by Staff Writer
With devices like HDTVs and video game consoles introducing new Internet connectivity options, home computer networking has become a necessity for the average home. Before you set up your own home network, it may help to know more about networking in general. Here are some frequently asked questions about computer networks and networking hardware.
How do I choose between wired and wireless networking?
The greatest strength of wireless networking is the flexibility and portability of wireless devices. Some devices, such as hand-held video game consoles, make it impractical to use wired Ethernet computer networking. If you don't have any wireless laptops or other wireless devices, a wired connection will work just fine. Also, a wired computer network is not open to the air like a Wi-Fi network, so security on a wired connection is somewhat simpler.
What are the benefits of wireless networking?
The best thing about wireless computer networking is the convenience it allows for accessing the Internet. You can sit nearly anywhere within range of your wireless network and access the Internet and other computers on your network. You won't need to run wires through your walls or along the floor to connect your devices. All that is required to access your wireless network is the proper networking hardware, like a wireless router to provide an Internet access point and a wireless adapter for each computer. Wireless computer networking also allows multiple wireless devices to use the network at once, whereas wired computer networking limits the number of connections to the number of Ethernet ports on the router.
What are the benefits of wired networking?
Wired networks won't give you the same flexibility as a wireless network; however, wired computer networking technology is generally superior to wireless in terms of speed and security. Your wired network signal isn't broadcast into the open like a wireless network signal; and with no wireless signal to interfere, you can place your computer anywhere and get the same reception and speed. You can also use wired computer networking with the existing electrical wiring in your home, making electrical outlets into access points.