An Internet connected home/home office network, consists of a variety of hardware and software components.
In this tutorial we look at the various components that you need to create a computer network and connect it to the Internet.
The technologies, components and services used in small home networks are the same (function wise) as those used in large corporate networks.
Internet Connection Components and Functions
This converts digital signals into analogue signals that are suitable for sending over a telephone line. It is usually built into the Internet/broadband router and not normally purchased as a separate component.
Used to filter out DSL signals from telephone signals so that you can access the internet and use the telephone simultaneously.
Firewall and NAT Router
A firewall functions like a router except that it blocks traffic from the external network according to user configured rules.
A firewall protects your home/small business network computers and devices from intruders on the Internet.
It effectively acts like a one way digital gate blocking access to your network from devices on the Internet, but at the same time allowing devices on your network to connect to devices on the Internet.
Computer Firewalls –
If you are using Windows XP (or above) then you also will have firewall on your computer.
This firewall is less secure than the one built into your router/hub but it is normal to leave it enabled on your computers.
ICS (Internet Connection Sharing)-
Internet connection sharing allows you to share an Internet connection with other computers on a Local/home Network.
It requires that one computer be designated as the sharing computer (the computer with the Internet connection).
This computer functions effectively as a NAT Router, and must be left switched on for the other computers to access the Internet.