Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Home Networking Technology

What Home Networking Technology Is?

Recently, home networks were not actually emerging because most families did not need or able to afford more than one computer. As for today, technology becomes the most priority to everyone in this world in order to complete their own personal tasks such as email, finish their schoolwork, online shopping, instant messaging, downloading music and video or even playing games. That is why nowadays, for certain families, one computer is no longer enough. Each of the family members has their own computers or laptops. Hence, in a household with multiple computers, a home network often becomes a necessarily rather than a technical toy.

How Home Networking Works?

A home network is simply allowing computers to communicate with one another. This network will let these computers share files and documents, an internet connection, printers, print servers and scanners, stereos, TVs and game systems and even CD burners.

The different types of network will use different hardware, but they all have the same essential components:

  • More than one computer
  • Hardware (such as a router) and software (either built in to the operating system or as a separate application) to coordinate the exchange of information
  • A path for the information to follow from one computer to another

The two most popular home network types are wireless and Ethernet networks. In both of these types, the router does most of the work by directing the traffic between the connected devices. By connecting a router to your dial-up, DSL or cable modem, you can also allow multiple computers to share one connection to the Internet. You don't even need a computer to make a network as long as you have a router. For example, connecting your Xbox 360 to a router makes a simple network.

Where Home Networking Will Be Used?

This network is called home network because it is going to be used in our home. Estimates that, there are 15 million families will network their residences over the next several years.

John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Figure 1: A view of the living room in the T- Com house in Berlin, Germany, which wirelessly links up computers, televisions, handheld PDAs and other technologies together for seamless interaction.

Who Will Benefit By The Home Network Technology?

When we are going to connect our home network to the Internet, of course what we need in the first place is a firewall. It is not us as a user for this home network technology to get the benefit but many software firewalls can also get the benefit by this technology. Symantec, McAfee and Zone Alarm are the examples of companies that produce software-based firewalls. These companies usually offer some free firewall protection as well as advanced security that we can buy. The other hardware companies will also get the benefit when people are started using the home networking.

What Difference Home Network Technology Will Make?

· Convenience: The technicians will completely install and configure your home network (with the exception of file and print sharing). Technical support is available 24 x 7 to answer any questions.

· Speed: Share the speed of a single connection. No more waiting for your turn to use the Internet, now everyone can have Internet access at the same time.

· Cost Savings: Pay only for a single connection, not multiple access fees for each computer. The cost to network your computers is only a few dollars a month with full technical support. And when you purchase Internet plus digital video or telephone services from SureWest Broadband Residential Services, you save even more!

· Security: Protect your computers with built-in features that help guard your PCs from dangerous Internet hackers.

What Was The Need For It In The First Place?

Getting connected to the Internet is the need in our life as for today. Technology is growing so fast until the pressure is not only in the work place but also in our own place – our home. All of our family members want to use the Internet and how we can avoid the traffic during connecting to the Internet? How we can make sure every one can surf the Internet without waiting their turn in line? By using this home network technology, we can avoid waiting in line behind other family members to use the Internet. We can also save money by avoiding the full cost of a second Internet account. We can make setting up online gaming fast and easy. Then we can connect household devices like security systems and home entertainment systems to the Internet.

Technical Specifications of the Technology

A home network may consist of the following components:

  • A broadband modem for connection to the internet (either a DSL modem using the phone line, or cable modem using the cable internet connection).
  • A residential gateway (sometimes called a router) connected between the broadband modem and the rest of the network. This enables multiple devices to connect to the internet simultaneously. Residential gateways, hubs/switches, DSL modems, and wireless access points are often combined.
  • A PC, or multiple PCs including laptops
  • A wireless access point, usually implemented as a feature rather than a separate box, for connecting wireless devices
  • Entertainment peripherals - an increasing number of devices can be connected to the home network, including DVRs like TiVo, digital audio players, games machines, stereo system, and IPset-top box.
  • Internet Phones (VoIP)
  • A network bridge connects two networks together, often giving a wired device, e.g. Xbox, access to a wireless network.
  • (Rarely) a network hub/switch - a central networking hub containing a number of Ethernet ports for connecting multiple networked devices
  • A network attached storage (NAS) device can be used for storage on the network.
  • A print server can be used to share printers among computers on the network.

Figure 2: An example of a simple home network.

Older devices may not have the appropriate connector to the network. USB and PCI network controllers can be installed in some devices to allow them to connect to networks.

Network devices may also be configured from a computer. For example, broadband modems are often configured through a web client on a networked PC. As networking technology evolves, more electronic devices and home appliances are becoming Internet ready and accessible through the home network. Set-top boxes from cable TV providers already have USB and Ethernet ports "for future use".

Figure 3: A router connects your computers to one another. If you connect it to your modem, it will also connect your network to the Internet.

If neither wireless nor Ethernet seems right for you, you have other options for connecting your computers. If your computers have USB or FireWire ports, you can use cables, jump drives or file transfer devices to move files from place to place. Other options include power-line and phone-line networks. Both power- and phone-line networks use existing wiring in your home to connect your computers, so you don't need to worry about concealing extra cable.


New developments in home networks affect more than just home offices and entertainment systems. Some of the most exciting advances are in healthcare and housing.

In healthcare, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) let doctors monitor patients wirelessly. Patients wear wireless sensors that transmit data through specialized channels. These signals contain information about vital signs, body functions, patient behavior and their environments. In the case of an unusual data transmission - like a sudden spike in blood pressure or a report that an active patient has become suddenly still - an emergency channel picks up the signal and sends medical services to the patient's home.

The housing industry is another important field for home network technology development. Bill Gates owns one of the few smart houses in existence, but someday, we might all live in one. A smart house is a fully networked structure with functions that can be controlled from a central computer, making it an ideal technology for homeowners who travel frequently or for homeowners who simply want it all.

Builders are beginning to offer home network options for their customers that range from the primitive by installing Ethernet cables in the walls to the cutting-edge of managing the ambient temperature from a laptop hundreds of miles from home. In one trial experiment called Laundry Time, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Panasonic, Proctor & Gamble and Whirlpool demonstrated the power of interfacing home appliances. The experiment networked a washing machine and clothes dryer with a TV, PC and cell phone. This unheard-of combination of networked devices let homeowners know when their laundry loads were finished washing or drying by sending alerts to their TV screens, instant messaging systems or cell phones. Research and development also continues for systems that perform a wide variety of functions -- data and voice recognition might change the way we enter, exit and secure our homes, while service appliances could prepare our food, control indoor temperatures and keep our homes clean. In the future, our washing machines will call us on our cell phones when a load is done.

Photo courtesy Getty Images.

This technology is promising, but it's not quite ready for the consumer market yet. The average consumer can't afford a WSN or a smart house, and if he could, there's a good chance he or she wouldn't be able to operate these sophisticated systems. Another issue is security -- until developers find a way to secure these networks, consumers risk sharing medical information and leaving their homes open to attack.



*KZ01103 COMMUNICATION DATA (Assignment)