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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Networking technologies

    I need advice on the pros and cons of different networking methods.

    We are renovating our house and adding a second storey and have the opportunity to lay network cables. Our internet access is via an ADSL2+ modem/router with wireless (wifi) and four ethernet outlets. Our network, at least initially, will include a few laptops/netbooks and a smartphone (which will continue to use the wifi connection), and a printer.

    Should I be laying network cables (CAT5e/CAT6), or using powerline adapters for the laptops/netbooks, or just use wifi? What are the benefits/concerns with each, in relation to speed, security and "futureproofing"?

    At the moment, network use is limited to email, copying files, printing and web browsing. But when I have time, I would like to find out about sharing movies/photos across the network.

    Thanks for your help.

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  3. #2
    2 Star Lounger
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    None of those other technologies are going to match the speed of CAT6. It's trivial to include it in your plans while the walls are open, so I'd consider it foolish to not take advantage of the opportunity. As for futureproofing, don't forget that entertainment streaming is moving to the network, too, so you'll want to make sure you have ethernet cabling for your TV as well.

    When it's not practical to rip apart finished walls, powerline adapters are a decent second best option, but still not as good as wired ethernet. You have here a golden opportunity to do it right, so don't blow the chance.

    Your CAT6 should all "home-run" back to a common point, so spend some time deciding where that should be. It may not necessarily be where your router is right now.

  4. #3
    Platinum Lounger
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    You could just run ethernet to "central" areas to feed the wireless access points, then wireless is easy.
    You should think about running coax for your TV needs. Ethernet is not used for TV and isn't likely to be, except for streaming from storage.
    Feeds from the service provider also need to run into your house and putting some conduit in early will save them drilling holes.

    cheers, Paul

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