Lug Your Laptop
With a networking system in place, you can bring your laptop to the back porch, deck, garden or toolshed and still access the Internet with ease. Here’s the best part: You don’t even have to plug in the machine. Just be sure that the network your home systems installer puts in can handle wireless communication.
For reliability and speed, a wired network is the way to go. Products on a wired network need to plug in, so pepper your house with plenty of wall outlets. About two networking outlets should suffice for most rooms, but you may want to put more in the family room and home office. Just remember: With lots of outlets, you’ll be able to plug in more devices and move your existing equipment to different spots in the room when you feel like redecorating.
Think of Your Future
The low-voltage cabling that makes up a networking system is fairly inexpensive, so thread it to every imaginable spot in your house. This includes the guest rooms, kids’ rooms, attic and basement. With the wiring in place, it’s fairly easy to add electronics to the space. You’ll be able to turn the guest bedroom into a home office without having to fish wiring behind the finished walls, for example.
A networking system can do more than connect computers. With the right equipment, it can pipe your favorite music throughout the house, zip movies from the family room DVD player to the TV in your bedroom, and help you manage the lights, thermostats and security system more efficiently.
By Lisa Montgomery, senior editor for Electronic House magazine. To see more articles from the editors of Electronic House magazine about the connected home visit www.electronichouse.com.
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