Your home security system can be self contained and simply monitor the status of your house and send appropriate alerts to your monitoring company. For many home security needs these stand alone installations work perfect. However, when you start asking questions about sending alerts to your office, or checking your monitoring system on your iPad, or expanding your home system to monitor all appliances… then you need to have a home network. You may request that your home security expert team install and maintain your network… or with a few hours of research you can manage your own home network.
Before you go out and buy your network products you should take just a few minutes to understand the basics of home networking. So over the next few blogs I will attempt to cut to the truth with as little unneccessary dialog as possible.
A home network is simply a method of allowing computers, printers, appliances, media devices, and security sytems to communicate with one another. The backbone of the network is the wires, ( or wirless signal), routers, switcher, and internet connection that allow your devices to all talk to each other. The first consideration is the wire or wireless signal that transmits the communication between devices. (In this blog we will only cover wired networks and then in the next installation we will cover wireless.) When you purchase your ethernet cables you want to ask for Cat 5E cable with standard RJ45 connectors. Your ethernet cables need to run from your computers and devices to a central router/switcher.
Each of your network connected devices talk to one another through a switcher. Your entire network can share a internet connection through the use of a router. The router connects your network (devices and switch) to external networks. Fortunately you can purchase combination router/switchers that take care of both tasks. Example: Cisco-Linksys EtherFast Cable/DSL Router with 4-Port 10/100 Switch. One last thing before you run out and buy your cables and router/switcher… “how fast do you want your network to run?”
If you just bought a new BMW 740 series vehicle you probably are thinking “let’s get this car on a good freeway where I can open it up.” A new computer is no different… if it can communicate at a blazing rate and your network is made for a horse and buggy… then you have a problem. Network devices are built to communicate at a given speed:
A megabyte per second (MB/s) is a unit of data transfer rate equal to: 1,000,000 bytes per second.
A gigabyte per second (GB/s) is a unit of data transfer rate equal to: 1,000,000,000 bytes per second.
Lets end this session today with you looking up how fast your computer is designed to communicate. For a PC here is how: open up your device manager and look at your “network adapter” settings. This will tell you which one of the above speeds your computer wants to use for communication.