Exotic? Unusual? Have you ever bragged about, "I have a friend who has a home network!" Not today, the home network has become a ubiquitous part of our homes. "WIFI's off." has become as common as "Power's off." or "Hey, there's no water." Your smart home is dead in the water. Your phone bill starts creeping up. And the big news if that there's no TV! Your media is intimately tied to your home network. It's time to get savvy.

Introduction

Before we get into the various streaming services out there you must have the ability to view these streaming service apps on your TV, PC, laptop, or phone. You need to connect the internet coming into your home to each of these internet-dependent devices.

Internet

You have decided to have the internet extended into your home. You chose Cable TV, DSL phone line, or Satellite internet service if you live in a rural area.

This cable will come into your home from the telephone pole line, underground from your street, or from your roof. No matter where it comes from you can extend it into your home to whatever location you like.

Diagram of a home network

Modem

Whatever your decision, the internet is entering your house on a cable and needs to connect to a modem as its first stop. This modem will take the internet signals from the cable and convert these signals into different signals that your router wants to see.

Router

The heart of your home network is your router. This device takes the internet coming into your house and distributes the internet to all of your devices that depend on the internet to work properly. Your computer needs the internet to surf the internet. Your TV needs the internet to bring these streaming services and their movies, and TV shows to like on your TV. You cannot create a smart home without a router. You really need a router to make your home media enjoyable. If you are happy with the router you already have, skip ahead to the next step Streaming Media Devices.

Conclusion

I am pretty sure that you now see the value of owning your own home network. If you are just starting to build one, go for the quality router so you will be prepared to add devices as you expand your home media or start your own smart home.

 

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ACTION ITEM: Pick a good router location in your home.

Ideally,

  1. Your router will be in the center of your home and property.
  2. It will be unobtrusive (remember, there are lights on all night long.)
  3. It must have access to your internet. A cable from your cable TV modem, phone modem, so the closer, the better.
  4. It needs A/C power.
  5. It is nice to have at least one PC connected to the router via CATV cable, not mandatory, but convenient.
  6. The higher (towards the ceiling) the better. The attic is cool if you have A/C power available.

Don't start drilling holes in your walls yet. Just get a working idea of where it will go as it all fits into the larger picture.