Wired and Wireless Home Networks

As explained in this post, you can build your home network by using either wired or wireless infrastructure. Ethernet, Power Lines and Phone Lines can be used for wired home networks, whereas the dominant technology for wireless home networks is the WiFi 802.11 standard.Below we give you a quick snapshot and comparison of the different home network technologies available.

Technology

SPEED RANGE COST Wiring Ease Peripheral Availability

 

 

 

Wired
Home
Network

Ethernet
(Using Copper Cables)
Up to 1000 Mbps 100 m
330 ft
Low Difficult if nodes are in different rooms Very popular, Extensive Availability
PhoneLine
(HPNA 3.1)
Up to 320 Mbps 300 m
1000 ft
Moderate Easy. Uses Existing Phone Lines Not popular, Limited Availability
PowerLine (HomePlug AV) Up to 200 Mbps Half Duplex Length of Power Line Low to Moderate Easy. Uses Existing Power Lines Not popular, Moderate Availability
FireWire 400 Mbps 5 m
15 ft
Low Easy. Usually between two PCs High Availability

 

 

Wireless
Home
Network

WiFi 802.11a 54 Mbps Radius
~35 m *
Moderate No wires Not popular, Limited Availability
WiFi 802.11b 11 Mbps Radius
~38 m *
Low No wires Very popular, Extensive Availability
WiFi 802.11g 54 Mbps Radius
~38 m *
Low to Moderate No wires Very popular, Extensive Availability
WiFi 802.11n Over 200 Mbps Radius
~70 m *
Moderate to High No wires New standard, gaining popularity

* WiFi Radius Indoor Distance depends on number and types of walls. It is usually much less than the shown value.
Home Network Security
A factor that must never be omitted when building a home LAN network, especially when the network is connected to the internet, is how to protect data and preserve your privacy. “Defense in Depth” is the best security approach to take. This layered security concept refers to implementing an outer perimeter layer of security using a firewall (included in the Home Gateway broadband router for example), and then implement inner layers of security (on your internal home network computers) to protect against viruses, spyware etc.

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