Wired vs Wireless For A Home Office

Wired vs Wireless NetworksNot long ago Colin Berkshire made an interesting observation about a trend in new home construction. He noticed that builders are no longer pulling cable for telephone and network connections, which leads to an “RJ-free” home. This makes a lot of sense for most homes, but it’s not what I would want for a home office.

Of course, Wifi is phenomenally convenient. Hereabouts we use a Ubiquiti PowerAP N device configured as a wireless bridge/access point. We’ve used various devices over the years. The Ubiquiti PowerAP has been without a doubt the best of the bunch. Sadly, the product is not available anymore, although they can occasionally be found on E-bay.

With a population of over forty devices, ours is a considerable home network. While many of the devices we use are connected via Wifi, much of the network remains connected by traditional Ethernet cables. Wired networks are more trouble to install, but the effort is rewarded with more consistent performance and reliability.

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Brough Turner, Netblazr, Freemium & Redundant IP For SOHO

This video is Brough Turner at the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks 2010 in Vienna. I truly admire the way this man thinks.

To be plain, anyone who works from a home office professionally should not be without redundant IP connectivity. Period.

In my case it’s Comcast Business Class cable backed by Covad DSL. However, I’d jump on Netblazr in a New York minute if they were offering the service in Houston. I very nearly switched to Sprint’s ill-fated point-to-point terrestrial wireless as my backup plan before it was discontinued.

That Netblazr is leveraging beam-forming via consumer hardware, and without a truck-roll, is absolutely perfect. I’m  not a big fan of the freemium business model, but I’d pay for their service.

Covad & AT&T: The Odd Couple Of DSL Make Good

DSL-ProvidersMy belief is that since your home office network is your network, and under your control, it should actually be more reliable than the network that your office-bound associates a) enjoy or b) suffer. If you operate from a home office on anything more than an occasional basis I think that you should give some serious consideration to maintaining redundant sources of IP connectivity. This is especially true if you rely upon VoIP for your office phones, as we have here for many years.

Redundant IP connectivity can be achieved in a variety of different ways, each with advantages and disadvantages. Performance and price vary widely depending upon the access methods available in your area. For us the best solution has been to use Comcast Business Class cable as our primary internet access, with backup provided by a dry loop DSL circuit from Covad.

It’s important that your two sources of connectivity are different modes of connection, in our case cable & DSL. We could bond a couple of DSL lines and achieve higher speeds, but we’d be susceptible to a single mistake with a backhoe taking out both of our circuits.

I’ve walked down the street, examined the lines and know that the copper goes south down the street while the coax cable goes another direction. No one silly mistake will take them both down.

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CSPAN Interview On The New National Broadband Plan

The FCC’s Blair Levin, Executive Director of the National Broadband Initiative, discusses reactions from legislators, the telecommunications industry and public interest groups to the plan.

This will ultimately effect us all, so it’s good to stay informed as the matter progresses.

BroughTurner: Structural Bypass – A Simple, Proven Path to “Real Broadband”

I really must make it to the US version of ECOMM in 2010. If only to hear Brough Turner in person. But for now, here’s a session he did at ECOMM ’09.

I especially like his point that “If you are arguing about network neutrality you’ve already lost!” That comes just at a time when the now ages old NN debate in the US is heating up at the FCC level.