powerline adapter on your patio, put your feet up on the chaise lounge and watch your favourite movie on your laptop.