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What is a Home Network and Why I Need One?

Could you imagine your home without Wi-Fi or an internet connection? Better yet, could you imagine having to take turns with your family to use it? There was a time when this was a reality, but not anymore thanks to households being equipped with home networking.

If you want a reliable internet connection to share files, play games online or stream your favorite shows, you will need a home network.

What is a home network?

A home network lets you share your broadband internet connection with multiple people and devices. This means that everyone in the family can use their devices at the same time. You can stream your favorite show in one room while another member of your family is on the computer in another room.

Home networks also allow users to connect their devices to one central device, like a printer. With a home network, everyone can print to one printer instead of having to buy multiple printers (one for each device).

Your home network connection can either be wireless (Wi-Fi) or wired with an ethernet cable or with the coaxial wiring that may already exist in the home. Regardless if your network is wireless or wired, there is some set up involved. Here is what you will need to set it up and how:

What you need for a Wired Home Network

Between wired and wireless home networks, wired can seem like the easier way to go. Which is true, if you live in a smaller space or only have one or two devices to connect. A wired home network requires a few things:

  1. Router
  2. Modem
  3. Network adapters
  4. Ethernet cables or your home’s existing coaxial wiring

What to do for a wired setup:

Once you have all of the tools that you need, setting up a wired home network is easy. Here’s what you do:

Take one end of your Ethernet cable and connect it to your router. Take the other end of the cable and connect it to your modem. With another cable, connect your computer to the router.

You can do the same thing using coaxial wiring in your home. Roughly 90% of homes have coax wiring, so this could be a viable option for you. To set up using coaxial wiring, you will need to use an adapter and extender kit like MoCA. Here’s how to set it up:

First, connect the MoCA adapter to your router. Take the other adapter and plug it into a coax outlet port in any room in the home that has one. Doing this helps deliver a strong and stable wired connection to your devices throughout your home.
While a wired connection is always going to be stronger and faster than a wireless home network, a wireless connection is a lot more convenient.

Looking to set up a wireless home network? Here’s what you will need:

What You Need for a Wireless Home Network

There are a few basics when it comes to getting your wireless home network set up. The number one reason to set up your home network is for internet connection and sharing. The first step is to get internet.

To get internet, you will need to sign up with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). You will also need a modem and a router, which a reputable ISP will provide for you.

Next, make sure the modem and router are connected. Then connect your device to the router with the network name and password provided. (It is a great idea to change the network name and password to something strong and secure.)

The router is the component that assigns an address to all of your devices, so that it knows where to send and receive signals from. This is what allows you to download files, streaming content, game online, etc.

To Wire or Not to Wire

Using an ethernet cable to connect your devices is an easy and reliable way to make sure that your devices have a strong internet connection. Wired connections work well for devices that are near each other in the same room. But what if you have multiple devices throughout your home? Running cables throughout the home isn’t going to work well (not to mention all of that clutter).

In this case, a wireless connection will be a better option or you. Wi-Fi home networks are the most common with households acquiring more and more internet-devices.

Setting up Wi-Fi at home doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be simple once you understand what you need to set up your wireless network.

Stay in-the-know on the impacts of home networking and other developing Wi-Fi news by following Actiontec’s featured Industry Articles or the Actiontec blog.

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