Building Your Home Network Part 1: Wired Networking

WiredA wired network uses a series of cables to connect different devices to the network, such as multiple computers, printers, etc.  If you are interested in creating a wired network for your association, check out these definitions. They’ll help you build the perfect wired network for your HOAs business uses or for your community members to access.  This is the first in a three part series to help you gain a more cohesive understanding on how your network is created and empower you to make informed decisions on what you require to make the most of your set up.


The router is the most basic device you’ll need to set up your wired network. It’s like a hub to which all the pieces of your network connect. With a router, creating your network can be as easy as plugging them in. You don’t have to configure the IP addresses, which you would if you skipped the router and simply connected two computers with a network cable.

LAN Ports

LAN ports, or local area network ports, are what you connect the different devices to. A standard home router typically comes with four LAN ports, making it easy to set up four networking devices. The two types of LAN ports are Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet, which is faster.

WAN Port

A WAN port, or a wide-area network port, is what allows you to connect to the internet. Most routers have just one WAN port, but in some cases, you can find one with two WAN ports, so you can use different internet providers. By connecting the internet to the router, all the devices on the network can connect to the internet.

Broadband Modem

A broadband modem is a type of internet device to which an internet service can connect. Broadband may also be referred to as DSL modem or cable modem. The broadband modem usually only has one LAN port, so if you don’t have a router, you could only connect the internet to one computer. Having the router is what allows you to have multiple computers use one internet connection.

Network Cables

Also known as Category 5 cables, or CAT5, network cables are what connects everything together. However, there are different types, and you’ll need the right one for your router’s speed. For example, CAT5e cables are capable of delivering Gigabit Ethernet data speeds, so if you have Gigabit Ethernet, make sure your network cables can handle it.

These terms will help you know what you need for your wired network. They are commonly used terms in the networking community, so it’s important to understand them completely.

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