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Chapter 2. Fundamentals > CONSUMER REQUIREMENTS


The end users of a home network drive a different set of requirements than traditional enterprise network environments. These requirements include:

  • Ease of use, low complexity— Unlike an enterprise network, there is no network system administrator or IT department in the home. As a result, home networking must be easy to use and simple to install. A home network must be "invisible," providing seamless operation with little or no user intervention or maintenance.

  • Reliability— Home networks must be reliable. The network needs to resolve interference from other home networking devices as well as common household appliances, such as microwave ovens and cordless phones.

  • Scalability— As consumers begin to buy home networking products, scalability must be considered, even with their first purchase. Scalability results in a lower lifetime cost to the consumer. Buying a network device is not a point product purchase; it establishes the foundation for an entire home network. Consumers who make informed decisions will avoid purchasing technology that will soon be obsolete. A home network needs to maintain interoperability and accommodate future applications to protect the consumer's initial investment.

  • Standards compliance— Industry standards are crucial for enabling mainstream consumer adoption of home networking products.

  • No new wires— Consumers do not want to run hundreds of feet of cables around their home.

  • "My home is my castle"— The customer owns the data and decides who gets access to certain parts of this data.



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