Why Share a Single Internet Connection?

Most of the time, the reason people install a network in their homes is to share their single broadband Internet connection.

Whether that network is hard wired in their home providing limited access but located strategically throughout the house in the most popular spots or it is a wireless network allowing access from anywhere in the home, the goal is usually shared Internet access.

Sure, there are other reasons for building a network in your home such as file or printer sharing, centralized computer backups or access to a media and entertainment center. But the biggest reason is to take a single Ethernet connection coming off your cable or DSL modem and distributing that from one to many to access simultaneously throughout the home for all users.

Even a number of single-user tasks that have previously been performed on a local basis can be enhanced with adding Internet access. “Cloud computing” is the term for using online applications, saving the work remotely and being able to share or distribute the work among a limitless number of contributors and authors is but one application. Spread sheets that can automatically update themselves with download financial data from you bank is another application of this ‘always on, always accessible from anywhere’ configuration.

Most home Internet sharing designs are built around sharing an ‘always on’ broadband Internet connection. However, even slower dial-up users can get many of the same benefits from having the ability to share their Internet connection from a single computer.

Today’s operating systems continue to enhance the usability and the ease of configuration of a home or small office network. Add to this the advent, growth and popularity of “Plug-and-Play” Ethernet adapters, routers, modems and access points, it is easy for the most novice user to create and maintain a usable wireless network for their home users as well as in an office environment.

In order to distribute an Internet connection throughout your home or office, you must decide upon which service is available and right for you. Most users have the following services from which to choose:

Dial-Up Connection using a telephone line and computer modem

A DSL (digital subscriber line) connection over standard telephone lines

Cable modem – High speed Internet provided by television cable operator(s)

FiOS – Newly emerging fiber-optic service

Satellite Broadband – Internet access provided by a satellite service

These last four are often bundled into the term of ‘broadband ‘Internet service. There is has no set standard as to what speed is considered in this group. Basically, any service that exceeds the highest speeds available over a telephone dialup connection could technically be called broadband. Your choice will be determined by what services are available, what speeds you need and you budget.