Planning a Wireless Home Network

These days, wireless is definitely the way to go when it comes to setting up a home network. Wireless networks are easy to set up and convenient, and they also are cost-effective. Most devices available today are already Wi-Fi compatible and ready for wireless use. Mobile devices, home theaters, gaming systems, and other accessories are perfect for a wireless home network. And pretty much every laptop has an adapter for Wi-Fi. If you have a desktop computer, you can still connect to a wireless network by buying a wireless adapter. Your desktop may also have wireless access points as well.

So how do you go about planning your wireless home network?

The first thing you need to determine is what you are going to use the wireless network for. Are you going to connect to a remote office network through a VPN? Will you be using it conduct webinars and live meetings and participate in video conferences? Do you want to make phone calls through the Internet using VoIP? Or perhaps you just want to send and receive emails, browse online, and chat? Maybe you want to do all of the above. Whatever your needs, make sure you determine this ahead of time so that you can decide how much speed and coverage you will need for your network.

Obviously, the more you want to do with your wireless home network, the faster it will need to be. So the next step is to determine how much speed you will need to run your network. Keep in mind that browsing the Internet and checking your email takes considerably less speed than making video calls and the like. The more devices you wish you connect to your network, the more the speed is divided among them. Too many devices will significantly lower your network performance.

Next, figure out how much coverage you will need for your wireless home network. If your home is big, the entire house may not be covered by one single access point. Or you may decide that you simply don’t need coverage in certain areas of the home. If you need to install more than one access point, it will require configuration. Keep in mind that the construction of the home/building can affect the coverage of your wireless network. Some walls are made of extra thick concrete that will reduce coverage in your network.

Determine where you will place your wireless access point. You want to put it in the best location to get maximum coverage. It’s best to place it in a location that is elevated and away from sources of interference. You should also try to put the access point near the center of the area where you’ll be operating the majority of your wireless equipment. Keep in mind that your neighbors’ wireless networks may interfere with yours, and vice versa, if theirs is installed with the default channel settings.