A computer network combines a number of computers and devices through a Local Area Network (LAN) to enable them to communicate with each other. The standard frame format used on the Local Area Network (LAN) to facilitate the transmission of data across computers and devices is called the Ethernet. Ethernet technology in the early years used coaxial cables to send data but as the technology progressed, the connections were replaced with more reliable equipment. Ethernet equipment like point-to-point links, hubs, and Ethernet cards can now accommodate speeds of 1000 megabits per second or 1 gigabit per second. Consider some of the available gigabit Ethernet equipment to properly set up your computer network.
1. Ethernet Network Interface cards
To enable computers to transmit data to one another they need to be fitted with Ethernet Network Interface Cards. There are a few types of Ethernet cards or adapters that will work with high speeds. The Peripheral Component Interconnect X or PCI-X bus technology allows packets of data to flow faster through the network. Bus speeds are notably higher than regular PCI cards and its architecture is designed to reduce errors in the transfer of data. Although the PCI-X Ethernet adapters could manage high speeds, another type of Ethernet Network Interface Card is fast becoming the new standard for gigabit Ethernet technology. The PCI Express or PCI-E is designed to harness the full potential of gigabit Ethernet technology on a larger network. The PCI-E can be used in various environments, from a large office environment to a small home office network. The PCI-E was designed to eliminate bottlenecks in communication traffic and to conform to high bandwidth requirements.
2. Cables and Fiber optics
A computer network uses links to connect computers to each other for the transmission of data. The CAT 5 (Category 5) cable is commonly used for networking which can be used with the gigabit Ethernet technology although there are a few issues that will affect high-speed performance. Running lengths of cable beyond a hundred meters and having multiple splices on a single cable can hamper the flow of data. Fiber optic cable is a better solution for gigabit Ethernet technology which will allow you to run longer cables and packets of data will travel at faster speeds on this type of cable.
3. Gigabit Ethernet installation
Make sure that the computer is turned off and unplugged from the wall outlet. Then slide in the gigabit Ethernet card in the available PCI slot. Check if it is inserted properly and it doesn’t feel loose in the slot. Screw in it in place on the back of the CPU and then turn on the computer. Usually the operating system on your computer will detect the newly installed hardware and there are hardly any other installations once it has been detected. Some manufacturers will require software installation so you can configure the adapter’s settings so check the manual for the proper settings. Connect the fiber optic cable to the gigabit Ethernet port. The fiber optic cable will be fitted with RJ-45 modular connectors on its ends so it would just be a matter of pushing in the connector into the port. Follow the same procedure for all the computers on the network then you can connect to a hub or a server.
Using the right Ethernet equipment for your network may be a bit pricey but the cheaper options would mean that you wouldn’t be able to fully maximize the gigabit Ethernet’s potential.