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Building a new house
How wide should the network be?

 10:57 am on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

We are currently building our own new house. It will take a while before it will be finished. We have planned to build it in a two year period because of the short seasons in which we can build due to weather conditions. Now is the ideal moment to think about the pre-wired computer network in our house.

The wired network will be based on twisted pair (cat5, or cat6) and used for both telephony and TCP/IP networking. I have planned a small central room where a server and other equipment can be located.

I can think of a lot of places where a network connection is useful. The children's bedroom for example to hook up their PCs or game consoles, and the kitchen to look up recipes on the internet. But I can't decide on the size of the network. Should I really put wires to all places where I possibly could have a network connection or phone, or should I only use wires where I need maximum speed and use wireless for the rest?

There is a cost involved in pre-laid wiring, but it will last for many years where the technology of wireless will be outdated every four or five years.

Any ideas about the garden? We have a large 95 year old tree in the garden where we can sit in the shade comfortably at summer time but there is quite a distance between the tree and the house. Our garden is 85 meters long and I don't know if wireless can bridge that gap reliabily. Although a full wireless garden coverage would be nice for our Windows Vista Embedded driven lawn mower we expect to buy in 2014 :) (preliminary specs: 4 quad-core processors at 4.3GHz, 32GB memory, max mow speed 80 square meter per hour)



 9:13 pm on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

> Should I really put wires to all places where I possibly could have a network connection or phone

In your position, I would. You can't be too sure what the future holds. For example, one day the kids will grow up (not that that is unexpected). What happens to the room after that? Who knows, you may have to plug your bathroom mirror into the 'net, so you can catch up on your site stats while you shave...

> Any ideas about the garden?

A signal booster for your router would help here. Any/some/too much foliage between yourself & the booster could affect signal quality though, so I wouldn't hide under a Weeping Willow tree.

> Windows Vista Embedded driven lawn mower

The thought of the mower throwing up a Blue Screen of Death.... Shudder! :o


 7:11 am on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Should I only use wires where I need maximum speed and use wireless for the rest?

I think that is a good idea.

You can't be too sure what the future holds.

Powerful long-range wireless devices.


 8:52 am on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Powerful long-range wireless devices.

I am not sure about it. I have used 2.4 GHz networking devices in projects since the nineties (they worked at speeds around 40 kbps at that time) and back then we still needed a license from the national telecommunication association. We had extensive talks with them and the main point they were bringing up was that in the future when such wireless nework devices would become more common, the allowed sending power would rather go down than up, to prevent interference.

Cable bandwidth is only limited by the quality of the cable and the networking end-points, and the number of cables. Single-device wireless bandwidth is limited by the frequency block allocated to wireless communication and is inverse proportional to the number of devices in the antenna range.


 6:17 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

you can pretty much forget about wired ethernet or wireless lan, and use networking over power cables. I've been using it for over a year now - and its so much more reliable than wireless, and gives 200MHz connections which is fast enough for HD AV apps - which i was using it for. Check out Devolo - no connections to me - but there stuff goes from the absolute simple to hotel/apartment/corporation level gear. An option anyhow.


 6:45 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

...gives 200MHz connections

That is really something to consider. 200MHz connections to every part of the house without any extra cables. Do you have any experience with the range and inteference with neigbours? I can imagine that a small low-pass filter at the power entrance in the house would be enough to separate different networks?

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