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As technology continues to evolve, so does our home networking capabilities. Home networking uses residential gateways to allow numerous users in one family to use one internet connection at the same time. Wikipedia describes a residential gateway as “… a home networking device, used as a gateway to connect devices in the home to the internet or other WAN.” (1) Since members of the household can all use separate devices while using the same internet connection, no longer will anyone have to wait until the connection is free. The telephone, computer, printer, and other devices all work independently of one another.
In today’s society, homes do not only have several different kinds of electronics connected to the same broadband network, but even several of the same kind. For example, one family member can do online taxes on one computer, while another member completes an online quiz on a computer in the next room. “Home networks and residential gateways are key to what industry pundits are calling the ‘smart home.’” (2)
One major leap in home networks is the connection between television and computer. Apple’s “Apple TV” (3) now links ITunes from the computer through 802.lnn stream video.(4) Also, video games can be played against each other on the same house, or around the world using a broadband connection. “All of the major consoles released recently, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii, have networked abilities.” (2) This wireless network not only works for game consoles, but has endless possibilities in the realm of global connectivity. We now have a virtual world at our finger tips, and as the need for residential gateways continues to grow, so does the technology within home networks.
As the “baby boomers” grow older, so the increasing concern for their health continues to grow as well. 4Home Media(5) has created a networking technology to track and monitor senior citizens, giving them the chance to live independently as opposed to living with assistance. Also, there is a program known as Green Technologies that monitors and allocates the energy used throughout the home.
As home networking becomes more advanced, its ability to stay “user-friendly” becomes a challenge. If technological developments in home networking progress slowly and are presented simply to the public, the average home should have no trouble adapting.

Works Cited:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wide_Area_Network

2. Meadows, Jennifer H. (2008). Broadband & Home Networks. Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals. p. 303-320.
3. http://www.apple.com/appletv/
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11
5. http://www.4home.com/4homemedia-4hm-launches-broadband-home-health-service