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Today is an exciting day, as I just put the last piece of the puzzle into play that upgraded our home network to Gigabit Ethernet. When I got home from work today, a Newegg package was in front of the door containing an Intel brand Gigabit speed network card that plugs into my desktop’s PCI Express 1 slot. As soon as it was in and the machine was on, I transferred a file to my Windows Home Server machine and saw my first ever Gigabit Ethernet speed, up significantly from my previous Megabit speed. Previously, file transfers were between 8 and 12 megabytes per second. Now they’re between 35 and 60!

I had previously replaced all older Cat5 cable in the house with either Cat5e or Cat6. A Gigabit speed Asus router and a few Gigabit speed switches completed the infostructure. The other computers have Gigabit LAN onboard. This network card was the last upgrade. And “phew!” It works!

Why did I want a faster LAN here in the house? Well, less waiting for transfers from one machine to the next, but with the fairly new Windows Home Server box (set up on a used P4 Dell machine), I plan to stream more 720p and 1080p HD video down to the home theater PC. I also stream a lot of lossless FLAC audio files. Having a lot more room to breathe is very satisfying. Now I know the network will never be the bottleneck.

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