So how do you connect the bits together then?

One thing people often ask is how I connect my computer stuff together in my home office. Do I use a wireless access point or do I use ethernet?

The simple answer is, it depends!

The internet connection comes via a modem into an Apple airport extreme router, I used to run a BT home hub but after trying three different versions I decided they were unstable enough to not be worth the trouble.

All the computers, that’s three laptops and the iMac desktop all connect in the office via Ethernet, none usually use WI-FI unless they are moved from their normal positions. Also connected to the router is my Synology DS 413J NAS for backups and my HP mono laser printer.

In the office there are two desks, one for me and one for the wife, each has a Netgear GS105 5 port Gigabit switch to connect equipment to. This means that less cables run back round the walls to the router. The NAS server also is set up to allow customers to remotely upload files to specific folders if they need to send me any updated files for their web sites etc.

The wife’s Windows 7 laptop has it’s own dedicated inkjet printer. I don’t normally print in colour so it’s not available via the network to all machines. My Windows 8.1 laptop, my iMac and my MacBook PRO all automatically backup onto the NAS. Also all the business stuff is automatically backed up via the cloud to off site storage. The wife’s laptop automatically backs up to a WD external 2TB hard drive as well as to the NAS.

The Apple airport extreme router also has 2.4 & 5 GHz  access for mobile devices, our tablets and phones all connect on 5GHz. We only use 2.4 GHz for my Windows laptop plus the wife’s Kindle and her laptop if we use them anywhere else in the house, though having said that I never normally use my Windows laptop out of the office as it’s just used for one specific piece of software.

I can also switch on a guest network for visitors if necessary on either or both bands. The reason I make so little use of 2.4 GHz is simply because it’s too crowded, I can normally see about 25 to 30 networks on the band, 5GHz is faster and clearer which makes it the obvious choice.

So there you have it, that’s how it all connected together.