SOHO network and SOHO Router in computer networking?


The SOHO full form is Small Office/Home Office. If you look at the technical level they are both similar networks. A home office or small office network has a limited number of connected network devices within the home/office LAN.

For example, there may be only, a couple of  PCs, one printer, and a few more different devices.  In this tutorial, we will discuss the SOHO network and the specific router to set up a small network for business and home.

What is the SOHO network?

When we get an internet connection from an ISP, it brings a simple and small network to our home or office. The network consists, of one router with 2 or 3 LAN ports, a WAN port, and wireless access point that provides wireless connectivity. 

From WAN port router connects to the ISP for the internet and LAN  ports for internal connectivity.  If we have  PCs attached to the LAN port and a device on a wireless channel, the PCs and wireless devices can communicate with each other using private IP addresses.

The above is sufficient for browsing the internet and printing papers etc.

But what if we want to use the same network for a small business or need to convert it to a SOHO network? For that, we need to connect more, PCs,(max 5), printers, maybe a VoIP phone, etc.  There may be a need for a firewall, DHCP server, and other functionalities to run a small business network.  So the existing basic network is not sufficient, as it doesn’t have sufficient LAN ports and PCs and other devices, does not have a firewall, etc.

A SOHO network needs switches, firewalls, Access points, and DHCP servers.  So along with the internet, the computers can access other resources over LAN.

What is a SOHO Router?

Before letting know about the SOHO router from Cisco or any other vendor. Let’s understand where the SOHO router fits.  For residential use, a simple ADSL router works well and for enterprises, there is a need for high capacity equipment.

SOHO router fits between these two types. It’s a little more expensive than residential but very less expensive than the enterprise. But covers almost a similar functionality for a small business network.

It is a package (switch, router, etc.) of all devices in a single router. It has easy to use web interface rather than a command-line interface.