We currently have six computers in the house – okay, there are really like 20 computers in the house, but only six are actively running. We each have a desktop and a laptop and there is the home automation PC. Scott also typically has his work laptop home in the evenings.
We have a dedicated office/computer room on the second floor where our desktop machines are located. There is a gigabit Ethernet switch here. That switch ties into the house wiring and connects to a 100 MB Ethernet switch in the media room. The home automation PC connects to this switch.
All of our laptops have 802.11g wireless cards. There is a wireless access point located in the tiny hall between our great room and master bedroom. We pulled CAT5e drops here and to the pantry hall at the other end of the house. The drops are 8 feet high on the wall. We also had electrical outlets installed at these same locations specifically for wireless access points. So far, the one access point has enough range to cover the whole-house so I am not sure if we will need one at the other location. The access point's CAT5e cable home-runs to the media room and connects to the same Ethernet switch as the home automation computer.
We live quite a ways from town so we have no option for cable or DSL high-speed Internet access. We had 2-way satellite Internet access installed. The home automation PC acts as the gateway to the satellite Internet modems using Windows Internet Connection Sharing.
We also have a Ximeta NetDisk network-attached storage device. We backup the computers in the house to it.