Basics to a Home Network


Description
There are many parts to a home network, including many ways to connect. The following sections are in order of how they need to be connected.

Internet Service Provider

Description
Your internet service provider, or ISP, is the company that delivers your internet to your home. If your ISP is a cable provider then you will need a modem which can either be provided or you can purchase on your own. If it is not a cable company then another form of connection like a gateway will be needed and should be provided. More coming soon…

Network Access

Description
Now that you have found an ISP how do you plan on getting tier signal to all of your devices? Wired? Wireless? More Coming soon…

Description

How Does It All Come Together

All of these are all connected but how? No other than with an Ethernet cable. Ethernet cables are commonly used to connect computers and network-enabled devices to the internet. Ethernet cables just pass along the signal and you can see what I mean by that when you read through the sections above. These cables can come in different lengths and colors making them very customizable for you the user.

Ethernet cables are categorized, or in ethernet terms Cat, as Cat5, Cat6, Cat7.
“Ethernet Categories”>


If you look at the table above you can see all of the different categories of ethernet. Out of the list which one is best? I would recommend using either Cat6 or Cat6a. Cat6 is great because it offers 1Gbps speeds with a high 250MHz bandwidth, Cat6a, on the other hand, offers a larger 10Gbps and 500MHz. Cat5e would also be a great choice offering the same speed as Cat6 although with a reduced bandwidth of 100MHz. Cat3 and Cat5 are practically useless in today’s world of massive file sizes. The last option of Cat7 is great featuring 10Gbps like Cat6a and a even higher bandwidth of 600GHz.

IP

Another factor of using the internet is internet protocol or IP. This is an identification number, a form of label for your computer.

Static vs. Dynamic

A static IP means that your IP may change every time your computer boots up and connects to the internet. Dynamic, on the other hand, means that your IP is fixed, or does not change, every time you boot up your computer and connect to the internet.
Your computer has two IPs:

Local IP

Your computers local IP, given to you by your router, identifies your computer on your local network. For example you your computer is 192.168.1.2, then when you access your router or gateway settings and view the list of attached device and find 192.168.1.2 you know that it is your device, although since you lock IP can change it may be easier to go by your computer’s MAC address which you can learn more about below.

Public IP

The other IP that his assigned to your computer is a public IP. This is the address that websites use to identify you when you access their website. They can also be publicly searched for using sites like WhatIsMyIPAddress.com

DNS


Your Domain Name System, or DNS, is the “phone book” or the “address book” of the internet. When you go to any website the address is searched for in your DNS it is then is converted into an IP and your website is loaded. For example when you type apple.com into your address bar without you knowing it converts to 17.142.160.59, 17.172.224.47, or 17.178.96.59. Go ahead try it for yourself copy one of those IP and see if you’re taken to Apple.com. All of this happens in the background without you even knowing it. To find a website’s IP you can go to Google’s Public DNS and search for a website.
Usually the default DNS is configured by your ISP so this is something that you sent have to really worry about. For more advanced users you can customize your DNS on either your router or computer. By doing so you might find that it quicker than your ISP.

Some popular DNSs are:

MAC Address


A media access control address, or MAC address, is another way your device is labeled on your local network. A MAC address is a unique string of letters and number that are hard-coded into the WiFi card or ethernet port in or on your computer, so unlike your local IP address, your MAC address will never change making it easier to identify computers.

Helpful Links:

Table: Digital Trends: “Still need the reliability of wired internet? Here’s how to choose an Ethernet cable”  

Photo: Netgear CM1000 Ultra-High Speed Cable Modem

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