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Network Topologies

Ethernet: 10/100Mbps

The most popular network method because of the low price of the network cards, reliability and speed; but it can be a pain to run the wires through your home.
Wireless 802.11b: 11 Mbps
802.11b is now the standard for wireless networking in both the home and business.  It has become inexpensive, has good speed but may not is not apporporiate for secure communications.
Wireless 802.11a: 54 Mbps
A new standard for wireless ethernet, 802.11a is incompatible with 802.11b and g.  It does however offer amazing speeds for a wireless network.
HomePNA 2.0 (Phone Line): 10Mbps
HPNA, PhoneLine or HomePNA networking works over the existing copper telephone wires in your home without interfering with voice or DSL communications.  HomePNA 3.0 will push the speed up to 100Mbps when it comes out!
Alternative Technologies
Alternative networking technologies are often used to supplement a primary network.  The can be 'bridged' to other networks to creats a seamless infrastructure.
Ethernet: Gigabit - 1000TX
The fastest network technology available to the home or small business, gigabit ethernet comes built in to most Mac systems now. As the name suggests, gigabit ethernet runs at 1000Mbps 
Wireless 802.11g: 22 Mbps
An uprgade to 802.11b, the 802.11g standard doubles the speed of 802.11b while retaining compatibility.
Firewire Networking - 400Mbps
Modern operating systems now support networking over firewire cables.  Most appropriate for short distances, firewire is FAST and inexpensive to install.  Great for transferring huge video files between computers!  800Mbps firewire is on it's way too!
A new wireless networking technology, bluetooth has recently made an appearance.  It is easy to implement and will be VERY inexpensive soon.  Because of its low speed (1.5Mbps) it is not appropriate as a replacement for other networks but IS valuable (as apple will soon prove). 
Wireless HomeRF 2.0: 10Mbps
Developed to compete with 802.11b, HomeRF made a brief appearance and died off.  Siemens and Proxim were the main supporters.
Powerline Networking
Powerline networking has also recently made an appearance, but is very expensive - about $125+ per computer.

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