3. Typical home scenario - setup

Using the list shown on the previous page consider a possible scenario.

Scenario: A group of four friends, who are currently at university, have decided to share a rented house. They will each have a computer and they will require access to the internet.

Think about what they need to consider and also the pros and cons of the resulting network.

This might be a network solution they come up with:

First of all the network topology is most likely going to be peer to peer with no central server.

An ADSL router may connect to the telephone line or it may be connected to a cable service.

The download speed will depend on the connection details, but typically a telephone connection is on average about 3 Mbps** and a cable connection much higher.

The network could be wireless based as it is not usually practical to run cables in a rented property. An alternative is to use the mains power line as an ethernet medium, but that does need adapters for each computer and router.

The students might decide to buy a single networked colour ink-jet in support of their studies. Cost of ink will be shared although it may be awkward to determine who is using up what. However, it is more likely that they will purchase individual printers for their sole use.

They are likely to open an 'unlimited' download contract with an ISP as they will probably use a lot of bandwidth between them. This does have a 'fair use' clause which may kick in if someone decides to watch legal movies online for hours on end. This may lead to network throttling by the ISP and / or additional bandwidth charges.

They should agree that each machine is loaded with an anti-virus package and the backup of files will be down to each individual using either a USB memory stick or an external drive.

The next page lists the pros and cons of this solution


challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Setting up a home network

** Tests carried out on 18,000 homes in the UK in 2008.