Types of Networks
Mainly there are (3) three types of networks: LAN (Local Area Network), MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) and WAN (Wide Area Network). The home networks can be setup using two or more computing devices interconnected to form a Local Area Network (LAN) within the home. There are 5 (Five) types of home networks which are as follows:
- Direct Cable Connection: This type of network allows the computers to be connected via serial, parallel or USB ports, but this kind of network is possible only if the computers are in the same room. The price range is $10 for two computers.
- Ethernet: Peer-to-peer Ethernet network requires installation of NIC (Network Interface Card) inside each computer and coaxial cable or twisted pair cables for connection with the right kind of driver installation and we are good to go. This type of connection is suitable for two to twelve devices spread across the house but the only drawback is that hardware installation is quite tedious. The price range is $100 in the beginning and may go up according to the number of rooms and preferences of the user to install the network in each room of the house or not.
- AC network: An AC (Alternating Current) Network though has an easy hardware installation but the software installation is painstaking and the cost is very high when connected even two computers; but the user can utilize the existing power line network as data is transmitted using the same network as used for electricity in the house. The cost for setting up such a network is $200 for two computers.
- Phoneline Network: Requires PCI cards and software drivers, the most important feature of this network is that it is wireless with a price range of $150 for two computers with transfer rate of 10 Mbps.
- Radio Free (RF) Network:This is also wireless network which utilizes radio frequency (RF) waves to transmit data across the walls and floors up to 800 feet. Hardware that requires to be installed inside the computer is the RF transceiver. The starting range for this kind of network is $100. However this type of network may suffer from interferences or disturbances.
Considering the above mentioned networks a conclusion can be drawn by first making a choice between wired or wireless network on the basis of reliability, security, range, speed and price. Direct Cable connection though the cheapest may practically be infeasible as the network can only be possible if the computers are in the same room.
Next considering the Ethernet though satisfy all the factors but as the hardware installation is tedious thus extending the networking may become a tiring process also may increase the overall cost. Further, considering the AC network though an elegant solution by reusing the existing networking resources but the cost incurred would be the maximum amongst all the other networks. This leaves RF Network and Phoneline network as major contenders of the home network, now considering the cost factor RF may seem to be a clear winner but lacks reliability and security as interference from other wireless network can easily distort the network thus bring it down. Therefore, the best suited network for home environment is the Phoneline Network.
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