NetPulse - IT Support around the M25

Networking Structures

Wired Ethernet
Advantages: 10/100 wired ethernet is inexpensive, easy to set up, and faster than wireless. New gigabit (10/100/1000) technology is superfast, though it's designed primarily for business settings.Disadvantages: Requires running cables to a central connection switch or router. More-expensive gigabit adapters and switches require special, more-expensive cable.Costs: 10/100 add-in cards, $15-$20 per PC, or gigabit add-in cards, $90-$110 per PC; 10/100 switch, $35-$75, or gigabit switch, $100-$200;

Internet router/firewall, $50-$75.Wireless (Wi-Fi)
Advantages: No wires to run through your walls or hallways; use your laptop to surf the Web from your couch or patio.Disadvantages: More expensive than wired. Must be set up carefully for maximum security and range. Evolving standards can be confusing and incompatible. Speed falls as distance increases.Costs: 802.11b PC Card (10 mbps), $50-$90, or 802.11b/g PC Card (54 mbps), $70-$100; add-in wireless PCI card, $90-$125 per PC, or USB wireless adapter, $50-$90 per PC; single-speed wireless router, $50-$100, or dual-speed wireless router, $225-$300.

Hybrid Network
Advantages: Offers the best mix of convenience and cost.Disadvantages: Different technologies can make setup difficult.Costs: See "Standard Wired Ethernet" and "Wireless (Wi-Fi)" above.

Power-Line Network

Advantages: Simple to install; network runs on your electrical wiring.Disadvantages: Slow (12 mbps); relatively expensive; adapters from different companies won't necessarily work with one another.