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Small Office/Home Office (SOHO)

The SOHO office design is intended for small, single-space offices with 1-5 computers in close proximity. Typically, this will be an office in a single space or an office set up out of your home.

In most cases, there is no need for a network switch as most SOHO firewalls/routers will have about 5-8 ports for your LAN as well as wifi. The SOHO office may also be an extension of a larger network connected via VPN.

In this configuration, there may or may not be a server on site and usually will run DHCP from the SOHO router. DNS will connect to a corporate DNS server or public DNS.

Internal LAN ID: 192.168.1.0/24

As we see in our example above, the SOHO firewall separates our network from the internet. We would arrange the DHCP pool to distribute from a range that would give us a block of unpublished IPs so we may statically assign them to network devices. Our firewall gets the first static IP of 192.168.1.1 and we set our printer to 192.168.1.2. Our PCs receive IPs starting with 192.168.1.10 so we still have 192.168.1.3-9 available for future network devices we may add at a later time.

With a SOHO network, it is not necessary to have a full 24 bit subnet as this provides us with 254 usable IP addresses. This is overkill for a network of 5-8 PCs with 2-4 network devices at most. We could reduce the amount of IPs by using a 28 bit subnet mask to leave us with 14 usable addresses instead or 27 bit if you’d like to leave room to grow.

Why would we need to reduce our number of IPs?

If this is your personal home network, there is little advantage to making this more complex. A corporate network, however, would benefit by using a 24 bit subnet block broken into 28 bit subnets for your remote SOHO sites to prevent waste of IP resources.

 

Why hard drives have less data than advertised

When we purchase storage, we typically are advertised storage of 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB and so on. However, when you actually install it into your computer, your 500 GB HDD will actually show up as 465.66 GB.

Why?

It has to do with the way people and computers use numbers and do math. Humans use a numbering system called Base10 (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) whereas computers use binary or Base2 (0,1). Therefore, when a computer calculates 1 kilobyte, it calculates it as 1024 bytes. As we go up the ladder, a megabyte is 1024*1024 or 1,048,576 bytes. That’s 48,576 more data than the hard drive manufacturers will give you. However, when we talk about kilobytes, we tend to mean 1000 bytes, but that is not really how it works.

Computers use 1024 because they use exponents of 2 to count. 2^0=1, 2^1=2, 2^2=4 and so on to 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024. So after using 11 bits, we now have our value for a kilobyte, or 11 “1s”.

So back to our example of the 500GB HDD with only 465.66 available, let’s put our math to the test. If a gigabyte is 1 billion bytes (1,000,000,000 bytes), then the Base2 number would actually be: 1024*1024*1024=1,073,741,824. If we multiply our value of a gigabyte times that available to us, 465.66*1,073,741,824=499,998,617,763.84 bytes. This is just shy of our 500,000,000,000 bytes mark because I rounded down to 465.66GB instead of 465.6612873077393 GB which would have given us 500,000,000,000 bytes.

So to simplify our explanation, we get less data because of the way hard drive manufacturers define a kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, and terabyte using Base10 math (like we use) instead of binary math like computers use.