Network speed is getting faster thanks to new technologies supporting both wireless and wired networking. In the wireless department, modern routers and Wi-Fi cards now support multiple streams which enable theoretical speed of up to 1.3 Gbps through 802.11ac.
Wired networks are even faster. The current standard for maximum data transfer speed is 10 Gbps, also known as 10GbE or multi-gigabit Ethernet. It is an overkill for most users, but there are several reasons why making the switch to 10GbE network for your home or home office is an investment worth making.
Switching to 10GbE network today is a great way of futureproofing your network. If you work from home and you do a lot of tasks that involve big files such as video editing, a 10GbE network is actually very useful. You can edit a ProRes 4K footage directly from a network attached storage or NAS through a 10GbE network.
The standard is relatively new, but manufacturers and OEMs in Networking are already coming up with products designed for home users and home businesses. Asus, for instance, has an affordable 10 Gbps network card that you can plug into any PCI-e port for instant fast Ethernet.
The same can be said for the switches. Modern switches now support 10GbE Ethernet as a standard so that they don’t become obsolete after a couple of years. Similar to the network cards, routers from brands like Asus and TP-Link are now designed to bring the new fast network capabilities to home users.
We mentioned how 10GbE benefits video editors who work with large 4K files. Instead of storing those files in hard drives and connecting the drives directly to the editing machine, video editors can now rely on fast NAS and a 10GbE network for real-time over-the-LAN editing.
The use of a fast network also enables another thing: live editing with multiple editors working on the same project. Most video editing software supports this already, but they haven’t been able to make the experience as fluid as today; it is all thanks to the faster Ethernet network.
10GbE also benefits gamers in a way. The faster network comes with much lower latency. Routers are equipped with processors designed to manage traffic in a more organized way, so gone are the days of dealing with lags and slowdowns.
Let’s not forget that there are also multimedia applications of fast Ethernet that home users will find interesting. With a faster network, it is now possible to stream higher quality content to Smart TVs and other appliances. Of course, the network is designed to be backward-compatible, so slower LAN cards can still get the maximum speed they support.
Gigabit wireless networking is still a couple of years away, but OEMs are coming up with Wi-Fi routers that have built-in 10GbE LAN ports. You can check out Hardware Secrets for recommendations on the best networking gears and 10GbE switches to pick up. Make sure you get other components – LAN cards and a compatible Ethernet cables, along with a few other accessories – for a successful switch to a 10GbE network.