Networking Technologies

Internet access is becomming a more intgral part of the home today and this page explains some of your options for networking in the home. The sites listed below provide information on particular aspects of obtaining and setting up internet access.

  • Internet Access From Home discusses your choices for brining internet to you home, and devices like routers and wireless routers for distributing internet to all parts of your home.

  • Some internet service providers are more reliable than others. Visit this site to learn about some of the problems that some users have had with Time Warner Cable. Your basic choices are cable modems (e.g. services such as Time Warner's RoadRunner), DSL, and new services like FiOS and U-Verse, the latter two of which bring fiber-optic to your house.

    You need to be careful in reading the claims by various providers, however, because they can sometimes be mis-leading. A recent trend in marking by the cable television companies is that they tout their "fiber optic networks", as if they bring fiber to your home. This is part of their attempts to position themselves, at least marketing wise, as no worse the FiOS or U-Verse. In reality, you need to read the claims by the cable companies careful. At least in early 2009 (when I am writing this), it is not common for the cable companies ot bring fiber to all the way to the home. Instead, when they talk about their "fiber optic networks", or "Add more fiber optic services" as Time Warner has claimed , or "America's most advanced fiber-optic network" as cablevision claimed at one point, they are talking about only parts of the system, usually parts that do not reach the home. They may use fiber optics to reach the head-end nodes in your neighborhood, but then used shared coax to the home. Some of the cable systems do offer fiber direct to business, and there may exist some homes with such coverage, but it is not the common case right now.

    In fact, these issues have been the subject of lawsuits. Verizon has filed a lawsuit against Time Warner Cable's statments in certain ads that time warner cables fiber optic network was better than FiOS, and how Time Warner has been using fiber optic for many years (the latter being a true statement, but potentially misleading, since the context of the message was in comparison FiOS which provides fiber all the way to the home).

    The speed of network service to the home is becomming more and more important as users adopt more bandwidth intensive applications, such as digital telvision over cable, FoOS, or U-Verse, or end to end digital television over the open internet with products such as Ooma or services like Vonage.