If you have two computers, you connect the two computers with a single cable, Computer A to Computer B. I'll bet (hope) that you don't have just that, though. You probably have at least one more computer - your router (which is connected to the broadband modem). So you have a cable from the router to each computer. This is assuming that you aren't using WiFi to connect either computer, and again I'll point out that WiFi is not a good substitute for Ethernet cable.
So you have your router, and a couple computers, in the same room, and you run Ethernet cables between them. But are all computers in the same room? Not if you have a well planned house. You'll probably have one or more of
- An office computer, for financial and secure activities.
- An entertainment computer, in the den / family room, for fun.
- A second computer, in the den / family room, for music / videos, with a large screen (what used to be called a television / stereo / home entertainment center).
- In your kitchen, you need a computer for recipe access, maybe for inventorying and ordering food.
- How about one in the garage, for reference when you work on the car?
- The bedroom, for late night web surfing (no, we won't discuss that any further).
Now, there are so many reasons why having separate computers, with different designs, will be relevant.
- Locational convenience. Why walk into another room, to use a computer in there, if you have one in front of you?
- Redundancy. One computer will not last forever. Maybe last year's office computer is now in the bedroom, and your first computer, old and grungy, is in the garage. If one computer dies, it will be inconvenient to walk into the other room to continue the current activity, but you can do that easier than having to fix the one computer on the spot.
- Security. The web is full of dangers. Each different website may have its own dangers, and I'd bet that different types of websites will focus those dangers. Restricting different activities to different computers makes sense. Keep your office computer, with financial secrets, safe and secure, by keeping it very clean. Other computers, other activities.
- Sharing house space. One person can be in the office, doing financial chores, another in the garage, doing auto or home maintenance, and a third in the kitchen, preparing a meal. And each using a separate computer.
So now that we've admitted to needing computers all over the house, how do you plan to wire them to each other? One long cable - Garage to kitchen to den to living room to office to bedroom? Please don't do that.
Any properly planned business has one or more centralised and secured rooms for wiring and for central equipment (servers). The home of the future will too. The hub room will be where the video communications ("cable TV") and voice communications ("telephone") services will enter from the outside. There you connect your internal cabling. And from there, you make home runs to each room.
This is where you start. More and more homes are being built, with network cabling designed and installed just as coax ("television"), electrical, and voice ("telephone") cabling is. A requirement, not a luxury.
- Bob Catanzarite: Structured Wiring How To
- Total Voice Control: Residential Wiring For The New Millennium
And by the way, if your garage (or maybe a shed) happens to be separate from the house itself, be aware of one specific wiring safety issue.