Even though installing a home network is not very difficult if you have some basic networking knowledge, it is important to fully understand what you will need before you embark on the task. It is worth noting that the size of your home or the rooms you want in the network is bound to determine how long it will take to set up the network.
The first thing you should do is consider the requirements of each and every room where the network will pass. Get to know where and identify where you will drill, the channels you will chase, and the floor beds that require moving. The next thing you need to decide on is the network technology which you will adopt for your home. The most common technologies include Wireless, Home PNA, and Ethernet.
The next requirement involves deciding on hardware needs. This process is guided by the technology you have adopted for your home network. The most obvious hardware requirements include network adapters or network interface cards, network switches and hubs, patch panels, face plates, RJ45 connectors, a crimping tool, routers and access points, modems, a network tester and the appropriate network cables.
For cables, it is recommended that you use solid cables or UTP cables for the actual wiring inside walls and under floors. The stranded cables are best used as patch leads or cables that connect your computer or device to the wall socket. When choosing your cables, pay close attention to the standards and go for a minimum of Cat5e. Most existing homes are wired with Cat5e, but if you are working with newer construction, you might want to future-proof using Cat6.
If you opt for a home network using Ethernet technology then you need to identify and establish a location somewhere at home where all the cables used in the house come together. Make sure the location of choice is well-ventilated, clean, accessible, and dry. Most people prefer having it under the stairs. An ideal location should provide access to a satellite or cable TV as well as an incoming telephone line.
Depending on your bandwidth needs and how easy it is to install cables around the rooms in your home, it is highly recommended that you install at least two network outlets by each main socket in each and every room. This makes it easy to plug in any network device into the nearest main socket. You can also opt to run 4 cables per outlet so that you can have a couple of spare cables for future use. This can be achieved by leaving them unterminated behind the covering faceplate. Rooms such as the study room, living room, and home theater room are quite ideal for such extra cables. If you need more cables in the future, all you will have to do is to plug a network switch into any of the outlets and get some extra ports.