How to Set Up a Home Computer Network

Many people want to know how to set up a home computer network so that they can benefit from having one link for their computers, external storage devices, printers, gaming consoles, files, telephones and home entertainment systems that have wired or wireless networking capabilities.

Network Architecture

The first stage is to decide on your network architecture, i.e. the network type: wired, wireless or mixed, the devices you would like include into your network and how they will be connected. Three main aspects to keep in mind are:

  1. The network speed
  2. The ease of cabling (for non-wireless devices)
  3. The cost

The three most common network types are (1) Ethernet (wired connectivity using special cable), (2) Wireless Ethernet (Wi-Fi) or (3) Phone Line (HPNA). Also, there are networks that use a home electrical wiring for communication. Wireless (Wi-Fi) based network can operate in one of two radio bands – 2.4 or 5 Gigahertz or in both – 2.4 and 5 Gigahertz radio bands on dual-band wireless networks.

Ethernet Network Setup

If good speed is your main concern, then Ethernet is a good option. The standard Ethernet router’s speed is 10/100 Mbps (Mega bits per second) and now you can find 1000 Mbps routers. It is also the least expensive of the network types. Once everything is connected, however, all three networks work the same.

Each home computer network that has more than two devices (computers and/or peripheral devices) consists of central device – a network router (wired and/or wireless) and a few network adapters – that connect network peripherals such as computers, printers, and storage devices to the network.

After choosing right type of network router, the next step is an adapter selection, of which Ethernet has three options – USB, PCI and PC Card. USB adapters plug straight into your computer or any peripheral device with USB port but the USB connection usually has a limit of 54 Mbps. PCI adapters (wired and wireless) less expensive and very fast but are inserted internally so you’ll need to open the computer. PC Cards are for laptops.

After this come the cables for connections between the computers. Ethernet cables are of different CAT numbers which are an indication of quality. CAT5, CAT5e, CAT6 are of good quality. Connecting two computes will require a crossover cable. Connecting three or more computers requires an Ethernet Router, Switch or Hub.

Next, install the network drives and the network card that came with it on your PC, following the installation procedures instructions. When network drivers are properly installed the link lights for the nub and Ethernet cards come on. Link lights will not come on until everything is properly connected.

Determining the number of routers or hubs, cables and adapters you need depends on how many computers and peripheral devices you are linking up. Two computers will require a cross-over cable, two adaptors and one router, hub or switch (optional). Three or more computers require one router, hub or switch plus adapters and cables for each machine. Afterwards you must configure the network and this stage has four main elements and two levels.

4 Configuration Elements:

  1. NetBEUI
  2. Network Adapter Driver
  3. Microsoft Windows Client
  4. Microsoft Windows File and Print sharing

2 Configuration Levels:

  1. The first level of configuration is the protocol levels which refers to the language that computers use to ‘talk’ with each other. For basic home networks NetBEUI is a good protocol as it is fast, non-complicated and easy to configure.
  2. The second level of configuration is in regards to how Windows ‘talks’ to other Windows during file and print sharing through the first protocol level. The second level has two parts: ‘Client for Microsoft Windows’ and the ‘File and Printer’ sharing for Windows.

After the Network’s Setup

Once the configuration is complete then you move into troubleshooting. This means clicking on the “Network” folder in Windows Explorer to ensure you can see all the other computers on your network. If you get a “network inaccessible” message, try again after a minute or so as it takes a while the first time for the network to completely initialize the router and peripherals. If still it doesn’t work, switch off the router or hub and reboot, then reboot computer, followed by the other computer and all other peripherals (if applicable).

Best Computer Security: Guide to Choosing the Right Cyber Protection Needs for Your Home PC

While new PCs do come with free trial versions of an antivirus suite, as well as Windows built-in security tools, these features and programs aren’t always the best. Many users feel the need to uninstall them more than they feel the need to upgrade to a paid version. What is the best computer security program? With so many suites and products to choose from, how do you know which is the right solution for you?

Whether you’re a home user or business user, you should never compromise when it comes to security. All of the top rated cyber security brands offer a great selection of products and subscriptions to choose from, ranging from home PC antivirus software to top-notch, big business security services. Consider your needs and look over all of the tools and features offered with each and every product.

At the very least, you’ll need something that will protect you from issues such as malware, spyware, viruses, phishing, and other common online threats. If you travel a lot and have to connect to public Wi-Fi, you will definitely want to consider a laptop security suite that includes some type of VPN service.

File shredders are important, for both home and business users. You’ll always want to make sure that you get rid of files completely. Simply deleting a file or document and emptying the garbage bin won’t get rid of it forever. To eliminate the possibility that a computer expert someday down the road will be able to retrieve those files, get some good file-shredding software.

Avoid Risk With the Best Computer Security

The vulnerability level of your computer depends much in part on the operating system. Windows computers are at the most risk since Windows is the most popular OS. Apple computers and Macs, while not as likely to get attacked as Windows PCs, can still be vulnerable. They are still worth protecting – especially if you use them in your business.

There are security programs and antivirus suites that use up more resources than others. If you’re the owner of a newer computer with decent specs, you probably won’t have much of a problem running a protection program. Even so, you need to carefully read over the recommended system requirements of a program before deciding whether to give it a try.

The best computer security programs run efficiently and automatically update themselves on a daily basis. There should be a “quiet mode” option for when you are trying to stream videos, play games, or focus on an important project. Need a starting point? Consider Bitdefender products. This highly-rated brand offers everything, including standard home antivirus software, home office security, Mac protection, big business and enterprise security solutions, and more.

If you’ve never used Bitdefender before, take a look at all of its products to determine which one will be most useful for your needs. If you already have an account, you might be able to use Bitdefender coupon codes to help you renew or upgrade your subscription. It’s by far one of the best computer security companies.