One of the big steps people take now is to use your home network to let friends or relatives have access to your files whether it be photos, music, personal files for even movies. There is no problem with that except you do want to take some precautions. A typical home network might look like this:

internet—–>isp modem—–>your computer

(may or may not have some kind of minimal protection firewall software). Most off the shelf firewall software will protect you as much as a pane glass window. It will protect against most threats, but can be easily broken. A business or home could do something like the following diagram:


Sorry for the big picture, but I guess it is suitable for framing. This is how most small businesses have their network setup. The first question is why two routers. Is not just one router good enough to protect everything? You might say so. Normally for a home network one router should be good enough. To use a web server or any computer and allow it to be accessed from the net, you have to open some doors (ports (known as port forwarding)) to let the web server be accessed to the net. This can reduce security for the rest of you network if everything is tied to the same router. By having a second router, you can have all the doors closed to the rest of your network so to speak. It is not unlike a house with a mini room between the outdoors and the inside of the house, The outer door can be left unlocked for people to get in just part of the house. the second inner door is left locked so there normally no entry to the rest of the house. No system is perfect and this short document only barely scratches the surface about security for your home network. but at least it is a start. There will be more details in later blogs. As an aside, if you have your computer directly connected to your isp’s modem, I really recommend getting a router if for only one machine. Like have no dors locked. Software that can be loaded on a machine to be a firewall might be ok in the old days, but now you need a real door for at least some piece of mind for security of your computer.

There is no one best router. Linksys a division of Cisco probably has been leading the technology in this area. Also I talked about upgrading the firmware to your home router in an earlier blog to give yourself even more options and security. That is something to consider. Now everything we have here is connected with a cable or known as a wired network. If you want to go wireless or use the adapters with the antennas, that is a whole story in itself. You need several extra levels of security that can be provided in the router and your computer. More about that later.

History of the internet