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Chapter 3. Choosing the Best Network Typ... > What Went Wrong: Your Quick Fix Refe...

What Went Wrong: Your Quick Fix Reference

Before moving on, it is important to consider some potential trouble spots that could trip you up:

  • When buying cables for your Ethernet network, it's very easy to end up with a cable that looks fine but simply won't work. Make sure that all of your network cables are straight through (or patch) cables rather than crossover cables. Crossover cables look just like patch cables but cannot be used for most purposes.

  • Buy high-quality cables rather than bargain basement ones. Look for the designation Cat5E rather than Cat5 if you want the best performance from your network. This designation is printed on the side of the cable, usually every few feet along its length.

  • Although the wireless networking standards are supposed to be compatible among different brands of equipment, any proprietary extensions to the standards such as the Linksys SpeedBooster technology are not. If you mix equipment that does not include these extensions into a wireless network that has the extensions, you'll lose the benefit of the extensions.

  • A phone line network might not work if your telephone jacks are wired improperly. Radio Shack sells an inexpensive phone line tester that you might want to use to check your wiring before you decide on a phone line network.

  • Power line networks typically have problems reaching all rooms in a home because of the way electrical circuits are wired. This is a problem that does not have a simple solution, so you might need to move one or more PCs to different rooms to make a power line network function properly.

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