home area network (HAN)

HAN, Home Area Network, is a network of several computers at a user’s home.

What is HAN (Home Area Network)?

A network of several computers at a user’s home. With the rapid growth in the PC market, almost 15 percent of homes in the United States that have one PC have at least one additional PC. As a result, ordinary PC users are becoming interested in networking their home PCs to use them for purposes such as:

  • Dedicating one PC to the role of a file server
  • Sharing a printer among multiples PCs
  • Installing a home Web server connected to the Internet by means of a cable modem
  • Playing network games with family and friends
  • Using networked PCs to prepare for certifications such as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)

Popular technologies for deploying home area networks (HANs) include the following:

  • 10BaseT and 10Base2 networking kits (available from most computer vendors), which provide 10-Mbps throughput.
  • AC port interface cards that enable the use of standard AC wall outlets for transmitting information between computers in different rooms using installed AC wiring. These ports typically achieve only 1-Mbps throughput, but this will probably be extended to 5 or 10 Mbps.
  • Wireless networking transceivers and hubs that have limited distance and capabilities and operate in the unlicensed Industrial-Scientific-Medical (ISM) frequency range.
  • Infrared (IR) networking peripherals that allow PCs in the same room to communicate with one another.