DIY Network

Home Automation Part III: Install a High-Speed Wireless Computer Network and Security Camera

Link all of your home's computers and peripherals, and add a door camera for convenience and security.

More in Electrical

install a high speed wireless computer network
  • Time

    Weekend

  • Price Range

    $2,500 - $5,000

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

Step 1: Install the Broadband Router

In the past, if you had more than one computer in your home, they each connected individually to the Internet and had to have their own printer. Now, all you need is one computer with high-speed access. By using a wireless broadband router, all computers can access the Internet and E-mail, and print to a remote printer without wiring (Image 1).

The incoming DSL or cable modem service is hard-wired to the wireless broadband router. The router connects to your main computer and enables the wireless signal throughout the house. Other desktop computers in your home will require a wireless adapter card to communicate with the router and, for laptops, you can install a plug-in wireless notebook adapter to receive and send data.

First, install the management software that comes with your router into your main computer. Install the software before you install any hardware.

Connect a coaxial cable-to-cable jack into a wall outlet. You can use an existing phone jack outlet by installing a new cover plate with both phone and cable jack connectors, or install a new cable jack outlet cover plate over a wall access hole (no junction box is required for low-voltage connections).

Connect a coaxial cable from the wall connection to the jack on your cable modem (Image 2).

Connect one end of the supplied Ethernet cable to the modem. The other end of the Ethernet cable goes into the port labeled WAN on the wireless router (Image 3).

Step 2: Connect the Main Computer

Plug the modem's transformer into an electrical outlet and power up the router. Connect an Ethernet cable to any open port in the router, and plug the other end into an Ethernet receptacle on the back of your computer.

connect the main computer

Step 3: Add Wireless Adapters to Other Computers

Load the software into the other desktop computers in your home (Image 1). If they don't have wireless adapters, you can purchase them and easily plug them into any open PCI (Peripheral Computer Interface) slot. If you do not wish to do this step yourself, a computer tech center can do it for you at little cost.

Install an adapter on a laptop by simply inserting the portable device into an available expansion slot (Image 2). Before you do this, install the software and shut down your computer or place in the sleep mode.

Your wireless broadband system is now available throughout your home. You can access the Internet from any enabled computer, or add wireless-enabled peripherals like printers or scanners to serve all of the computers from any point in the home.

Step 4: Install a Wireless Video Camera

Now that your home is networked, you can also add convenient features like wireless video cameras to monitor exterior doors, children’s rooms and other areas. Each camera is connected to a wireless transmitter, which sends its signal to the Internet so that no matter where you are, you can access the camera through your computer to see what is happening.

Connect the AC power and an Ethernet cable to the back of the video camera (Image 1).

Mount the camera onto the wall (Image 2).

Connect the Ethernet cable from the video camera to the transmitter, called a Wireless Ethernet Bridge (Image 3).

By accessing the camera's secure website on your computer, whether you're in another part of the house or another city, you can keep an eye on your children, pets, visitors at the front door and other activities in any room of your home.

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