Because this book is written for people who have a home network up and running, I haven’t covered the basics of planning, purchasing, and installing equipment. Instead, this book focuses on the annoyances you face as you use and maintain your home network.
However, one absolute rule of thumb (can a rule of thumb be absolute, or is that an oxymoron?) is that all networks are dynamic—they grow and change. You’ll add more computers, and more equipment. You’ll move existing equipment to make it more accessible to users or to redecorate your home.
This appendix covers the basics, the stuff you need to think about, and know about, as you expand, change, and tweak your network. I’ll talk about the planning process and the equipment available, some of which is necessary and some of which is just luxuriously nifty.
Home networks that grow haphazardly and spontaneously usually end up with problems that are difficult to diagnose and manage. You need to know the technological details of the equipment you’re adding or moving, and the ramifications of changes you make to the network’s layout. The best solution is to avoid problems by planning properly.
Regardless of the topology (connection method) you use for your home network, you have to understand that data doesn’t travel for infinite distances. All topologies have distance limitations.
For Ethernet wiring, the maximum length of a cable run is 328 ...