How to plan and build a computer network

When planning and building a computer network, consideration of network requirements is of paramount importance. If the plan is a new network installation or an upgrade of the existing network infrastructure, the considerations for the design of the network are the anticipated needs and the equipment necessary to meet these needs. To be successful, the design of the plan and the best of the network requires a careful analysis of these characteristics of the network. Depending on the location of the network and its intended uses, the steps in network planning will lead to different designs to meet the individual needs of the computer network.

When planning and building a computer network, consideration of network requirements is of paramount importance. If the plan is a new network installation or an upgrade of the existing network infrastructure, the considerations for the design of the network are the anticipated needs and the equipment necessary to meet these needs. To be successful, the design of the plan and the best of the network requires a careful analysis of these characteristics of the network. Depending on the location of the network and its intended uses, the steps in network planning will lead to different designs to meet the individual needs of the computer network.

Planning a network design

Step 1

Determine the needs of the network by creating a description of the network and the tasks that the network will handle. Is it a home network, a home-based business, or a shopping center? Where is the network: in a one-story building, a multi-story building or in several buildings? How many users will the network support? What types of tasks will be performed using the network: Internet browsing operations, Internet or business file exchange? Carefully consider the answers to these questions and any other questions that may arise and use this information to formulate the best strategy to follow to determine the requirements for the new network.

Step 2

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Analyze the entire existing network infrastructure to identify the strengths or weaknesses of the current design. If it is a new network, consider the design of other networks that you may be familiar with, such as a friend’s network or your employer’s network, and try to incorporate the strengths of these networks into your design. If this project replaces an older system, try to get an idea of ​​the needs of the new network, talking with the users of the current system. They can provide additional recommendations on improvements in the current design. For new systems where there is no previous network to compare the current plan, outline what you want your network to do and design along those lines.

Step 3

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The next step is to determine the hardware and software necessary to meet the system requirements for the new network. Identify possible solutions to overcome the weaknesses discovered in the current network and evaluate these solutions to determine the one that best suits the needs of the network design. Most networks need at least one router, especially small home networks. Large networks may have to add several routers or switches to complete the design.

For home networks, a router, a printer and at least two computer systems or input devices form a network. When a wireless connection is preferred, make sure that the computer systems have wireless network adapters and that the router for the system is compatible with the wireless adapters of the input devices and workstations. As of 2010, the four wireless standards are 802.11 a / b / g / n, and each standard has different operating characteristics than the others. For most home networks using either 802.11g or 802.11n cards with a compatible router should be sufficient to meet the needs of the network.

Installation of the network

Step 1

With the needs of the determined network, it compiles the cabling, hardware, software and network access devices needed to build the network. To better help understand the process of building a network, the following description examines the installation of a home / wireless network consisting of two desktops, a laptop, a wireless printer and a wireless router. Modify this design if necessary to adapt to your own network design.

Step 2

Set up computer workstations, the printer and the laptop in the area where each one will be located. Determine the best place to place the wireless router so that the router is easily accessible for the network connection method provided by your Internet provider, and is relatively central in the area you want to cover with the wireless signal.

Step 3

Run the Ethernet cabling from each desktop workstation to the wireless router. From the workstation closest to the wireless router, insert the installation disk that comes with the router and follow the instructions to connect the router, workstation and ISP to configure Internet access. During this process you will also establish the configuration of the wireless access points.

Step 4

Connect the remaining Ethernet cables from the printer and the remaining workstation to the wireless router, then connect the wireless laptop using the connection process for the specific operating system running on the laptop.

Step 5

Check each workstation for connectivity to the network and the Internet. If all the elements are installed correctly, there will be an Internet connection of each computer.