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Chapter 17. Building Your Own Network > Planning Your Network

Planning Your Network

Some advance planning will go a long way toward making your network installation easier, and more likely to succeed. Some questions that you need to answer before you start are

  • What type of networking hardware do you want to use: standard wired Ethernet, Wireless, power-line, or phone line? This will determine what sort of hardware you need to buy.

  • If you plan on sharing a broadband Internet connection, do you want to use a hardware sharing router, or Windows Internet Connection Sharing? In the former case, you can get a connection sharing router with a built-in hub or wireless access point, so you don't need to buy one of these separately. In the latter case, you'll need two network adapters in the computer that will share the connection.

  • Where do you want to locate your computers? If you're using a wired network, you'll have to decide how to route the network cables, and whether to lay down pre-built cables or use custom-installed wiring. If you're using wireless networking, you need to be sure that the signal will reach all of your computers. You may need to install and wire together one or more access points if your computers are widely spread out.

  • Do you want to operate a Web server (or other type of server) that is to be accessible to the Internet? If so, you'll need to arrange for a static IP address and domain name hosting services from your Internet service provider. In addition, you'll need to configure your network so that service requests arriving over the Internet will be directed to the computer that is running the server software.

  • Do you want to do the work yourself, or hire a consultant to do the work? In a business setting, it's especially worth considering hiring an expert not only to set your network up but to provide ongoing support.



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