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Old 11-12-05, 10:20
putasolutions putasolutions is offline
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Default Choosing your Networking kit. What Do You need?

Choices, choices so many choices! This brief guide does not tell you which brand of kit to buy, but how to determine what kit you will need, along with a brief description of what the kit does. This is followed by a brief glossary of Networking Terms

Network creation can only be successful with planning.

Among the things you'll need to consider are cost, ease of installation, application of the computers and location

Microsoft do a smart interactive tool that can help you make an informed choice into what kit is required, in the form of their Microsoft Home Network Guide.

The tool will suggest whether you go wired or wireless and will provide you with detailed advice on the pros and cons of each. It will also tell you what kit you need to buy to complete your home network.

Finally, it will give you a set of basic network setup instructions, which can be printed out.

Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of Wireless over Wired, that may or may not be given by the guide.

Wireless over Wired

  • Flexible (Allows network connectivity, without being tethered by a wire)
  • Lower installation cost (No need for wiring)
  • Offers mobility
  • Allows network connectivity in locations where wiring is difficult
  • Allows quick installation of a network
  • More expensive equipment ( a wireless NIC 15 - 20, and an Access point from 30)
  • Lower data rate (54 MB Shared)
  • Less reliable ( Another point failure, affected by environment)
  • Less secure
  • Limitations of Range

NIC (Network Interchange Card),

Sometimes known as an ethernet card.

an expansion board you insert into a computer so the computer can be connected to a network. In most cases, these are either built in to the motherboard, or in the form of a PCI card.

A Wireless NIC will usually be a PCI card or USB for desktop computers, PCMCIA or again USB for laptops


A common connection point for devices in a network. Hubs are commonly used to connect segments of a LAN. A hub contains multiple ports. When a packet arrives at one port, it is copied to the other ports so that all segments of the LAN can see all packets


Same as above, but the destination address of each packet of data is determined by the switch and then the packet is forwarded to the correct port and subsequently the correct pc.


A device that forwards data packets along networks. A router is connected to at least two networks, commonly two LANs or WANs or a LAN and its ISP’s network. Routers are located at gateways, the places where two or more networks connect.
These can be wired or wireless

Access Point (AP)

A hardware device or a computer's software that acts as a communication hub for users of a wireless device to connect to a wired LAN.

Print Server

A print server is a device that manages one or more printers, allowing one or more PCs to access printers independently

Crossover Cable

A CAT5 cable (using 8 twisted pairs of wires) designed to connect two NICS directly. The CTS (Clear to Send) and RTS (Ready to Send) wires are crossed over internally so that the PCs can talk directly to each other.

Straight through (patch) cable

A CAT5 cable used to by PCs communicating through Hub, router or Switching devices.

Definitions from Webopedia
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Last edited by Old_John_McKenna; 07-02-10 at 01:22.
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