The evolutions of networks at home
I remember well that in 1989 I’ve built my first LAN (Local Area Network) at home for a testcase. Internet was only accessible via modems and did not support graphical user interface at that moment. Generally it was being used for e-mail, gopher and usenet. Because I owned a BBS I had several computers running which I wanted to connect to eachother so they could benefit all from the expensive harddrives I bought. It was my first LAN and also WAN (Wide Area Network) in home. I liked the benefits from it immediately. When people saw my configurations they look at me a little bit weird. They were right. At that time I had 13 computers (286s and 386s) working 24/7 receiving and sending e-mails. If we look at present time… how everything is evolved into fast and easy usage.
Not only our computers and laptops are connected to your LAN. Almost everyone had now a router in home which is connected via cable or adsl by a WAN connection (internet). But it doesn’t stop here.
We have currently different options to choose from:
1. via cables, UTP or STP, mainly for the big files and fast working, at home speeds are possible till 1 Gb/s
2. wireless WiFi, at this moment capable doing 54 Mb/s (soon this will be a lot faster)
3. wireless bluetooh, several smartphones and devices support this
A device like a MP3-player or a smartphone with bluetooth enabled has introduced a new kind of network, named PAN (Personal Area Network)
They are people who have a harddrive connect to their LAN, this is called SAN (Storage Area Network).
De possibilities are enormous now but even more impressive are the speeds which are possible nowadays.
In 1989 we were really happy to achieve 1-2 Mb/s with our COAX connection, somewhat later we managed to have 10 Mb/s. Quickly 100 Mb/s and today 1000 Mb/s (= 1 Gb/s) is becoming common at home.
If you see how fast the speeds of internet have evolved… from a 1-2 KB/s connection to a 120 Mb/s connection in 22 years. 120 Mb/s is simple said 15.000.000 KB/s. That’s in 22 year 7 million times faster… I’m happy that today certain manufacturers drop old standards faster than before. We have to focus to go in front and not standing still… standing still is the same as going back in time. The vehicle industry hasn’t had such progress in the last years. After 100 years (which is almost 5x longer period than IT) we can only reach 8.5 mach with an unmanned vehicle (not really practical either) (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_speed_record_for_railed_vehicles) and in the air we managed to reach 3.500 km/u. This record is by the wat more than 30 years old (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_airspeed_record#Official_records_versus_unofficial). Looks to me as no progress 🙂
In IT at the moment the progress of evolution is going fast. I read somewhere that Google in their 10 year of existance had their capacity more than a thousands time evolved. In 10 years!
We will see this kind of grow also in home. With the introduction of HD and 3D and other applications we will need more and more bandwith.
I like to see the future like that… let those evolutions come… as fast as possible…