Home Networking

Home Networking

Generally the reason for home networking is to share printers and internet connections. The simplest network for this is Window's ICS (Internet Connection Sharing). This is what I used till 2006. I have an old (by today's standards) LinkSys Router connected to the DSL Modem and Verizon DSL (low speed). ICS is part of Windows that isn't normally installed, but is always there (on CDROM or hard drive depending on type of install) for use. It's installed with the Add/Remove programs as a Windows setup under Internet Tools (first entry). When you add that it will generally create a diskette as part of the process to help setup other PCs on the network. The next thing is type of network: 10base2 , 10baseT, 100baseT , and WiFi are the most common.


Is coax cable (much like cable TV) with T's on the back of the network cards and cable or terminators plugged into them. It is the slowest ethernet working at about 1.47MB/sec (still much faster than DSL, T1 is 1.58MB/sec so it takes a T1 or better to be faster than 10base2 ethernet). It is also the cheapest and easiest to setup. It's a 50 ohm coax with 50 ohm terminators on either end. Cable (3MB to 6MB/sec) is now faster and Fiber optics is the fastest.


This is what I run and requires a hub or switch with ports for each computer to be connected. 10BaseT runs about 4.7MB/sec, I haven't really clocked 100BaseT but would suspect most run about 47MB/sec (half-duplex). The reason for the slow speeds vs the name is most are running half-duplex meaning they can't send and receive at the same time. I am generally running 10BaseT with a couple of hubs and switches. The 'router' is plugged into the hub just like all the other systems, but without it the others can't run well. The router has DHCP which assigns IP numbers to all the other PCs, without that normal TCP/IP doesn't run. Windows normal network (SAMBA) does run without DHCP however, but you need IPX/SPX and NetBIOS protocols loaded (this should be done when sharing is first enabled) which are what is handling name resolution instead of DHCP. They are added by left clicking on Network Neighborhood and adding the IPX/SPX & NetBIOS protocols from Microsoft.


WiFi is the most common wireless network and is generally based around a wireless router (like LinkSys WRT54G). The most common right now is 'G' which is 54MB/sec, but there are multiple stream versions that run two channels of 54 for 108MB/sec and such. There is also 'N' which is becoming the new standard and runs multiple streams and multiple antennas to direct the signal (aim it) at the receivers. Most laptops have 'G' at present but will be moving to 'N' in time, just as they moved from 'B' (11MB/sec) a few years ago.


Most of the common terms for home networks have been mentioned now, except the more advanced Switch/Router. A switch literially turns connections on and off and a router connects networks. Above ICS is mentioned, it works as a router in the easiest to setup network, connecting a modem to the internal home network. Generally the internal network server running ICS is at (default) as an IP address. All other PCs get the next number after .1 when they first attach to the network (, These are called internal addresses and they don't get out to the internet itself, only one IP assigned to the PPP link on the modem ever gets to the internet. ICS does the routing to connect to the two networks so they work together. Without ICS you can't share the internet connection as you need a router of some kind to tie the networks together. Cable/DSL modems generally have an ethernet output which goes to a PC. To run ICS as a router the PC would need two ethernet cards, one to the Cable/DSL modem and one to the internal network. This gets hard to setup, but can be done. If you just use default setup the Cable/DSL modem will use DHCP to assign an address to the ethernet card it's connected too and the other one will get lost. Thus the server will be the only system to get to the internet and will not exist on the local network (except via IPX/SPX & NetBIOS). This would make it look like everything is fine under normal Sharing, but only the server would get to the internet. Generally the best thing to do with Cable/DSL modems to share the connection is use a 4 port Switching Router like the LinkSys BEFSR41 (about $60). You just put that between the Cable/DSL modem (on the WAN port) and the internal network (on the other ports), reset both and the network comes right up. Then all the PCs are equals on the network. These routers come with 4 or 8 ports, generally enough for a home network without added hubs. In my case I'd need the hubs (5 PCs in basement [on hub], 4 in game room [on another hub], 1 in livingroom, 1 in bedroom).

Make a free website with Yola