There are a growing number of homes
these days which have met the demand for multiple computers
under one roof. The need for a fast, economical, and convenient
means of data transfer between those computers - whether they be
a home PC or a traveling laptop - is becoming paramount. Time tested methods as the 1.4MB floppy
will always be useful. However as common files balloon in size, the 1.44" disk
is quickly becoming inadequate for anything more then a word document or
If we consider a typical home with two
computers, and forgo the list of expensive media drives (Zip, Jazz, SuperDisk,
etc...) as a solution, a home-based Ethernet can quickly show itself to be
one of the most convenient ways to move data around.
used to be the domain of businesses only, but have gradually
moved their way into the range of the average consumer, and are now not uncommon.
The cost of setting up an Ethernet is fairly reasonable when it is compared
with the alternative - installing a new media drive in two separate
computers. In its most basic state, an Ethernet can consist of two
computers, two Network Interface Cards, and a length ofEthernet cable (Category5). In more complicated schemes - involving
three, five or many more computers, things can become a bit more tricky.
'Tricky' Ethernets need a hub of some type to keep everything tied
together. Hubs are devices which act as a
central connection point for the wires and the data flow.
For this article we are only going be focusing on physically
installing the network of cables necessary for a hub-based
Ethernet. This point hasn't been dealt with as much as the configuration
side of things. That said, installing wire in a house
imparts special precautions and attention to the surroundings.
Disclaimers: What is outlined below is
what we did to install our Ethernet. It is meant only to be an
example of one possible method. If you are not comfortable with power
tools, not knowledgeable about electrical wiring, and not 100% sure
about what to do please do not attempt this.