More and more home tech is networkable, games consoles, TVs, audio equipment, and computers of course. This week we look at the options available to connect it all together.
If you've got a new TV or digital TV receiver it's probably got a network connection. In fact so much home technology works (or works better) if it has an internet connection to download software updates, access streaming TV or audio, or play games online. Most people are probably using the built-in wireless network that comes with your broadband modem, but that has limitations, so let's look at some of the other options.
If you're using wireless, you will find some areas of your house have 'dead spots' where you can’t receive a connection and when you do its awful! The alternatives to wireless are a good old-fashioned wired connections or so-called 'Powerline Adapters' as both of these offer strong and stable connections.
Can't Go Wrong With a Wire
A network cable offers the fastest and most reliable way of connecting your kit together. Of course, it does require that you have to know what your doing, or get a company like Computercentric to come and install and terminate a cable for you. Whilst it's not expensive to do, those cables can be unsightly and inconvenient. In a business environment, we would only use a wired system for full-time staff, as none of the alternatives offer the stability and throughput a required by most businesses.
Use the Wires You've Already Got!
Wired is always best, however it could be a real pain if you have to trail network cables all around your house. One solution would be to buy powerline adapters. These little magic boxes plug into a mains socket on the wall, and actually use your domestic mains cabling to transmit your network signal around your house. They do this by sending the network signal down your electricity cables in a way which doesn't affect the network signal and won't interfere with your electricity supply. All you need to is a power socket near the router and the remote device. Once plugged into a power socket, the box of tricks has an RJ45 style network socket for you to plug into the router at one end and then your PC at the other.
By having these adapters you get the best of both world as you have a stable connections like a wired connection (albeit not as fast) but you are also free from trailing cable like wireless! Although Powerline adapter do come at a cost of between £20 and £60, they do offer a brilliant solution to unstable internet and in some case the only solution especially if you live in a big house!