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Essential Components for Wired Networks

wired networkBe sure to purchase the correct components before you install a wired network. The major components consist of the cable, router and network adapters.

Cables

You should opt for fast Ethernet or the 100 Base T cable. Ethernet (RJ-45) looks like telephone cables with somewhat thicker wire and jacks. It is also known as Cat 5e or Twisted Pair Ethernet with corresponding speed ratings of 10, 100, and 1,000. Every PC requires a separate network adapter.
Network adapters come in different models. If you want to economize, choose a built-in adapter. Newer models of laptops and desktops come with pre-installed wired or wireless network adapters.

Routers

Most routers include WiFi and the modem all-in-one. Your needs on your mix of desktop, laptop and tablets in your home/office. Home users of broadband Internet should look for routers with multiple ports to enable connections to each installed PC. If you want a wireless connection, get a router with integrated wireless access. The switch portion of the router will need to have a port for each computer cable. For wireless uses, the router needs to have built0-in wireless capabilities. If you intend to use a switch, purchase a separate wireless access point for creating a Wifi signal. Sometimes it is best to buy the same brand of wireless router and network adapter for less complicated installation.

Patch Cabling

patch cablePatch cables hook up the computer to the horizontal or structural wall plate. Remember that this is frequently the cause of connection problems. Carefully inspect the connector on the cables to make sure they are securely fastened and that the sleeves are inside of the connector. If the wires are untwisted and exposed outside of the connector, it might fail.

Horizontal Cabling

If you wish to set up a network, keep in mind that solid conductor cables are designed for horizontal runs while stranded varieties are used primarily for patch cabling. Stranded cables do not offer the best performance for the long-term. Also be sure to review local fire and building regulations to determine if you are mandated to install cables that comply with Riser-rated or Plenum cabling. Avoid pulling cables suddenly around corners and avoid runs next to electric power lines. Electric lines emit magnetic fields that can corrupt the data transmission of your computer cables.

Patch Panels

computer network patch panelIn a wiring cabinet, separate runs are organized in a patch panel. Cables are connected to the panel and the patch cables are attached to switches, routers and servers. The patch panel should be compatible complement with the cable’s performance rating. A Cat 6 cable connected a Cat 5e patch panel will degrade the network to the slower (Cat 5e) standard. Finally, patch panels are mounted in a cable rack or on simple wall mounted brackets. In the latter case, a piece of plywood might need to be secured to the wall to provide a stable and strong base.

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