Network Your Homes Wirelessly

Notwithstanding the fact that wired networks are usually more reliable and faster, there is a preference for wireless networks in most homes and small offices. Understandably so, because wired networks can be very unsightly and manually intensive to set up.

Most wired networks nowadays can guarantee a “through-put” of as much as 100Mbps (Mega Bits Per Second). Think of throughput as the amount of fluid (data) that can pass through a pipe (cable). More modern networks can even provide throughputs as high as 1Gbps or even more. However, this can only be achieved with compatible cabling and equipment. Please note that “bps” (bits per second) is different from “Bps” (Bytes per second), 1 Byte = 8 bits.

The speed of transfer of data in a wireless network is guided by some standards. You probably may have seen stuffs like “a/b/g/n” or “802.11a/b/g/n” on devices you own.

– 802.11a devices have the ability to channel as much as 54Mb data across a network wirelessly in a second. They, however, can only travel a short distance.
– 802.11b devices can transmit at a maximum rate of 11Mbps over a longer distance
– 802.11g devices can transmit at a maximum rate of 54Mbps over a longer distance
– 802.11n devices can transmit at a maximum rate of about 600Mbps over an even longer distance

I guess it is no brainer what standard you will expect your devices to have. However, apart from the minor inconsequential fact that the 802.11n standard has not been ractified, a lot of devices in the market today can only boast of having 802.11g capabilities. The implication of this is that your network is only as fast as the speed of the slowest device on your network. For example, if you have a router capable of 802.11n speeds and a number of PCs with the same capability, under very ideal circumstances, you would expect your network to attain speeds as fast as 600Mbps. Let us assume you now introduce a device capable of 802.11g to the network, the speed of your network will come crashing down to a maximum of 54Mbps!

That said, why is there still a preference for wireless networks, especially in homes?

– The throughput requirement for a home is usually adequately covered by even the slowest speeds (802.11b – 11Mbps)
– Reduction or elimination of the higher costs of a wired connection.
– Elimination of wire clutters associated with wired networks.
– Share a single internet access via wifi either with a network capable internet modem (IPNX) or a USB modem (Starcomms & GSM networks)
– Share a single printer and other peripherals across multiple PCs
– Connect your mobile devices like mobile phones, ipad, tablets, etc wirelessly to the network and share internet access and printer with them. Yes, print from your phone! And the printer does not necessarily need to have wifi capabilities.

For this project, the set of devices below are ideal;
– A wireless router.
– Network capable modem (IPNX, Cobranet’s UGO, etc)
– Wifi enabled printer
– UPS/Inverter to connect these devices to (Optional)

With these devices, the process of networking your home would be much simplified.

However, you would rarely find households/ offices having all the devices that would be connected to the network having network ports or Wifi capabilities. The devices / equipment listed below are more common in a lot of households and offices and we would be using them for our project;

– A wireless router
– USB internet modem (starcomms, MTN, glo, airtel, etisalat, etc) or any tethered phone
– ANY Printer
– A Computer (Desktop/Laptop) to connect the internet modem and printer to.It can be any old PC.
– UPS/Inverter to connect these devices to (Optional)

In subsequent write-ups, we will should you how you can go about creating a network in your homes and offices.

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