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  • How To Avoid Freeloaders On Your Wireless Network

    How To Avoid Freeloaders On Your Wireless Network

    Whenever I am browsing various tech forums, blogs and sites, I continually see all these posts and articles about securing your wireless network.

    One thing that constantly aggravates me is when people claim that if you follow these steps no one will be able to get into your network.

    When I read this I always think of something my father always used to say, “Locks are made for honest people.”  If a hacker with the right skill-set wants to get into your network, they will find a way to get in.

    I'm going to explain how to avoid freeloaders on your wireless network and why it's important...

    Continue reading

  • Uses for Cat5e Ethernet Cable

    The CAT5e Ethernet is the newer CAT5 “enhanced.” The original CAT5, still used in many homes and offices, can only operate on 100 Mbps (megabytes per second) as it only utilizes two of the four pairs of twisted wires.

    A vast improvement on the original, the CAT5e can operate at ten times the data transfer rate as the CAT5, as fast as 1000 Mbps or 1 Gigabyte per second. This is a technology used for transferring data from one computer to another, in a network, or from a router to a computer and back.

    In a simple home office, one common use of the CAT5e is connecting the modem (for high speed DSL or Cable internet) to the computer. The RJ-45 connector, at the end of the CAT5e cable, can be connected to each device that has a RJ-45 jack.

    The RJ-45 jack has eight pins, like a phone jack but larger. Another option, using this connection, is to connect the modem to a router, instead of to a computer, so that more than one computer can receive the signal from the router. With a wireless router, this would mean that the high speed internet signal could be transmitted to the PC and a laptop or two, with wireless capability, if the router and modem are wired together with the CAT5e.

    In a business office, RJ-45 jacks can be installed into the walls of each cubicle, with each computer connected to these jacks with CAT5e cables. With a central server connected to these jacks, this would network together all of the computers in the office. Today, the CAT5e is the industry standard for home and office wired networking.
  • Construction of CAT5 Cables

    The CAT5 cable is a twisted pair Ethernet cable. Right now, it is the number one choice in local area networking (LAN), such as in home and office wired networks.

    CAT5 construction begins with four pairs of 24-gauge twisted copper wires. At the end of the cable is a RJ-45 jack. To distinguish the CAT5 from other twisted pair wires, the CAT5 is marked “CAT-5” on the shielding.

    The color of the outer sheath is not a simple standard. The wires come in four colors including blue, brown, green, and orange. These sheathed wires are twisted around mates that are white with a colored stripe. The different colors help identify the separate wires in the set.

    The twisting of the wires also serves a purpose. This feature reduces crosstalk and interference. So, only the last ½ inch (12.7mm) should be untwisted for connection purposes. While CAT5 cable is available in pre-cut standard lengths finished with RJ-45 jacks, many choose to purchase CAT5 cable off of a spool and cut it to fit.

    Pinouts are the form of connection used to attach the RJ-45 connectors. In other words, the pinout is the method of connecting the cable wiring to the RJ-45 jack. These methods are referred to crossover, straight through, and roll-over. The connectors are used to connect two computers together or a computer to a router, so they can communicate through the CAT5 cable.
  • CAT5 Overview

    You may already be familiar with Ethernet technology, a form of cable that can transfer high speed data, from one device to another, more rapidly than older versions of cable connectors. While USB technology continues to advance, running head to head with Ethernet developments, Ethernet technology has thus far managed to hold its own for wired networking.

    CAT5 is an Ethernet network cable standard. What does this mean? It is not just made of one wire, but four pairs of copper wire, wrapped into one cable, giving it the capability to handle larger chunks of data with higher speeds.

    To be specific, the CAT5 can handle data transfer rates of up to 100 Mbps, only utilizing two of the four wires. And the newer CAT5 enhanced, or CAT5e, can handle ten times that much with speeds up to 1 Gigabyte per second (1000 Mbps), making use of all four wires.

    There are two main types of twisted pair cables, such as the CAT5, called stranded and solid. Stranded CAT5 cables are more flexible and must be used over a short length of cord. Solid CAT5 cables can work across longer cable lengths, for larger networks like office buildings.

    As with all technology, CAT5 is only holding a temporary place in technological history. Already, CAT6 and CAT7 are in the works. But for now, CAT5 and CAT5e hold the number one spot in customer choice for wired local area networks (LANs).
  • Cat5 Cables, Wire Pairs, and Connectors

    CAT5 is short for Category 5 specifications for data communications cables. This specification describes a set of four twisted pairs of different colored sheathed copper wiring. This means that 8 total wires are combined into one cable.

    The colors of the solid colored wires and the matching stripes on the white mates are blue, orange, green, and brown. These pairs of wires are twisted to reduce interference and noise. The more twisted the better, with this scenario. The only drawback is that the tighter twisting can cause the cord to be more brittle and stiff.

    Solid CAT5 cable cores are solid wired used inside the sheathing, for data transfer. The solid cable is firmer and prevents moisture contamination. The stranded cable is more flexible. It is made of wiring cores of several thin “strands” of metal. With the increased flexibility, the stranded core prevents damage from frequent bending.

    CAT5 cabling comes either shielded or unshielded. With the shielded tube, the wires are contained inside a weaved-wire tube. In the unshielded variety, the 8 colored wires are left visually exposed.

    The individual colored wire pairs are, in order, as follows: white with blue stripe paired with blue, white with orange stripe paired with orange, white with green stripe paired with green, and white with brown stripe paired with brown.

    The CAT5 connectors are RJ-45 connectors, made for networks. RJ-45 connectors are referred to commonly as “modular connectors.” The 568-A and 568-B are the two types of RJ-45 standards. Basically, these are just two different ways the wires are attached to the end connector.

    The two important components of connecting the wires to the RJ-45 are 1) No two solid-colored or striped wires should be pinched together and 2) Untwisting needs to be minimized to the last ½ inch of wiring. This will ensure proper functioning of the CAT5 cable.
  • Wireless Router Installation

    Wireless routers are the preferred option for most home networks because they eliminate the mess of wires, with wired routers, and they allow devices in different areas of the room to send and receive data without having to have a wired connection. In fact, with the radio technology it uses, you can even send and receive data with other devices throughout the house and on separate floors, as long as the signal is powerful enough.

    It is not that difficult to set up a wireless router. You just need to follow a few steps. The first is to carefully select your router. Your choice of router will matter because some are made better than others, some will have features you want, and others may have features you don’t need and don’t want to pay for.

    The second step is to set the router on a high spot near the internet modem or cable. If you have DSL, you will need to connect the router to the modem with an Ethernet cable. Use the WAN (wireless area network) port.

    If you have a desktop computer that needs a wired connection to the router, you can use a LAN (local area network) cable to connect it to the router. Your other wireless devices such as your laptop and your wireless ready printer will work just fine with the wireless router. They should detect the wireless signal.

    Your router will need to be installed using your primary computer. There should be a set up disk you can put in the CD-ROM. It will walk you through installation step by step. After you have completed installation, go to your internet browser and log into the IP address of your router. This information is found in the paperwork that comes with the router. This will help you in identifying the devices you want to include in your network.

    Finally, change the SSID to a new name, instead of the manufacturer’s standard issue, to make it a little harder for hackers to break into. Wireless routers with WPA technology help protect your router, but it is even better to personalize the SSID. Once you have done that, you can start using your wireless router and the new network you have created.
  • Wired or Wireless Router?

    Routers serve two main purposes: 1) To link separate computers and devices together to form a network, usually referred to as a local area network or “LAN.” 2) To connect a computer, or computers, to a “WAN” or wide-area network. In other words, a computer uses a router, with a modem, to connect to the internet.

    The router manages the data flow between computers within a network. It ensures delivery from the sender device to the correct receiver device. It can prevent these data “packets” from being sent to the wrong device. This avoids a great deal of confusion.

    A wired router is a router that has to be connected to the various devices with actual wires. Each device must be connected to the router with its own connecting wire. This could be an Ethernet cable or USB cable.

    There are two principle drawbacks to using a wired router. One negative is that you end up with a mess of wires to work around. The second is that you have less flexibility in the location of your equipment, because the wires are only so long. However, the benefit of using Ethernet cables for data transmission is that it is the fastest method. For gamers, the new gigabit technology in Ethernet cords is the way to go because it offers blazing fast data transmission, much faster than wireless can provide.

    With a wireless router, the radio technology it uses allows for wireless transmission of information through space. You could type on your laptop, sitting in your recliner with your router across the room 20 feet away. While the wireless router is generally more expensive, it is often the preferred choice, because of the flexibility and versatility it offers network users.
  • What is Ethernet?

    Ethernet technology is the most commonly used technology for local area networks (LAN). Ethernet is a cable technology that connects different devices to each other, for the purpose of data transmission. For example, a high-tech camcorder will generally come equipped with an Ethernet port that can be connected to a TV that has the same. This way, the video from the camcorder can be viewed on the TV, via Ethernet transmission.

    Ethernet hubs can support several devices in the same room, with up to 16 Ethernet ports per hub. This would allow more than one computer to connect into a home network, or to sync with the same printer for home office work.

    Ethernet technology originally only allowed data transmission of up to 10 Mbps (Megabits per second). But now, today’s standards are up to 100 Mbps, over ten times the original performance capability of Ethernet cables. The original Ethernet cables are still installed in devices that do not require the intensity of speed offered by the latest cables.

    The 10BASE-T is one of these cables that can only handle up to 10Mbps. The faster Ethernet cables are called 100BASE-T, which handle 100Mbps, and are often installed in LAN systems for high-speed computer data transmission within network.

    The latest breakthrough in Ethernet technology is called Gigabit Ethernet, which provides data transmission rates as high as 1,000Mbps. 10-Gigabit Ethernet allows speeds of up to 10 billion bits per second. Obviously, this technology is for high-performance systems that carry heavy transmission loads. But Ethernet, in its simpler forms, is used in home technology for anything from gaming to printing.
  • What is an Ethernet Port?

    To understand what an Ethernet port is, one must first understand what Ethernet is. Ethernet technology was invented by Robert Metcalfe, an engineer, who was seeking a higher speed of data transmission. The original Ethernet cable, some still in use today, only handles up to 10Mbps of data transmission.

    Current Ethernet technology allows up to 10,000,000,000 Mbps. But most Ethernet cords handle up to 100 Mbps. Data is carried by protocol units called “frames.” While Ethernet cables can only be made to support data transmission through up to 100 meters of cord length, network bridge devices can link several offices within a building, or more than one computer lab inside a school.

    The Ethernet port is like the jack, for the phone cord. It is a plug for connecting the end of the Ethernet cable. There should be an Ethernet port in most computers produced today and many game consoles can support Ethernet technology with an adapter, if they do not already have Ethernet ports. Ethernet ports can also be found in devices like camcorders.

    RJ-45 connectors are the ends of the Ethernet cables that plug into the Ethernet ports. Generally, one end of the Ethernet cord gets plugged into the computer and the other into a router, for networking with other computers or for accessing the internet. Or, a camcorder sends data through an Ethernet cord directly into an Ethernet port in a TV.

    Computers can also be connected via Ethernet cords with Ethernet hubs. Ethernet hubs are small devices with several Ethernet ports, from 4 to 16, that can connect several devices into a network. Ethernet ports are important for being able to use the highest speed data transfer rates available, but adapters can provide a port for devices that did not come equipped with an Ethernet port.
  • What is an Ethernet Hub?

    An Ethernet hub is a simple and affordable way to network more than one computer. It is basically a device with a few Ethernet ports (sites for plugging in Ethernet cords). Each computer has a network interface card or “NIC” that you will need to hook up to the hub.

    Take an Ethernet cord and connect it to the first computer’s NIC. Then, put the other end of the Ethernet cord into the Ethernet hub. Add more computers and/or other devices as needed.

    If the hub does not accommodate all of the devices you want to connect, you can connect the hub to another hub or to a router, which can allow you to add more devices to your local area network (LAN). Not all Ethernet hubs are created equal. Some of the older versions can only handle 10Mbps in speed, which is probably not sufficient for your current needs.

    Now, you can easily get 100 Mbps bandwidth, or more. For those who need to utilize older equipment while taking advantage of updated equipment, there are hubs that come in dual-speed 10/100. Home networks usually use just a four-or five-port hub. But, for those who have greater needs, eight- and sixteen-port hubs are available.

    Ethernet hubs are useful when a network switch is broken or if performance isn’t a big concern. However, if performance is a concern, network switch technology is superior to hub technology. Take the time to weight the costs and benefits of each type of networking technology, before you go forward with an Ethernet hub.

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