Home network questions!

Hi everyone!!!

Here's my situation. I'll be moving to a new house (not build yet) in about a year and my wish is to have a home network (Fast Ethernet) so I'm going to run all the cables and everything now not when it's all finished. I have two computers about 100 meters (330 ft) apart (2 floors) and a notebook. Win 2k Pro on all.

My question is what exactly do I need for a Fast Ethernet connection. I'm REALLY A NOVICE in this field so be as precise as possible. Cables CAT5?, cards (which ones – manufacturer exact type) and everything else (don't know what), hub maybe – do I need it?!?! I’m also thinking about having an ADSL connection what kind of card do I need for that (a different one?) I plan to share the ADSL on both computers.
I don’t know if I made any sense but any help would be appreciated :)
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  1. Since you're in a building stage, I wouldn't worry about what kind of harware is on the PC side... focus on setting up a good network topology (it'll make things a lot easier in the end).

    I assume you'll want things done in a 'home-run' type network (star topology... every end coming to one point in the house). Determine where you want that home run to end up in and that will be your network closet/room (this is where you'll put your Hubs/Switches/Routers/Patch Panels/etc). Remember, you'll need power in your network closet. Also have a phone line run into the closet/room.

    Cat 5 is what you should use (it's good for up to 100Mbps)... Get Cat 5e (enhanced) or even Cat 6 (unofficial 'standard') if you'll ever care to do gigabit ethernet (1000Mbps) or if you have a lot of interference around (too many power lines along some runs, etc.). Make sure you don't twist the cable too much (don't bend more than 90 degrees or pull very hard on the cable). Each run must be less than 300' (100 meters). I'd run RG-6 (or RG-6QS - basically TV cable) for video at the same time... The 'standard' is generally to have 2 Cat 5 and 2 RG-6 connections at each point (lets you really take advantage of the networked home in the future). If you don't do this now, you'll regret it later.

    Try http://www.wiring.com for more info on the subject (or feel free to pick my brain some more here).

    Oh yeah... as far as ADSL (or whatever) goes... the setup mentioned above is very nice, because all of your networking takes place in the network closet, and setup is generally a snap. Buy a Linksys DSL/Cable router and you can share your connection (whatever type it may be) very easily with many PCs.
  2. I thought about the whole arrangement some more and pretty much decided on Linksys EtherFast Switched 10/100 Network in a Box (http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?prid=15&grid=12)
    It got great reviews all over what are you’re thoughts on it? I’ll definitely go with CAT 5e maybe something better when I’ll get around to buy it.
    Any other suggestions? Please let me know.
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