Wiring your home for a computer network – still a requirement?
With the proliferation of wireless networks and communication equipment, it is very tempting to cut the cable and save a lot of money in the process. But is everything that a normal computer network user needs can be done using only a wireless network? Let’s look at some of the advantages and contrasts:
1. One of the important advantages of having a cable network is the available bandwidth or just speed. At present, simple and inexpensive connection speeds via CAT5E cable can reach 1000Mbit / sec, while the best offered by IEEE802.11g (one of many Wi-Fi flavors) is only 54Mbit / sec. This might not seem so important if you think you are just browsing the Internet, and the DSL speed available to you is 1.5Mbit / sec. However, if you need to print through your network connection on a remote printer, you must be aware that print jobs, depending on the amount of graphic data in them, can easily reach tens and even hundreds of megabytes. Because 1Byte = 8bit one 100MByte print job will take 15 seconds (and in fact this time can be longer) to transmit via a Wi-Fi wireless connection, and this time it shrinks to react 1 second or less on a 1000MBit / s wired Ethernet connection. The same principal applies to file transfers, backing up files on other computers on the network etc.
2. It is not possible today and with all the possibilities it will not be possible in the future to send the power needed for your network devices via wireless links. Unless, of course, you will be willing to experience very high levels of microwave radiation. As such, devices that are marketed to you as not tethered will actually be very tethered via an electric cable or have to be refilled frequently. Power requirements are increasingly important for devices that are expected to be always online, such as telephone devices. Therefore it is best to connect it via a cable that can deliver power and communication signals simultaneously.
3. Wireless communication is very exclusive and requires the entire conversion equipment to transmit multi-media signals. The same CAT5E cable can be without modification which supports telephone, computer networks, balanced line level audio signals, baseband video signals, and a number of more specialized application control signals. With inexpensive adapters called baluns, the same cable can carry a large number of broadband television channels or carry basic video tape, such as security camera output, over very long distances. All of these applications, except for computer network courses, will require special expensive conversion equipment if they need to be sent via a Wi-Fi link.
4. The cost benefits of not using cables around the house are not as simple as they seem. After installing a wireless network at home, you only need to eliminate the need to send a wire to one computer network application. Modern homes, however, require all types of cables to run without even noticing the computer. Power and telephone are real examples, as well as thermostats and security systems. Pre-wired speakers are common and most homes today have an intercom system as their preferred choice, and they also need extensive cables. It is likely that the same contractor running an intercom or security cable is eligible to run a better CAT5E or computer cable. If you are building a house, you should check whether the computer cabling option is available in your new home, and our advice is to go ahead and buy it before the wall is closed. This will be a fairly involved and expensive procedure for installing cables later. As an added benefit of the cost of a wired computer network you will find that all modern computers are equipped with wired Ethernet network interface cards, and the latest models ship with a 1000MBit / second card which is basically free for computer owners.
There are several sources of information available about planning and designing proper housing cables for voice, data, audio, video and other applications. One of the best sources is the TIA / EIA-570B standard, the worst release released in 2004. This standard describes the recommended types of cables, the principles of cable distribution in single and multi-dwelling units and the recommended number of cables to be installed based on the size of the house.
In conclusion, cutting the wire seems to be a step forward, a kind of liberation of computers from the bonds of infrastructure. I will remind the reader, to take a more balanced and informative approach before joining the wireless revolution. There are still (and will continue to be) strong reasons for incorporating properly designed cabling systems to list your dream home options.