Gigabit Networking

The internet is a marvelous thing. It enables people from any part of the globe to connect almost instantaneously. Only several decades old, the internet has initiated changes in the way the world works since its birth. It has contributed heavily in the improvement of communication, information exchange, and commerce. In nutshell, the internet enables you to connect with anyone, anytime, anywhere. Ethernet, on the other hand, while sounding the similar to internet is just as awesome, but a bit limited compared to the internet. You see, ethernet is just for local area networks. That means that you’re only connected to the computers within your vicinity. At home, most people use it to connect to their external storage device, their gaming console, or their home theater PC.

When techies talk about transferring data, speed is of primary importance. The original ethernet speed was ten megabytes per second. This was around the late seventies and early eighties and it was good enough for the needs of the time. After all, the usual microprocessor wasn’t t all that fast either. In the mid-nineties, fast ethernet was introduced and had speeds of up to one hundred megabytes per second. That’s ten times the speed of the original ethernet. These days, we have the gigabit ethernet, yet again ten times faster than its predecessor at one thousand megabytes per second. Having a local area network that supports gigabit ethernet makes a great deal of difference especially when you’re streaming huge amounts of data like a movie to your home theater PC.

If you acquired your personal computer recently, chances are that it’s already able to support a gigabit network. The problem is that you won’t be able to tell at a glance whether you have gigabit network capabilities or not. The desktop on Windows show no indication of your ethernet capabilities and a port for a gigabit network looks no different from a port for fast ethernet. You’ll need to do quite a bit of research to find out.

In order for you to achieve the warp speed capabilities of a gigabit network, all the devices connected to your network must be connected through a gigabit port. The cables themselves should also be able to handle the heavy bandwidth. You should be able to find out whether your devices are support fast ethernet by looking up their specifications online, it should also be stated in their respective manuals. To find out whether your motherboard can handle a gigabit network, simply click on the Window’s ‘Start’ button, then click ‘Run’. Press ‘Enter’ after typing ncpa.cpl on the dialog box. A window showing your Network Connections will open. Right click on the LAN and left click on the ‘Properties’. Left click the ‘Configure’ button and open the ‘Advanced’ tab on the newly opened window. Scroll down to look for the ‘Connection Type’ or ‘Speed’. Your network speed should have a 1000 Mbps speed or written in gigabytes. If not, you could always upgrade your fast ethernet network to a gigabit network through a third party ethernet card.

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