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There are lots of factors to consider when purchasing a home networking solution. Here are the wireless routers top-rated by...
There are lots of factors to consider when purchasing a home networking solution. Here are the wireless routers top-rated by our customers along with some helpful...
By: Jeana Lee Tahnk|Walmart Tips & Ideas Editors
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to watch a movie, surf the internet or send emails when your internet slows you...
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to watch a movie, surf the internet or send emails when your internet slows you down or cuts you off altogether. Blame it...
By: Jeana Lee Tahnk|Walmart Tips & Ideas Editors

Create a network that meets all your computing needs

If you own a small- to medium-sized business or need to operate an office out of your home, you may need to set up a network. Even if you don t use them for business maybe you have a large family you may have several computers that need Internet access at the same time. To do this, you can incorporate several devices that make computing in your home or business much easier, faster and more efficient. We have low prices, every day, on everything, so you can build the ideal network for your needs and save some money at the same time. Check out some of the essential components that'll keep your network running smoothly.

Routers

Routers allow several different computers to connect to an existing network. Although some routers still exist that require you to physically attach your computers to them, many of the updated models available today can connect to your computer wirelessly. This allows other devices, such as smartphones, tablets and Smart TVs, to also connect to the router via Wi-Fi. Note that, for the modem to let you access the Internet, you need to establish an outside connection to an Internet provider and then connected it to the modem, which you then connect to the router to create an Internet protocol address. Otherwise, the network only connects to the other devices that you connect to it to enable file sharing. There are certain key factors to know when selecting what router to purchase:

  • Radio bandwidth Although some routers feature a single bandwidth, most are dual-band routers that let you connect to the Internet via one of two radio frequencies 2.4GHz and 5GHz. This allows your router users to be on different bands in the same home or business. It also facilitates faster speeds for whatever you're doing on the Web, such as downloading files or watching videos.
  • Coverage This determines how strong the signal that the router puts out is, and it can mean that users on the outer edge of the coverage area may experience drops or lag in what they're doing.
  • Ports The types of ports available, such as Ethernet ports, determine what you can connect to the router. Routers with Ethernet ports allow faster file-transfer rates. Those with USB ports let you connect other devices to the router, such as a scanner or printer.

Modems

Modems let routers or computers connect directly to the Internet via an outside source, such as a digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet service or cable Internet service. Cable connections occur with a coaxial cable connection; they're similar to what's used when connecting a television to a cable service box. DSL connections are made using a telephone connection, which is sometimes referred to as an RJ-11 connection, that runs to a telephone socket on a wall. Although very rare, dial-up modems are also still in production and use ordinary phone lines to connect to an Internet service provider (ISP). When choosing a modem, the key factors you want to look for include compatibility with your computer's or other device's operating system, such as Windows or iOS; the upload and download speeds it provides; security protection, such as WEP encryption and WPA/WPA2 security protocol; size of the modem and the cost of the modem.

Signal boosters and devices

For those who have older technology in their modems or routers, there are options to ensure better Wi-Fi reception in your home or place of business. You could move the router to a more central location, but that might not be feasible. A signal booster, also known as a Wi-Fi repeater, makes it possible to amplify the signal your router produces. For example, if the modem you use to connect your network to your ISP is in your garage or in an outlying office in your business, you can place a signal booster in the center of your location, which will repeat the same level of signal it receives to the other areas of your location. This can as much as double your router's coverage area.

If the router you're using is current and in the best spot to receive its signal but your coverage is still weak, then a Wi-Fi extender can solve your issues. Wi-Fi extenders allow you to send the router's signal through the electrical circuitry in your business or home. You then connect an adapter to an electrical outlet near where your router is and add a second adapter to an electrical outlet where you need the signal to improve. You can also do this with an Ethernet cable when connecting to an Ethernet device, such as a video game console or smart TV. You can even create a secondary Wi-Fi network in this manner. Look for Wi-Fi repeaters or extenders based on the coverage area in square feet to determine which one is right for your needs.

Other networking items

There are other devices you can use when setting up your own network:

  • USB wireless network adapters These small devices plug into your desktop or laptop computer and let you connect to a network wirelessly.
  • Network-attached storage If you have limited storage space on your computer and don't want to store your documents, photos, videos, MP3s or other files in an online cloud, you can use a network-attached storage device, also called a portable hard drive, that's connected to your router. That way, you can share what you've saved to the storage device with anyone connected to your network. These range in size from 250GB or less to 2TB or more.
  • Access points An access point is either a standalone device or integrated technology in a router that allows Wi-Fi-capable devices to connect to a wired network.
  • Ethernet switches Ideal for businesses, an Ethernet switch makes it possible connect several computers, servers, IP cameras and other devices to your local area network.

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