A home network connects electronic devices such as computers, printers, smart phones, tablets, televisions, Blu-ray players, satellite and cable receivers and more. Also known as a LAN or local area network, it allows your home devices to "talk" to each other, sharing and receiving information.
Did you know CEDIA offers a Residential Networking Specialist credential? Make sure your home technology professional is CEDIA Certified.
Households today use Internet connections for basics such as email communications, shopping, social media connections, schoolwork, downloading music and more. In today's connected world, one home computer rarely is adequate. It often takes a network of multiple devices to satisfy your home electronic communication needs.
A home network needs certain components to connect each device. A network requires hardware, software and a way for the information to be sent to and from each device. The hardware may consist of a modem, a router and possibly a Wi-Fi device. Wi-Fi, which is the abbreviation for Wireless Fidelity, is the networking technology allowing computers, printers, gaming consoles and more to communicate without wires. Some cable modems have a router and Wi-Fi built in. It is likely your computer already has a Wi-Fi card built-in, making it ready for connection to a home network and wireless router.
Every computer, gaming console, tablet or device connected to the home network also will have an Internet Protocol or IP address. Don't worry, though - this is not an address you need to memorize or even remember. It simply allows each device to receive information from the router. Designing and connecting a home network can be done by a CEDIA member home technology professional with ease.
A home network enables multiple electronic devices to send and receive information back and forth. A wireless home network provides a mobility that an Ethernet network does not. Both types of home networks use a router to transmit information between the connected devices. A modem connects your home network to the Internet and the rest of the world.
If you already have Internet service, your Internet service provider may have already provided you with a modem. Modems connect your local area network or LAN to the wide area network or WAN. This connection sends and receives information through telephone or cable wires, fiber optic wiring or via satellite. Modems vary by manufacturer and may even come with a router and Wi-Fi built in.
Your home network needs a router in order for devices to talk to each other. Electronic devices such as computers, printers, Blu-ray players and even the television can be linked to the router. A router allows multiple devices to be connected to the Internet. If you want to be able to use your laptop, tablet or other devices without being hooked up to network cables, you need a wireless router.
Do I need a firewall?
A home network that is connected to the Internet should have a firewall. A firewall, whether it is part of the hardware or a software program run on your computer, will protect your home network from malware, hackers and more. A firewall can be set to block offensive websites and to secure any financial or personal information you may be sending through the Internet.
Establishing a reliable, effective home network can be done by a CEDIA member home technology professional that has been trained on this type of installation. A professional installation can ensure all your needs are met.