What hardware is needed for basic home network?

I’m planning on giving my son this very PC that I’m typing on for Chrimbo as I will have built my new one by then.

I’ve read up in the 'net about networking and I’m a little lost on what EXACTLY is needed to set up a basic network which allows for the sharing of an internet connection.

I’m thinking that the wireless option will be the most straightfoward, but I need to check with those in the know: what am I buying for the PCs? Is it just a wireless router which wll come with all of the necessary bits or am also going to need to buy some kind of network card too and possible other bits too?

Pointers needed - help appreciated, thanks!

how do you connect to internet ? dial-up, dsl, adsl, cable/broadband ?

for wireless dsl or cable you will need a wireless adsl/dsl or cable router [this will connect to modem and main/host PC. also you will need a wireless adapter for each PC you want to share your connection. i recommend wireless Netgear router + wirelss USB adapter
eg @ http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=302517&pfp=cat3

Just to add Eyeless…

You need these things:

  • A router (+wireless if you wish) to connect and share the internet, files and printers. I personally love my Linksys WRT54GS wireless router.
  • Wireless adapter for all PC and laptop you plan to connect wirelessly. Note that newer laptops have wireless adapter built-in.
  • Ethernet adapter for the wired PCs. Newer PCs already have this adapter onboard. Check your PC manual.
  • Cat5 ethernet cables for wired connection.

Basic scheme: internet --> [modem] --> router ==> PCs (wireless/ethernet adapter).

Thanks for the replies. To clear things up, both PCs have LAN ports which I think are what you are referring to as ethernet ports and that’s how I connect to the internet for a broadband connection; via ethernet socket.

So taking that into account, I’m reading into this that I need:

  1. A router
  2. connections to the router, whether it be cables or wireless adaptors (to transmit to router)?

You got it!

Groovy, simple enough. Thanks everyone!

I notice that a lot of these cheaper basic routers are 54Mbps… how fast is this exactly? My 512k broadband is 100Mbps as it is, so won’t this slow things down compared to now?

your 512k connection is 512 not 512,000Kb/s
wired ethernet 100 base is 100,000Kb/s
the 54Mbps is G standard, B is cheaper 11Mbps
the fastest broadband is still slower than b standard

OK, fair enough - 54Mbps it is then!

My actual status box on my connection says ‘100.0 Mbps’, how confusing. :confused: Oh well…

Get a Linksys WRT54GS v2-v4 (v5 sucks).

Wireless is looking too dear… I’m going to have to spend at least £70 to achieve it, so I think I’m going to have to plump for wired networking, he’ll need to be able to use his when the main one’s off so I take it that I’ll need a router?

What else would I need in which case? Lots of ethernet cable I take it, and would that be all? Is a RJ45/cat6 patch lead what I need? Cat 6 is better than cat 5 and is backward compatible isn’t it? Would any old tat of a router do the trick? Like either of these for instance?

Also, is it all the same stuff? For example ethernet plug from modem to router, then an ethernet plug from router to my PC and the same to my son’s?

Those links are Switches, not a Router. You will not be able to share one single internet (or IP Address) with a switch, bridge or hub, only a router can do that. I would suggest to get a wireless router, which also has wired connections (usually four). If you decide to go wireless later, you already prepared.

Yes, sorry - didn’t even notice about the switch thing there. :doh:

Seeing as most wireless routers are around the £40 mark have you any idea how much a wired one is (you may have to do a rough conversion!)? If there’s little difference in price then I may as well but TBH once I’ve wired the house up there’s little chance of needing a wireless router, but I seem to be having trouble finding one cheaper than £40 anyway.

computer to modem not thru modem to WAN (internet)

hey find broadband that you can download at 5MegaBytesPerSecond
and I’ll move in. ~54Mbps

if you are on a tight budget just get a 30$ switch, or talk to your provider
they may upgrade your modem to one with a built in router, they know
what’s best for their setup.

It’s not the router that’s the problem, it;'s the price of the wireless adaptors! I’m looking on eBay now but am unsure if something is right… I can’t seem to find anything that goes with a wireless router unless it’s these bluetooth dongles that have a range of up to 100M. If that’s what I need, then my problems are sorted! If not, where are what I need?!

I’m looking at this:

…but can’t find any adaptors to link to it.

If I can’t find cheap adaptors then it’s definately wire, is this any good? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Dlink-DL604-Ethernet-Broadband-Router_W0QQitemZ5836068026QQcategoryZ20323QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Wow! That’s cheaper than my wired router, also a Sweex model

If the guy will combine postsge…
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BRAND-NEW-WIRELESS-PCI-CARD-11B_W0QQitemZ5835867295QQcategoryZ45001QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem - this one should do if you don’t mind fitting PCI cards, and is preferable to using…

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BRAND-NEW-WIRELESS-USB-ADAPTER-11B_W0QQitemZ5835866067QQcategoryZ45002QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem - this one for USB connection - I don’t like passing networking traffic over USB unless it cannot avoided

NB. The kit is old-standard 11B - only 11 Megabit wireless - still more than enough for all but the fastest broadband.

Your brodban, if it’s a 512k service, will be 512k bit data rate, delivered over a 100Mbit ethernet link to the router capable of 11Mbit wireless and 10/100 Mbit wired - the limiting factor is still the speed of the broadband, though the low wireless speed would be a handicap for computer to computer backup, if you wanted to transfer large amounts of data from one to the other.

Sorry, which router do you mean? As I’m going up to 2MB broadband soon, will 11Mbps be enough to share it between 2 PCS? I think I’d sooner have 54Mbps just to be safe, and it’d be more than I need and therefore future proof for a while.

Thanks Matth, I don’t want to sound like a jippo but I’ve spent a lot of money doing my house recently and really am skint (only reason I can afford to put a new PC together is that I’ve had the bits lying around for 6 months and not bothered to do it), I think I will have to go for the wired routers. Was this one any good? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Dlink-DL604-Ethernet-Broadband-Router_W0QQitemZ5836068026QQcategoryZ20323QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

The 100Mbps thing now makes sense, but this whole 11/54 Mbps to 512k/2MB broadband thing is really doing my stack in. Out of curiosity, how do they compare - surely there must be a basis for actual comparison, for instance much as there is for CD to DVD 1x speeds?

2Mega bit(small b) not 2MB(10 times faster~)

11Mbps is still more than 2Mbps

wired is 100Mbps so how can affect anything with sharing a little
tinytiny 2Mbps internet connection

You get what you pay for and honestly, about 90% of routers for home users are really bad (poor throughtput, random reboots, slow/poor WLAN performance, etc). If you cannot afford a decent router dont get one at all for the moment. It’s just waste of money.