Does home network have to be faster than internet connection?

My Internet connection gives me a download speed of 6Mbs. Why does my home network equipment to be rated any faster? Why upgrade to Draft N from 54g wireless or indeed from 100Mbs ethernet to 600Mbs Homeplug?
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  1. Faster file transfers, lan gaming, etc...between computers on the local network. Local network speeds will always be faster than most internet connections. Unless you work for a corporation or have very deep pockets, 100Mb internet is not cheap.
  2. Thanks Sturm, so for web apps, web gaming or general surfing/downloading my 'G' wireless network with no more than 2 computers using it at any one time should be more than adequate until my internet connection exceeds 54Mbs?
  3. When it comes to the internet, or any network for that matter, you're only as fast as your weakest link.

    Also, your questions of "why" make draft N is, some people do large local file transfers. Bandwidth of a wireless connection is shared. So, lets say I'm streaming 1080p videos to my 56" TV over wireless, kids in the other room are playing xBox live over wireless and someone decides to upload a 40GB back-up to the home server. Suddenly xBox starts to lag and the video stream degrades.

    600mpg homeplug is also shared. You may hear people refer to this as "hub" architecture. This means everyone is sharing the same lline. you may indeed get 600mbps total between two devices, but you get 3,4,5,6 devices all talking at the same time on your power lines and suddenly they start to collide.

    A network collision is when two network devices try to talk at the same time on the same connection. This results in both parties not transferring any data at all. The colliding devices will then pick a random amount of time (typically a few milliseconds) then try to retransmit the data in hope of not colliding again. The more devices talking on the same line, the more chances of collisions. As a lines total bandwidth starts to reach it's peak, collisions will become more and more common. This is a snowball affect and at some point the useable speed of the line will be very low because all the devices spend most of their time trying to retransmit data the got garbled. So, set the bar high and 600mpb covers most inter-house communications for average Joe.
  4. Thanks Kewlx25. So draft N or homeplug seems to be the only question. Have you heard any pros or cons on these options. I have to say that Homeplug HD (1Gbs) seems a sensible future proofing option. PS3 via home plug (gaming and streaming) with the computers connection via the N modem/router? Need to avoid those collisions!

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