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Decide on the Networking Type

When I state that you need to decide on the networking type, I did not mean to review technologies
like "ARCnet"
(completely obsolete by now) or "TokenRing" (professional network with high investment cost,
too expensive for Home use)
, but on the different types of "Ethernet" Networks with different Network
speeds and costs:

10base2:
Uses a coaxial cable (with T-connectors and Terminators ) , rated at
10 mbs (=Mega Bit per second), which results in actual network throughputs of
approx. 700-800 KBytes/second (
detailed 10base2-coax cabling rules )
The coax-cable is used to
connect the PC's in a line,
and MUST have at each end a
Terminator:
- one open Terminator and
- one grounded Terminator.
the Coax-cables are connected via a
T-connector to the BNC-connector
of the Network card
.
  Note : Coax cabling is widely regarded to be "mature" / "obsolete", there are
only few network adapters available with a BNC connector.


10baseT:
Uses a Twisted-Pair (TP) cable , one from EACH PC to a central connection
box, called a HUB, rated at 10 mbs (=Mega Bit per second), which results in
actual network throughputs of approx. 700-800 KBytes/second
(
detailed 10baseT-TP cabling rules )
100baseT:
Uses a Twisted-Pair (TP) cable , one from EACH PC to a connection box,
called a HUB, rated at 100 mbs (=Mega Bit per second), which results in actual
network throughputs of approx. 3-4 MBytes/second
(
detailed 100baseT-TP cabling rules )
Cabling of
10baseT and
100baseT
The rules for 10baseT-cabling and 100baseT-cabling are very similar:
A central connection box , called HUB, is required :
Hubs are available with different number of
connectors, called "Ports":
4, 8, 12, 16
( for larger networks,
hubs can be linked )

Hubs are available for different speeds:
- 10 mbs ONLY
- 100 mbs ONLY
- 10 mbs and 100 mbs dual-speed with either manual or auto-detect selection
(for professional networks with high throughput, there are also special versions
of hubs called "
Switch", which offer for home-usage NO additional advantage)


EACH PC is connected via a Twisted-Pair cable to the hub.

There is ONE exception:
If you only need to connect 2 PC's in a network, you can use a
"
Cross-over Cable" to directly connect 2 PC's without a hub:


If you decide to use 100baseT, you need to use high-grade Twister-Pair
cables: Category 5, called
CAT5.

I know, it is all confusing, so let me try to list the advantages and disadvantages:

  Coax -10base2 Twisted-Pair
(10/100baseT)
with Cross-cable
Twisted-Pair
(10/100baseT)
with Hub
Rated Speed on Network
(mbs = MegaBit/second)
10 mbs 10 mbs (10baseT)
100 mbs (100baseT)
10 mbs (10baseT)
100 mbs (100baseT)
Actual Network Throughput
( kBytes / Sec)
700-800 700-800 (10baseT)
3000-4000 (100baseT)
700-800 (10baseT)
3000-4000 (100baseT)
Max. nr of system on the network 30 2 4, 8, 12, 16
(depening on the hub)
Reliability:
Systems down on a bad cable
all all = 2 only 1
required parts 1 card/PC
2 terminators
coax-cables
1 card/PC
1 cross-cable
1 card/PC
1 TP-cable/PC
1 hub
Costs low low medium
(due to the hub)


You need to decide:
- 10base2 Coax or Twisted-Pair (it is strongly suggested not to use Coax anymore )
- if you select Twisted-Pair: at which speed : 10 or 100 ?
(the cost of 100baseT is only marginally higher than 10baseT, so unless you have already
some 10baseT-parts, I strongly suggest to invest in 100baseT )

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