What Is a Home Network?

To many, the idea of a home network may be something that they would never consider. I suppose you may at first just need to understand what a network even is. Well, in my mind a network is nothing more than a number of interconnected computers which each have a specific task. According to Wikipedia:

A computer network or data network is a telecommunications network which allows computers to exchange data. In computer networks, networked computing devices exchange data with each other along network links (data connections). The connections between nodes are established using either cable media or wireless media. The best-known computer network is the Internet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_network

Now, you might next think, “…he just said a number of interconnected computers. I don’t have a bunch of computers laying around!” Well, you really do not need a bunch of computers to create your home network. You could create the entire network with just one computer.

I myself have access to several computing devices. Tower PCs, tablets, laptops, and smart phones. All of these can become part of your home network. Since we are in a wireless age and most homes have wireless routers, these devices all become interconnected. They may not share data between each other but they do connect to the same home network to access the global network called the internet.

So why a home network? For me I wanted to have access to various tools I use in my software engineering practices:

  • Project Management Tool
  • Continuous Integration Tool
  • Version Control Tool
  • Blogging Tool

To make all of the above things possible I wanted to create a computer for each, and as I mentioned above I don’t have a lot of computers lying around to put all of this together. So, I decided to go the route of a physical host computer and then create the individual virtual machines (VMs) that I would need to make all of this happen.

The physical host is an actual computer and the VMs are computers which only exist within the physical device. Essentially a software computer. Another aspect of this is which operating system (OS) you should use. Microsoft products, unfortunately, require costly product licenses to use. Therefore, I chose to implement all of these “computers” using free open source software. All of the software tools I chose to use are in fact free.

There are several different ways you could implement your home network. The way I chose is just one option. It does function for me and it has been relatively low cost to put together. In future posts, I will describe the components used to create my home network. Many of these I will bet you already have in your home and with a little bit of work they can be put to work to satisfy your home networking needs.

First Post!

For many years I have worked with computers. Both for relaxation at home and as part of my professional life. However, most of the time I have a notebook or a wiki that is used for maintaining historical information about projects that I work on.

I enjoy sharing my projects with others whenever possible. Usually, I talk with my wife about my projects and I have a small group of friends to discuss them with as well. Recently, I decided that I would like to try and share these activities with a larger audience.

I am tech guy. My primary focus for the last ten years has been software development, but recently I have started diving into various other technologies. These new technologies have required a significant amount of research to implement. I decided, since I am using books and posts of others to learn how to solve each piece of my technology puzzle, I would like to share what I have learned as well.

I have quite a few things in mind to share. I hope you will enjoy the posts and visit my site frequently.

–Jamey