Networking & the Internet
How to Create And Improve A Wireless Home Network
A large number of devices in the home can now connect to the Internet wirelessly. The way to get the most from these devices is to create a whole-home wireless network. Black Friday is the perfect time to purchase many of the components missing from a home network. Homeowners will want to look for several different devices depending on the desired functionality.
Creating a Network in the Home
The component that makes it possible to network all the devices in a house is called a router. Routers allow multiple devices to connect to the Internet through a single connection. They also act as hubs so that components like printers, speakers and laptops can all communicate in the house. Multiple routers can turn a single wired signal into a whole-house Wi-Fi network usable in every room. It is important to make sure the device has wireless capabilities since some only provide wired access to the Internet.
Sharing Files and Storage
It is possible to create a home network that has a common storage area that every capable device can access. Network storage drives can hook into an existing network through an Ethernet cable. Newer models can actually connect with a Wi-Fi signal. Adding a network storage drive means any computer or device can save and load from the drive. This allows everyone in the house to share music, video files, and even documents. A network storage drive is also a good way to back up important files and photos.
Watching Video without a Computer
It is inconvenient in some households to hook up a computer into an entertainment system just to watch streaming media online. There are now standalone set-top boxes that can connect to the Internet and stream video or music directly to components without requiring a computer. Some of these devices are generic and can work with a variety of different online services; others are strictly branded. Branded devices only connect to a single streaming media service. Shoppers should always be aware what streaming media services are accessible through these set-top devices.
Connecting New Devices
Many devices are Internet-capable but not Internet-ready. This usually means there is a universal serial bus (USB) port available that can be used to create a network connection. The device needed for this is called a dongle. Dongles are miniature network cards that connect to a device through a USB port. Dongles allow a device to connect to a Wi-Fi signal and join the network. They are relatively inexpensive and are very useful for items like older laptops or peripherals.