2.6 Small office/home office (SOHO)
SOHO means small office,home office, and is a small network connecting a user or small handful of users to the internet and office resources such as servers and printers. Usually just one router and a switch, or two, plus a firewall. Unlike large businesses, small businesses don’t need large networks to support themselves and/or any employees online. These businesses are often referred to as Small Offices/Home Offices, and they can set up small office networks that cater to their online needs. These networks are called “SOHO networks.”
In a small office/home office (SOHO) wireless LAN, the wireless AP acts autonomously, doing all the work required to create and control the wireless LAN (WLAN). (In most enterprise WLANs, the AP does not act autonomously.) In other words, the autonomous AP communicates with the various wireless devices using 802.11 protocols and radio waves. It uses Ethernet protocols on the wired side. It converts between the differences in header formats between 802.11 and 802.3 frames before forwarding to/from 802.3 Ethernet and 802.11 wireless frames. Beyond those basic forwarding actions, the autonomous AP must perform a variety of control and management functions. The AP authenticates new devices, defines the name of the WLAN (called a service set ID, or SSID), and other details.