A home area network (HAN) is a network contained within a user's home that connects a person's digital devices, from multiple computers and their peripheral devices to telephones, VCRs, televisions, video games, home security systems, smart appliances, fax machines and other digital devices that are wired into the network.
Devices capable of participating in this network, for example, smart devices such as network printers and handheld mobile computers, often gain enhanced emergent capabilities through their ability to interact. These additional capabilities can be used to increase the quality of life inside the home in a variety of ways, such as automation of repetitious tasks, increased personal productivity, enhanced home security, and easier access to entertainment.
As a type of IP-based local area network (LAN), a HAN may be wired or wireless. In a typical implementation, a HAN consists of a broadband Internet connection that is shared between multiple users through a vendor/third party wired or wireless modem.
User host devices may be standard computers, laptops, mobiles and tablets. The modem generally has network switch capabilities that provide wired LAN ports or wireless connectivity to host users.
A HAN also may include other devices, such as a fax, printer, scanner or small network attached storage that is shared by all host devices. HAN has applications in home and corporate environments. In a residential setting, HAN can be used to increase the user’s quality of life by streamlining processes such as activating a security system, completing repetitive tasks, and accessing entertainment. In a corporate setting, HAN can be used to increase productivity by reducing the amount of time it takes to complete tasks such as transmitting and locating files and activating processes.