In the past, getting connected to the internet meant setting up your computer desk by a telephone port and hooking up a massive dial-up modem. The screeching and beeping noise of the modem was a bane for the teenagers of that era who would try to stay online late at night. However, today, the situation has changed entirely and there is no more ear-shredding noise to muffle. Our connections are always on, and we don’t have to sabotage someone’s phone call to get online. In fact, we use the internet to make phone calls, and our devices are always demanding a connection.
Hence, the question that arises is, how do we get every device we own that demands a connection connected? The author suggests that with a collection of devices and wires, you can ensure that almost any home network configuration can be set up. For a reasonably complicated network in a home situation where various computers, phones, and media devices demand access to the internet and your other devices, the following are a few recommendations to make the setup possible.
Firstly, it is recommended to have a solid modem. You can get modem-routers, but the author does not suggest them because it takes longer to make changes to port forwarding, saves, and restarts the device, and then waits for it to authenticate with the internet service provider (ISPs). Hence, if you make lots of changes, it can cause considerable downtime. The author recommends a separate modem and router, and it varies from region to region.
Secondly, a wireless router is required if you want wireless access, and it is suggested to get a draft-N router that is faster than G, especially if you have newer Apple devices or devices that support it. However, if you prefer to stick with your router that you’re using now, it is still fine. The other thing that is needed to be looked for is compatibility with open-source router firmware such as DD-WRT or Tomato that can convert your router into something more powerful with better features.
Thirdly, if your home is large enough to cause a connection problem, access points can ensure a strong signal throughout the whole house. They also make it possible to cater to both Draft-N and b/g devices without running a mixed-mode network from one device for performance reasons.
Fourthly, you may need a cheap bridge, primarily when you have multiple media appliances that don’t have wi-fi built-in and demand connectivity through Ethernet. The Xbox 360 is a classic example of such a device, and manufacturers charge a wireless adapter at a high price, which doesn’t even support draft-N. Instead of buying a fancy wireless bridge, a cheap router that happens to be on the DD-WRT Supported Devices list can be hacked to get Ethernet juice running to all your home media devices without running CAT-5 around the walls.
Lastly, it is smart to have Ethernet cables around because they come in handy in different situations where you may need to connect various devices physically. It helps to have them spare and in various sizes to use whenever needed.
In conclusion, connecting your devices to the internet can be a daunting task, but with the above recommendations, it can be easier to set up a reasonably complicated network in a home situation. It may not be necessary for those who have a few devices, but it makes the experience smoother for those who have numerous devices demanding connectivity.