Choosing your network

Unless you have another option already installed, I'd go with simple ethernet. At 10 Mbps (100, someday), it's already so fast that you can see how slow the browsers are. (They like to blame it on slow transmissions, but there's more slowing it down than that.) It's cheap, easy to set up, there are lots and lots of suppliers, books, and experienced technicians can help you out if you need it. There's no good reason to need anything faster, at least not yet. WARNING: at these local network speeds, it's too easy to forget that most of the world is running the Web over 14.4 Kbps modems. Don't go graphics-crazy just because they load quickly on your machine. Thousands of net users will hate you.

If you want to use machines that are already set up as part of another kind of private network, talk to your network administrator and figure out how to run TCP/IP packets over that network, if it's possible. AppleTalk will deal with it, giving you a slower but extremely cheap option between Macintoshes. There are all kinds of ways to do this, though again, stick with Ethernet unless you have good reason not to. Don't skimp on network equipment unless you really enjoy aspirin. Good suppliers will give you clear explanations and support, while cheap boards may skimp on directions and require perverse installations.

Back to planning

Copyright 1995 by Simon St.Laurent. All rights reserved. You may print this document for yourself or others at no charge, but commercial distribution without permission is prohibited.

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