Ethernet: Why would your home office use more of it?

In previous Jason Squared shows, Jason Cipriani and I have talked about securing your home internet. Today, we will talk about one of the oldest — and perhaps still best — ways to connect your equipment to the internet.

Ethernet is a wired network communications standard developed in the early 1970s. Over the years, Ethernet morphed from using coaxial cable to twisted pair cable and fiberoptic cables. The original standard called for network frames sent at 10Mbps. Today, it’s not uncommon for Ethernet to communicate at 1Gbps over twisted Pair cable. The standard can move as fast as 40Gbps/100Gbps using fiber Optic cables on enterprise networks.

All home routers/residential gateways have at least one or more additional Ethernet ports on them. An Ethernet Switch is like a USB hubs you can buy for your PC or Mac. If you run out of Ethernet ports, you buy a switch, and it will give you more network interfaces. In my own home, with my AT&T ARRIS residential gateway (the main router), I have a few extra Ethernet ports.  I have a 24-port Ethernet switch connected to one of these to add more Ethernet-connected devices.

It’s far more difficult for someone to sniff your network traffic if you use Ethernet. It’s considerably faster than the network connectivity you will get in most home environments with Wi-Fi. Ethernet has pretty high distance limitations, like about 100 meters per run. This is good to have if you have a multi-story home where you want high-speed network connectivity.  Back To the pageYou came from:  “Cyber Resilient Future” with Mimecast Connect Virtual Briefing Center.

Unmanaged desktop 16-port Gigabit Ethernet switches from Netgear, TP-LINK, and D-Link can be found for less than $60. You can buy pre-fabricated cables that are as long as 100 feet for about $22 from Best Buy or Amazon. Many streaming devices have Ethernet ports already built-in, such as the Roku, the Amazon Fire TV, the Apple TV. Network adapters for laptops are also not that expensive.

The higher-end models are managed switches and are more expensive because they have special segmenting and security capabilities. Cat5-Cat6 twisted pair cable can also carry power. This is useful for broadcasting a Wi-Fi signal to a wide-open area and mounting an access point on a ceiling. If you’re having a tough time with mesh networking routers, this is another way to get whole home or whole business Wi-FIA coverage.

MoCA is a way to send Ethernet signals over coaxial cable. It uses the Coaxial cable you might already have in your home. Actiontec sells these in pairs for $170. Trendnet sells a similar product for $110, and you can also get that on Amazon. The fastest version of MoCA is advertised at 2.5Gbps, which is extremely fast. It is a thick, shielded copper cable designed to be protected from the elements.

Homeplug AV2 is the opposite of PoE, sending Ethernet signal over the AC power wires that are already inside your home. It’s possible to have these adapters plugged into outlets all over your home, so your electrical system becomes one big network. In the past, I’ve seen as high as 400Mbps per second when extending my living room’s entertainment center with this type of equipment. You can get the Home plug AV2 adapters in pairs for about $70$80 on Amazon, and companies like Netgear, Trendnet, TP-Link, and D-Link make them.


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