Looking forward to 2023, how to set up a home network? To have the best performance, you should make some primary considerations for your best home network setup, like
- Network type (LAN, WAN)
- Wireless or Wired Connectivity
- Powerline and Mesh Networks
- Managed or Unmanaged Switch
- Router or Cable Modem
- Range Extender
A solid network is crucial whether you’re a professional working from home, running some servers (e.g., a web server), or just a family with plenty of gadgets.
Get the most out of your network setup by familiarizing yourself with the fundamentals of different network types and the most recent technologies. In this article, we’ll discuss the several varieties of networks and the optimal configuration for a business-grade home network setup.
What are the types of home networks?
When setting up a home network, one of the first things to consider is understanding the difference between a Local Area Network (LAN) and the Wide Area Network (WAN).
Local Area Network and Wide Area Network
LANs are typically used for small offices, large enterprises, and homes as they provide fast connections over short distances using a well-established wiring standard. They usually consist of computers connected via Ethernet cables or wireless routers and managed switches within a specific area like an office building or house.
A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a type of computer network that spans cities, countries, and even continents, connecting multiple local networks to each other. It is composed of public communication links such as satellites, telephone lines, and even fiber optic cables. These networks allow users to access resources from any location around the world.
The most popular protocols used for WAN connectivity include Ethernet, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Frame Relay, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), optical transport network (OTN), and Internet Protocol (IP). These protocols allow for the efficient transmission of data between computers located in different parts of the world. Network administrators can use traffic shaping technologies such as Quality of Service (QoS) to prioritize critical network traffic over lower priority ones to maximize the entire system’s performance.
While LANs nowadays have at least gigabit speeds as a standard, a WAN connection is much slower in most regions. As a home user, the WAN connection usually provides an ISP to your home, where you connect a single computer directly to the modem or many devices behind a managed or unmanaged switch.
Wireless vs. Wired
Is Home Network the same as Wi-Fi?
Both wireless (wi fi) and wired networks are standard in modern home network installations to establish a network connection. More and more people are opting for wireless networks because they are more practical and simple. A wireless network uses radio waves to transfer data via a wireless network connection. Once Wi-Fi is set up, users may connect their devices from almost anywhere within the range of the signal.
Still, the security of wireless networks isn’t always as good as wired networks because the signal can be picked up or hacked more easily. However, wired networks are superior for use in a business environment at home. Additionally, they are significantly safer than wireless ones. Since there is less chance of interference due to the lack of a radio signal, the transmission is more secure. Wires must be run from the router to each device, which makes setting up a wired network more complicated.
Consider the different connectivity types – if you do not need any Wi-Fi in your home, you do not need to consider buying a wireless router, for example. On the other hand, you need a wired connection with an Ethernet cable. All your devices need a network interface card (internal or external) to get internet access.
When building a wired network, it’s important to consider where each component should be placed in relation to one another. Network cables are usually run from the wall or ceiling through the studs in walls or drop ceilings to connect devices. Network cables can also be installed behind baseboard trim or along carpet edges so they’re hidden from view while still providing access to the network points for devices. Make sure there is enough space around each device for adequate airflow and cable management. So do not forget to create a wired home network diagram to plan your installation.
Another type of network that is becoming increasingly popular is Powerline Networking. This technology utilizes your existing electrical wiring in the house to create an Ethernet network connection between two points without having to run wires all over the house. Today’s most advanced powerline adapters support up to 1000 Mbps speeds, making them suitable for streaming HD video and gaming applications.
Mesh Networking is another great option for modern homes as it provides coverage throughout your home without the need for extending range extenders. Mesh networks utilize multiple wireless routers or access points connected wirelessly, each providing coverage within its range.
This ensures that even if one device fails, another will cover the area, so you don’t lose your connection to your wifi home network.
What kind of network switch should I buy? If you ask yourself how to set up a home network, you should understand the different ideas behind a network device. In terms of networking switches, no one brand can be said to provide better service than the others, but everyone has their favorite options.
Managed vs. unmanaged – A managed switch with features that can be changed is best for businesses with their own corporate networks, not for homes. Unmanaged switches are straightforward: plug them in, and they work; you save money compared to managed ones!
The best thing about unmanaged switches is that you don’t have to set them up or read the instructions.
Access Points, Routers, and Bridges
Choosing the right device for your network is another important step in the process. Wireless networks may have their coverage areas expanded with the help of access points. People with larger homes or workplaces often utilize them to provide a reliable wireless connection across the whole building for wireless access to the Internet.
Routers are the most common form of Access Point and are essential for connecting wireless devices to the internet. Routers contain a modem, which is used to connect to an internet service provider (ISP), and a network switch, which allows users to share files and use other services on the same network.
Network Address Translation (NAT) is a key feature of routers that enables devices on a private network to communicate with the public internet like most routers. NAT hides the IP addresses of all devices behind one shared IP address and helps protect them from malicious attacks by shielding their actual IP addresses from prying eyes. This provides an extra layer of security to the network and allows users to enjoy their online experience safely and securely.
Without using Network Address Translation (NAT), bridge mode on a router lets connected devices share an internet connection. This setting eliminates the need to configure NAT and allows devices in the network to have their unique IP addresses for easier maintenance.
Especially if you have multiple devices in place for managing your network (e.g., Router and a Gateway for your Access Points like Ubiquity Access Points), NAT is not necessary when using a router in bridge mode since each device on the network can have its own unique IP address.
You should also think about getting a range extender for your professional network. A range extender is a piece of equipment that may increase the coverage area of a wireless network. The wireless signal has to go farther. Hence, they are often utilized in larger houses or workplaces.
The disadvantage of a range extender for larger networks with more devices is that it uses the same Wi-Fi signal to connect to other network devices, thus reducing overall network performance due to a divided signal.
Securing Home Network
Home Network security is essential for any home network setup. Network security protects your data and the devices connected to your home network from malicious attacks, unauthorized access, and other threats. Network security can be achieved through a variety of methods, such as firewalls, adblockers, encryption technologies, and more. In this article, we’ll discuss the various options available for securing your home network.
Firewalls are one of the most important components of any secure home network setup. Firewalls are designed to protect networks from external threats by blocking malicious traffic while allowing legitimate traffic to pass through.
Most modern routers come with built-in firewalls that can be easily configured via their respective settings page or web interface. If you want additional protection against external threats, then it’s worth considering a dedicated firewall device such as those offered by companies like Sonicwall, Firewalla, pfSense, Opensense, and Sophos, which offer advanced features such as intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and application control policies (ACPs).
Adblockers are another effective tool used in protecting networks from malicious websites or attackers who may attempt to gain access to your system via advertisements on popular sites like YouTube or Facebook. Adblockers work by blocking requests from websites for ads or tracking scripts, preventing malicious actors from being able to access the information on your device. Adblockers are available as standalone extensions for web browsers and can also be built into many Network Address Translation (NAT) routers.
Very well-known Adblockers are Pi-Hole and AdGuardHome.
Pi-Hole is a comprehensive network-level ad-blocking solution that prevents ads and malware from being served to all devices on a network. It works by blocking requests made to known ad servers and malicious websites and provides an additional layer of security beyond the traditional firewall setup.
Furthermore, Pi-Hole can be used to restrict the types of content that can be accessed via the network, giving you complete control and peace of mind. As your primary DNS server, it is configured to direct “Ad requests” to a “hole”.
Network monitoring is another important component of a secure network setup. Network monitoring allows administrators to monitor the activity on their network in real-time and detect suspicious behavior or malicious attempts at accessing the system.
Network monitoring tools such as Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) can be used to alert administrators of any suspicious activity occurring on the network in order for them to investigate further and take appropriate action if needed. Network monitoring also helps identify weak points, which can be addressed with stronger security measures.
Network encryption is another important factor in keeping your home network secure. Network encryption ensures that any data sent over the network is protected from eavesdroppers by scrambling it so that only the intended recipient can view its contents. Network encryption requires a set of credentials (e.g., username/password) to access the encrypted data, which helps prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to sensitive information on your network. Network encryption technologies such as WPA2-PSK or WPA2-Enterprise are typically used to secure home networks.
State of the Art Technology
Modern hardware is ideal for establishing a reliable network in a private residence. Find a gadget that can handle many connections and the newest 802.11ac standard for your minimum configuration.
WPA2 encryption and other modern security protocols should also be supported by the gadget. Find a gadget that can handle many connections and the newest 802.11ac standard for your intermediate system. The device should also include access point and bridge mode capability and sophisticated security features like WPA2 encryption.
In a business environment, it is preferable to have a device that can connect to numerous networks simultaneously and uses the current 802.11ac standard.
Moreover, the gadget should have support for access points, bridge mode, and range extenders, in addition to sophisticated security features like WPA2 encryption.
It’s crucial in the modern world to establish a safe and secure home network. Having a solid network is crucial whether you’re a professional working from home or just a family with plenty of gadgets.
Get the most out of your network by familiarizing yourself with the fundamentals of different network kinds and the most recent technologies for each. Although wireless networks are more convenient, a wired network is better for a home office.
Devices that support the current 802.11ac standard, multiple connections, and additional security features, like WPA2 encryption, are also highly recommended. A range extension is something to consider if your house or business is vast. These guidelines will help you set up a home network like an expert.