A typical small office/home office (SOHO) LAN network is given in the diagram below:
- As seen from the diagram above, a small office/home office (SOHO) network consists of Wired (desktop computers) and wireless (laptops) end stations, a wireless Access point (AP), a Layer 2 (L2) switch, one or more servers, a firewall and a Layer 3 (L3) router.
- The end stations can communicate (exchange data) either with other end stations/servers within the SOHO or with end stations on the Internet.
- The L2 switch provides connectivity between the different end stations and the servers in the office, for data exchange purposes.
- Additionally, a wireless AP is required for connecting the wireless end stations to the L2 switch. The wireless AP acts as a base station for the wireless nodes inside the office.
- A L3 Router connects the SOHO network to the public data network (Internet) via. a local ISP (Internet Service Provider).
- A firewall device protects the internal SOHO LAN network from malicious/spurious traffic originating from the Internet. The firewall device filters out junk data packets coming from malicious computers via. the public data network, primarily aimed at bringing down the internal network.
- In some cases, the firewall functionality is built inside the router itself, thereby not requiring a separate firewall device.