Home Local Area Networks

Domestic Broadband (aka Internet connectivity) provided from the usual Broadband suppliers is certainly getting faster in most areas. The most basic low priced broadband services in towns and cities can be 7-8M which is just about enough for example for BBC iPlayer HD.  But many homes are paying a little more and choosing 30M to 40M speeds on what is called “fibre” connected services.

The standard equipment for Broadband connections is a combined router/modem hub, usually a single box that connects to the cable from the local Telephone Exchange. This same box is usually a “Wireless Router” as well, which means the home can benefit from a wireless LAN (aka Wifi). Wifi avoids having cables to connect computers and games consoles to the internet.  For many situations using a standard Broadband supplier’s wireless LAN will be just fine for internet performance in the home.

However in some situations the typical basic wireless LAN may not be offering what the home really needs, high speed Wifi coverage in all the rooms for example.  If the home is a one or two bed apartment or home then the current basic Wifi will theoretically offer speeds of say 30 – 50M which would be plenty for couple of concurrent users on a 40M internet connection.  But if the home is larger then a high specification of wireless/wifi may well be needed. If you want to be sure of Wifi coverage around the home then you can test this for yourself with a tablet loaded with an App that measures speed or signal level.

All homes are different and interference from adjacent properties also makes a difference but I could suggest that a busy four or five bedroom home could usefully use a “dual band” type Broadband box which is what some of the Broadband suppliers offer as standard. Also check carefully which Wireless protocol standards are offered by the Broadband supplier’s box e.g. 802.11n or 802.11ac

But don’t ignore the option to use cables to connected high bandwidth devices such as Smart TVs, games consoles, gaming PCs, network attached storage.  LAN speeds when using cables can be up to 100M for a basic type of connection, or even more if fibre cables are used.  For example if a cable connection is used for your Smart TV then even when watching the Grand Prix on “catch up” it will leave the full bandwidth of the Wifi available for portable devices such as tablets and laptops.  There would be no risk of interference from adjacent homes affecting your Smart TV video stream performance either.

A good electrician can offer to install LAN cables into your home with neat wall sockets located adjacent to the Broadband box and high bandwidth devices such as Smart TVs.

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