4 Essential Building Blocks of a Home Network
A home network is a private ecosystem of technology - computers, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, etc. - which are all connected to a modem and router, and optionally extended by a switch or wireless access point (WAP). The aforementioned devices are the heart of your network, and we at MIProTechs are here to make sure you understand what they are, what they do, and why you need them.
A router splits your modem's bandwidth between all of your household devices, either over a wired connection or over Wi-Fi. Routers provide a single Wi-Fi signal and a small number of Ethernet ports for a household. However, you can extend your router’s bandwidth and thus enable it to support more devices at once with strategically placed wireless access points (WAPs) or switches, depending on the type of network connection.
Since the router is the main source of connectivity in your home, where you choose to place it can greatly affect how well it will perform. It’s also important that you set up your router correctly lest you risk compromised network security. Learn more about the most common mistakes made during wireless network setup.
While a router is responsible for distributing a wireless signal throughout your home, a modem is responsible for receiving the signal from your ISP that allows you to connect to the Internet in the first place. While DSL and fiber options exist, the most popular and widely utilized modem type is cable. This is because in addition to the flexibility to use equipment purchased from either an ISP or retailer, cable modems offer a wider range bandwidth channels which can provide higher speed and more consistent performance; especially for very active and device-heavy networks.
What’s an ISP? How does it affect my network?
“ISP” stands for “internet service provider”. This is the company you pay to supply your home with broadband bandwidth, which is measured in download and upload rates. Download speed is needed when streaming movies and shows. Upload speed is required for activities such as social media uploading and online gaming. Inadequate internet speed will cause issues with your home network and make running all of your devices challenging.
A switch is great for wired or partially wired networks to extend the number of Ethernet ports on your router. They’re helpful if you have a large number of wired devices in one location (such as an entertainment center), if you're attempting to increase your speeds or reduce wireless interference, or if you're having Ethernet ports installed in the walls of your home.
Wireless Access Point (WAP)
Just as a switch extends a wired network, a wireless access point (WAP) does the same for a wireless one. An access point expands the bandwidth provided by a router so that the network can handle more devices and such devices can access the network from farther away. Moreover, a WAP can also provide useful data about the devices connected to the network, more proactive security, and more.
The possibilities that a home network opens up are exciting and truly endless. Whether you have specific connectivity needs to address or just need some general advice, all you have to do is contact us MIProTechs. Our team of experts is more than happy to walk you through our network installation options, help you evaluate and optimize your current network, or anything else you might need. Call us at (248) 987-6171 to get started!