Hardware Networking Tutorial

Creating a basic home network is simple once you get a good understanding of the basic hardware involved in a home network. Planning and following your strategy can make setting up a basic home network a breeze.

  1. Choosing Parts

    • A cable modem is one option for a home network.

      Home computer networks are composed of three basic parts. The first is a modem. The type of modem that your network uses will depend on what type of Internet connection you are using. If you are going to be using a cable Internet connection (through your cable provider) you will need a cable modem. If you are going to be using a DSL connection (through a company such as AT&T) you will need a DSL modem. Cable modems can be purchased at just about any electronics store and even department stores such as Target and Walmart. Most DSL modems are specific to the Internet service provider. So, it is best to acquire a DSL modem from your DSL company.

      The second part involved in a basic computer network is a router. There are two basic types of routers, wired and wireless. Wireless routers are more popular compared with wired routers as they allow you to create a network to be used for wireless Internet surfing. Current wireless routers have a variety of different technologies built into them. The newest technology is Wireless-N with simultaneous dual-band.

      The third part involved in a basic computer network is a second computer. Because the whole purpose of a network is to connect two or more computers, a second computer is essential.

    Setting Up

    • Ethernet ports are used to connect computers.

      Setting up the hardware components of a basic wireless network is very simple. Start off by making sure that your modem is connected to an Internet source and power source. If it is a cable modem, it will connect via a standard cable jack. This is the round component cable that would normally screw into the back of a television. If it is a DSL modem, it will connect via a telephone jack. This is the flat wire that would normally connect to the back of a standard landline telephone.

      Next, connect the modem to your router via ethernet. Make sure to place the ethernet cord into the appropriate port in the back of the router. This can sometimes be confusing as most routers have numerous ethernet ports. The ethernet port leading from the modem needs to be connected to the ethernet-in port on the router.

      The last part of setting up the network is to connect the computers. All computers will connect directly to the back of the router via ethernet cord.


    • Use an Internet browser to test your network.

      The final part of setting up a network is to test the network to make sure everything is working appropriately. This is a very simple one-step process. Just launch an Internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. If the homepage successfully loads, the network is operating properly.

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