Members and leaders frequently use the internet to teach, learn, and serve within a meetinghouse. A reliable internet connection starts with a stable network. Beginning with the internet service provider (ISP), the flow of internet is directed throughout a meetinghouse via networking devices and cabling. The technology specialist maintains these devices and the network. An example of a meetinghouse network is shown below.
Properly configured meetinghouse networks usually include these components:
- Connection from an ISP, usually in the form of a modem
- Network switch
- Patch panel
- Network cabling that runs between the devices
- Wireless access point (WAP) and network cabling for power over ethernet
- Endpoint devices such as computers, printers, and smartphones
The meetinghouse network is made up of several devices that each play a specific role in providing internet throughout the building. Below are some of the standard network items you will find in a meetinghouse. Follow the link in each bullet to learn more about the device.
- Firewall—Filters internet traffic and protects the meetinghouse network. It is the gateway to the rest of the building.
- Switch—Splits the internet connection between multiple devices throughout the building.
- Wireless Access Points—Connects wireless devices like phones and laptops to the internet through the firewall.
- Church Network Manager—Web application to activate, monitor, and configure meetinghouse devices.
Wired network connections should run from the firewall, through the network switch to a patch panel, and then out to wall jacks found in administrative offices or in the chapel. Devices then connect to the wall jacks with a separate network cable.
Wired networking is usually more reliable than wireless and should be used in the following two situations whenever possible:
- When connecting permanently located devices (such as a clerk computer or family history center computer)
- When devices may need to connect to high bandwidth applications (such as webcasting, personal video conferencing, and video streaming)
Wireless connections are broadcast from the firewall under the SSID “Liahona.” When additional coverage is needed, wireless access points (WAPs) are installed to broadcast the signal over greater distances throughout the building. Devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops can all be connected to the internet through the wireless network.
Learn more about wireless access points here.