Computer networks are not solely for the business arena. Home networks are scaled down and economical versions of the business and other commercial configurations (Dick et al. 2011). Home networks are not as sophisticated as the business set up but the structure is similar. The home computer network would work as a peer-to-peer configuration as well as working through a gateway to access the internet (Dick et al. 2011).

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A basic home network system could consist of the following:
1 desktop computer (which would operate as a server for the home network)
1 monitor
2 laptop computers
2 tablets
1 cable router (and 1 year subscription)
1 wireless router
1 8-port gigabyte switch
1 wireless printer
1 battery backup unit
The itemize costs of the hardware is located in Appendix A.

The personal computer of preference for the Home Network is the Dell OptiPlex 3020 Desktop computer. The processor speed is 3.30GHz (gigahertz) with 4 GB (gigabyte) of DDR3 memory and the hard drive has a capacity of 500GB of space. The PC (personal computer) also has a DVDRW (read/writable) drive for writing data or music to disks and the computer is preloaded with Microsoft Windows 7/8.1 operating system. This computer would operate as the main source for all data storage, information back-up as well as functions of the peripherals that may not be accessible such as anti-virus protection. An extra hard drive or an external source could be used (Carbonite) to periodically back-up data that would be saved on the main computer. The entire network could work through this computer as this device could also configure applications to certain sites of the internet. The processor speed and memory could provide access to files saved to the hard drive for other peripherals to access without going to the internet for downloading. Network configuration would also be the purpose for the Dell computer such as router set-up, fire-wall, and selection for scheduling data storage.

The cable router would be recommended for internet speed but would be a bit more costly for a monthly subscription. If needed, a scaled down internet provider could be used such as AT&T U-Verse would provide discounts depending on any contractual or introductory subscription offer. The premise location would also be dependent on the internet speed that would be available and preferred by the customer as well. The cable router (if not wireless) would be connected to a wireless router which could be configured accordingly for security purposes.

An 8-port gigabyte switch could be used for other desktops that would be added later. The switch allows for multiple computers to be on the network and connected directly to the main computer. Although files and drives could be shared wireless, the “hard-wired” connection is often faster for file downloads and internet connection. This gigabyte switch also allows laptops to be connected to the network as well via the hard-wire process.
A wireless printer is also needed for this network so that the main computer and other computers connected to the network, with permission of the administrator, could print documents. The project could be located anywhere in the premise and would be secure for only those devices on the network. The wireless printer will also be available for any smart devices such as tablets or smart phones in which the user could print documents such as emails or any displayed page on the particular smart device. For example, a user on the network may want to print a specific page from an e-mail that is on the smart phone. The user could then connect to the network and print from the smartphone instead of pulling up the email or document on a computer.

An essential device for the home network system would be a battery backup unit. This device would provide power in the event of an emergency such as a power outage. The battery backup unit would also serve as a surge protector for the main computer, gigabyte switch, printer, and the routers used for the networking and Internet. The power supplied by the battery backup unit would allow ample time for the user to properly shutdown the Network System if needed. Some battery units could initiate a shutdown sequence when the power has been disrupted.

Items selected were from TigerDirect Business website and the network has been designed with the possibility of expansion.

    References
  • El Dick, M., Pacitti, E., Akbarinia, R., & Kemme, B. (2011). Building a peer-to-peer content distribution network with high performance, scalability and robustness. Information Systems, 36(2), 222-247.