The Guide to Building a Complete Home Network

As we discussed in the introduction to the home network, it is not ideal to have everything connected to your home network via WiFi.

To give your devices which require it a hard-wired connection, all you have to do is plug them into the ports on your router using an ethernet cable. If you live in a small studio apartment where you have just four hard wired devices which are all within easy reach of your router, this is really easy. All you need is the correct cables, for your smart TV, computer, network drive, printer and console. Provided you have enough ports on your router, these devices can all be connected for the best performance, while keeping your WiFi free for your smartphone and tablet.

What about if you are in a bigger home, with more devices? How about if your WiFi coverage is not always reliable?

The ideal solution and one that has started to become commonplace, is to consider installing an extensive wired network infrastructure into your home. This usually involves having a couple of cables running from wall (or floor) mounted access points in each room of the house, as required, to a central location. Here you would have a cabinet, which houses a network switch, your router and possibly some other equipment such as NAS drives, a security camera system, HDMI Matrix and possibly even amplifiers for a multi-room audio or home cinema.

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Building a system like this into your home will not only provide you with a better experience of using your home technology. It will also bring your home up to date and maybe even add value to your home. If you do happen to be in the process of renovating or building your home, it is the ideal opportunity to consider installing a proper, wired network. In fact it would be a shame to waste the opportunity of allowing for the provision of network cabling, if you are at the first fix stage of a build.

If the prospect of cutting holes in your walls to add miles and miles of cable seems a little less feasible, or you have areas of your house where running cables would be difficult, it might be worth considering other options such as mains line extenders.

Next, we’ll begin by looking at the cabling..