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Wired Networks

The most popular network type for both home and business use is Ethernet.  Ethernet is fastest of the network types and most often will be the least expensive.  Ethernet networks are very stable and your network speed will rarely fluctuate and is not prone to interference like some other network types are.  Ethernet requires special cables running from each computer.  These cables are plugged into a central 'ethernet hub' or 'switch' or 'router'.  If your computers are far apart, running cable can be difficult.  Pre-made ethernet cables come in sizes ranging from 3 feet to 50 feet.  Ethernet adapters come in many shapes and sizes, but PCI Ethernet cards are both the fastest and least expensive. Note that most newer computers come with an internal Ethernet card.


Ethernet can operate at 10Mbps or 100Mbps.  When shopping for ethernet equipment, be sure to look for 100Mbps or dual 10/100Mbps equipment.  Although still available, 10Mbps equipment is older and slower than the dual 10/100Mbps equipment and the price difference is negligible.