This will surprise most, but home and work lines are blurred. Most people do personal stuff at work, and some work at home.
Even if you did not work with computers, if you use computers at home, it will mimic a cheaper and simpler setup of a work network.
The reason is because a work network has to be efficient, reliable and keep costs manageable. Doesn’t that sound like something you want at home too?
I already posted about the laptop you would want. But what else do we need? Lets make a list
- Reliable wireless router.
- Good laptop
- Maybe a desktop
- Central storage device
Tablet and Phone?. Well, yes!, Most likely you already have them, and you use them. Bare minimum you already have a smartphone. So it should be part of your network.
Now, here is what people miss, and it is important. A reliable wireless router. Most of the routers provided by the ISP (Internet Service Provider, like Comcast, and Verizon) are plain simply trash. Even if the hardware itself is not trash, the software in the router (yes, it has a mini Operative System) is usually outdated and crippled. I have a long-standing fight with Comcast about their modems. Excellent hardware, bad software that crashes and you need to reboot the modem.
It has tons of reviews and charts. It is more technical, but then again I always recommend to do research, and wireless is very complicated already. Honestly, people undermine wireless function in the network, and should be the heart of it.
If you use a wireless router, make sure it is at the center of the house and not hidden away. Do not put it in the basement, do not hide it behind other electronics. Everything that it needs to pass thru to serve you Wi-Fi will reduce the range and quality.
If you still would like to hide it, then use Access Points to provide Wi-Fi.
I personally use a Buffalo Router with Wireless for my home Wi-Fi, and Ubiquity for the work Wi-Fi (at home). The Ubiquity AP has stronger range and sometimes it drowns the Buffalo thought, but the Buffalo has stronger range than most cheap Linksys and Verizon routers, and I used to live in an apartment where all neighbors had Wi-Fi.
Lots of option, lots of products, but generally think of $150 for the router, and $100 for AP, and be aware of 2×2 or 3×3 (how many antennas per band, so 2×2 means 2 antennas for 2.4 GHz, and 2 for 5 GHz). Depending on how many devices and the location is how many antennas you will need (and that is the reason you want the Wi-Fi antenna in the middle, and not hidden).
Also, don’t just throw money in a 4×4 router if you will put it in a corner of the house. Since the antenna are semi directional the antennas pointing away will not be servicing Wi-Fi to the house. I am not going to expand on that. There are guides in small net builder, and other places on the web. But I want to re-iterate that location has an effect on Wi-Fi, as well as quantity of devices, and material (the common plastic tile in kitchens for example completely blocks Wi-Fi).
In the end your wireless and the router matter.
If you can, also use your own Modem (cable systems, you cannot with FIOS)
For a good laptop, I already posted, an article.
The Desktop should be similar.
So, now we are left with a central storage device. I will save this for a new article, because it is also something that most people think about, but most people need