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Introduction to home networking

Over the last 30 years and the invasive advancement of computing and all it's associated technologies, has not only made changes in the way we work, but it has also has an influence on our home and leisure activities.

It is now a common requirement these in the average modern home to network a number of computing devices, i.e. desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones,  game consoles, Smart TV's, media players etc.

All computing devices enable people to interact with a variety of media, whether it is to consume or create media, and although the boundaries of capabilities of the devices have become blurred over the last few years, the average users prefer to use specific device to perform tasks. This will usually result in the need to share and move files between devices.  i.e. Ripping a DVD, on a computer, to store shared file store to be viewed on a TV, it is a instances like this when a home network becomes essential.

What is a home network

A home network if a group of computer systems and other devices, that are connected to each other through communication channels enabling communication, file transfers or even resource sharing between a number of users.

Home computer networks are used to :

  • Share broadband internet access amongst any number of devices
  • Facilitate communication via email, video conferencing, instant messaging, etc.
  • Enable multiple users to share a single hardware device like a printer or scanner
  • Enable file sharing across the network
  • Allow for the sharing of software or operating programs on remote systems
  • Make information easier to access and maintain among network users

advantages of home networking

  • Sharing an Internet connection All the computers on the network can share a single Internet connection
  • Sharing files and folders You can view, modify, and copy files stored on a different computer on the network just as easily as if they were stored on your computer.
  • Sharing resources There is no need to purchase a second colour printer or laser printer if you already own one. You can print on any printer connected to any computer on a network just as easily as printing on a printer connected directly to your computer. You can also store files in centrally accessible locations.

disadvantages of home networking

  • Security - Due to the fact there will be more information is shared amongst many users, it increases the possibility that someone can access the data without authorization.
  • Cost and administration home networks can be expensive and add an additional layer of complication to computer use.


Gary Woodfine
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