Computer networks for the home and small business can be built using either wired or wireless technology. Wired Ethernet has been the traditional choice in homes, but Wi-fi wireless technologies are gaining ground fast. Both wired and wireless can claim advantages over the other; both represent viable options for home and small businesses.
Both types of networks enable home file sharing, printer sharing, gaming, and of course internet sharing.
These use physical Ethernet cables connecting routers, switches and peripherals to each computer within the network.
In theory, wireless networks are less secure than wired networks, because wireless communication signals travel through the air and can be intercepted. WLANs protect their data through the encryption standards, that makes wireless communications reasonably as safe as wired ones in homes.
No computer network is completely secure and homeowners should research this topic to ensure they are aware of and comfortable with the risks. Important security considerations for homeowners tend to not be related to whether the network is wired or wireless but rather ensuring:
- The home’s Internet firewall is properly configured
- The family is familiar with the danger of Internet “spoof emails” and how to recognise them
- The family is familiar with the concept of “spyware” and how to avoid it
- Babysitters, housekeepers, neighbours and other visitors do not have unwanted access to the network