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In this age of Internet and devices almost perpetually connected to the Internet or some other sort of network, getting yourself familiar with home network wiring fundamentals is never a bad idea. While the technical jargon might overwhelm you at first glance, once you get past that, you can breeze through the basics of home network wiring with ease. Start by knowing how to differentiate between different types of networks. After that, move on to distinguishing the common devices you’ll see in a basic network setup.
There are two network types you are most likely to encounter in home network wiring: a wired network and a wireless network. In essence, a wired network is a group of devices connected to each other via network cables. If you’re not so new in home network wiring or if you have watched a technician working on home network wiring, then you might have heard of a router and what a router does. A router is a key player in a network. Without one, you cannot really say that you have a working wired network. Before you can connect a device (i.e. computer) to a router, that computer has to have a network port, or Local Area Network (LAN) port, first. Devices with LAN ports are called ‘Ethernet-ready’. A network cable is then connected to a LAN port at the back of the router, while the other end of the cable is connected to the LAN port of the computer. The same goes for any other Ethernet-ready device. To be able to access the internet on the computers connected to the router, the router’s Wide Area Network (WAN) port must be connected to an Internet source (i.e. a broadband or DSL modem).
Another type of network you’ll encounter in home network wiring is a wireless network. Wireless networks are similar to wired networks in a sense that they both require a router and an Internet source. The main difference is that wireless devices don’t use cables to connect to the router. (That’s why they are called ‘wireless’.) Most home network wiring jobs involved setting up a wireless network so that gadgets like smart phones and tablets can connect to the Internet, and to the other devices.