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What is a Home Network Gateway?

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  • Written By: Dulce Corazon
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2016
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In computing, a home network gateway connects a residential building's local area network (LAN) to the Internet. It is set up depending on the configuration and needs of the household so every home network gateway installation can be considered unique and one of a kind. Every home network configuration requires certain settings from its home network gateway. The more connections there are in a house, the more configuration time it needs to set up.

The home network hardware can be considered the heart of home networking system. This hardware includes routers, general purpose servers, and multi-horned computers, also known as multiple network adapters. The combination of these devices and how correctly they are configured are vital to the success of setting up a home network. One failed connection can bring everything down with it including Internet connection and LAN-based activities such as games, and remote accessing of computers and files. It is usually best to consult professionals before purchasing and setting up a home network.

Most home network gateways offer broadband connectivity and Internet connection sharing for all the desktops and laptop computers in the house, plus firewall security. A firewall security is extremely important especially if one is conducting business from home or if one is sharing sensitive files over a home network. The very concept of home networking presents home owners with the promise of better and more efficient web-based applications, including high-quality video and audio streaming, as well as online gaming.

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A home network gateway gives a household the kind of connectivity never seen before in residential buildings. Mothers can monitor their email inbox from the kitchen while they're cooking dinner. Fathers can watch streaming sports programs using their laptops from the garage. Children can do their homework and research in the yard, and after that, they can play online games against each other while they're in their own separate rooms. The whole family watches a good movie they've just rented online.

Installation of a home network gateway is quite easy if one is familiar with technical terms and computer hardware. For casual users who are not familiar with networking concepts and hardware specifications, manuals are pretty much descriptive of what needs to be done. Most default configurations of devices such as wireless routers, digital subscriber line (DSL) modems, and network hubs are usually set to work right out of the box. Users just need to figure out what connects to what and they will have a home network gateway in no time.

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