Building a network is a very simple process that can be divided into four easy steps:
First, think of the end result you want to achieve:
- How many computers are you trying to network together?
- What are the tasks that will be accomplished at each of them?
- For each of these users, which Ethernet is the right speed?
- How far apart are your computers?
- How much wire will you need to connect them?
- Will you be purchasing pre-made cables, or will you crimp them yourself?
Users who do only email and word processing will have need of less network speed than users who will be doing graphics, video, multimedia, etc, and might be content with 10Base-T. Others will require Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) in order to perform their work and meet their deadlines — or just to do the high-bandwidth things they want to do. In most cases you will want to “future proof” your network, providing the speed for tomorrow’s applications, today, thus saving yourself the cost of upgrading at a later date.
Answering these questions will help you to create a list of the items you will need in order to build your network:
- How many standard Ethernet NICs you need
- How many Fast Ethernet NICs you need
- How many Gigabit Ethernet NICs you need
- How many cables you need
- How long each of the cables will need to be
- How many ports do you need on the switch for each network speed required?
Shopping for Equipment
Once you have made your plan, shop around for the equipment that meets your needs. Find the best quality at affordable prices, and bring it home.
Install Network Cards
Installing network cards is actually a pretty simple task. For each computer you plan to network, you will need a network interface card (NIC, or Adapter), the corresponding driver (either provided on a floppy disk with your NIC or available on your operating system), and a screwdriver — probably a Phillips or “plus.” NIC Manufacturers provide specific instructions for installing their NICs on various operating systems (See “Support Pages” in the Customer Service section of WideBand’s web site). Simply follow the instructions you’ve been given.
Plug in the cables
If you have chosen to make your own cable, now is the time. Then, with the NIC installed in a computer, you may plug in your network cable. Support for the whole process is available in the “Support Pages” in the Customer Service section of WideBand’s web site, or by calling WideBand Customer Service toll free at (888) 220-4020.
Now that your network is built, you’re ready to communicate!