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Setting up a home ethernet network is increasingly common. In an age when over two-billion people are hooked into the worldwide web, as estimated by Internet World Stats, and more are joining everyday, setting up a gigabit ethernet network is more important for connecting with friends on Facebook, playing your favorite video games, and becoming part of the eCommerce revolution. That being said, many homeowners find that they are in over their heads when it comes time to set up a home ethernet network. Is ethernet really the way to go? What hardware should you choose? How do you run the cable? If you have these questions, you’re in the right place.

First Thing’s First: Choose Your Network Type Carefully
As Microsoft writes, there are many different types of internet networks you can set up in your home, and you should consider them all equally. Wi-Fi networks, for example, operate at far slower speeds than an ethernet network, but they require less set up. On the other hand, ethernet home networks offer faster connection speeds and greater data security, with a little extra work. If you have home computers, gaming consoles, and other static, internet-enabled technologies, a home ethernet network is likely your best choice.

What Sort of Ethernet Cable, Router Do You Need?
The type of hardware you choose for your home ethernet network will directly impact the number of computers you can have on your network and the speed of each connection. First, consider the type of router you want to buy. Some routers come with only enough ethernet ports for two systems. On the other hand, Gigabit ethernet routers, for example, are known to offer multi-system functionality with high connection speeds.

After you’ve chosen a router, you need to choose your ethernet cable. Cat5 ethernet cables are old hat at this point. They offer reliable service, but they aren’t the fastest on the market. 5e cables are less fuss than their older counterparts and offer marginally higher connection speeds. Cat6 ethernet cables are one of the best options for the enthusiast gamer or other heavy internet user. Not only do they offer much higher internet speeds than Cat5 cables, they also come equipped with improved interference shielding. Of course, price increases as you move from the Cat5 into the Cat6 family. Choose carefully here.

Running the Cable
After you’ve decided on a home ethernet network and you’ve chosen your hardware, it’s time to run your cable. As PCWorld writes, you shouldn’t just buy X-amount of cable and hope for the best. With a little simple math, you can figure out exactly the amount of cable you need and what sort of drilling and mounting hardware your setup requires for each room it runs through. Planning ahead in this way will save you time, money, and a whole lot of frustration.

Setting up an ethernet network is arguably the best way to bring the Internet Age to your home. Follow these tips, and you can take all of the fuss out of installing a home ethernet network. To learn more, read this: