Our Home Network Services

Home Media Network

As home network is innovated and enhanced, home users are exploring ways to serve and create multimedia home network where all media are stored and managed in central location and serviced to many end point home network devices such as mobile phone, tablet, laptop computer, desktop computer, network connected game console and even network connected television.  For this need, Network Access Storage (NAS) is recommended.  Network Access Storage should support basic network protocols for sharing via ethernet network.  For better multimedia support, it can support protocols like DLNA and mobile app support for media playing from mobile device.  One device that we recommend is WD My Cloud.  This is very good and inexpensive home solution that can serve as home media network hard drive and provide all benefits mentioned above.

home media network hard drive

home media network hard drive

To setup home media network server with WD My Cloud, home user needs to just connect this to home network router.  Then, using web based interface or from mobile device, connect to the WD My Cloud and answer few questions to setup.  Once WD My Cloud is up and running this can be accessed from Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, mobile phone and tablet such as iOS and android devices by apps.  From network connected television that supports DLNA, shared media from WD My Cloud can be accessed by configuring TV input source.  WD My Cloud Mirror provides double security for media files which are mostly photos and videos.  This devices automatically stores two copies of everything ensuring hardware defect does not destroy the data accidentally.  Since this is automatic, it provides additional peace of mind on important data while not needed to understand complex configuration of data redundancy or RAID systems.

 

 

 

 

Router: AirPort Extreme Review

AirPort Extreme is the easiest way to setup home network router.  The latest model (as of January 2015) provides high speed wireless network of 1 Gbps with 802.11ac technology support and good range for wireless signal.  Also, for wired connection, this router provide 1 Gbps network through ethernet cable (RJ45) connection when connected with category 5 or 6 cables and provides 4 switched ports that are managed by the AirPort Extreme.

airport extreme

airport extreme

This router has built in airport extreme firewall for security and also provides USB port for airport extreme wps printer support where most USB printers can be turned into network printers when connected and configured.  AirPort Extreme installation is easy and can be done via simple AirPort Utility on Windows or Mac.  For users of Apple devices such as iPhone, and iPad, airport extreme installation can be done from the AirPort Utility app as well.

Other benefits of AirPort Extreme besides the ones already mentioned is that it allow dual network to be setup in different ip address ranges.  One can be use for normal network usage and another one can be added for guest users.  This can be configured along with WiFi to allow guest WiFi network which can be completely isolated from normal network.  Getting this feature from other router may require purchase of additional router and/or access point with complex configuration.  Futhermore, for Apple device users, this router supports many of Apple’s native and proprietary protocols such as Apple Filing Protocol or Bonjour.

From the actual implementation, one airport extreme setup for WiFi coverage in two storage house is able to cover the entire house including basement without additional network devices.  Also, when extending WiFi coverage for larger area is needed, additional AirPort Extreme can be added quickly via AirPort Utility to extend network using bridge mode and make use of primary router’s configuration automatically.

Few shortcomings of AirPort Extreme is that it does not have web interface for administrator.  Unlike other routers where administrators can open web browser and type router ip address to configure router.  This must be done through AirPort Utility software.  Also, this router does not allow configuration of different subnet masks.  It only allows subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 which is class C subnet of 256 maximum hosts.  While this will be ok for most home network, this may be limitation if more than 256 network devices are wanted.

 

 

 

 

Router or Switch for Home Network

Ever since the advent of Internet, the usage of Internet, which was initially researched and implemented by US government and few universities, has grown and expanded to World Wide Web where entire world is connected.  The Internet has expanded to our homes and mobile devices in recent years to provide extra connectivity for communication and exchange of information.  With this connectivity, it also allows doing just about everything online such as shopping, reading books, finding jobs, getting education, doing research, and even real time online stock trading and e-commerce.  To take benefit of this great technology of Internet, our home needs to be equipped with right equipment to take full advantages.  To start, we need good router or switch for home network.

Below are few routers and switches to recommend for home network based on our experience of actually using them:

  • AirPort Extreme Router
  • Linksys Router
  • TP-Link Router

 

 

How to Create Home Network

This section describes how to create home network from scratch.

To setup home network, you will need following:

  • Broadband Network Service (for internet connection)
  • Wired and/or wireless router or switch for home network
  • RJ45 Category 5 or 6 Ethernet Cables (for 1 Gbps Network Connection Speed)
  • 802.11n or 802.11ac supported wireless network interface (for high speed wireless network)
  • Network Peripherals (Optional)
    • Network Printers
    • Network Scanners
    • Network Attached Storages (NAS)
    • Media Servers

 

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