The Connected Home Protocol

As tech-savvy individuals, it's likely that we've all had a phone call from a family member or friend that usually begins with the obligatory compliment, "I know you're good with computers, and I was hoping you could help me ..." A few years ago, this type of call was more about helping our family member or friend find a file on their computer, but today the technical challenges have evolved. Now, the questions are more likely about connectivity within the home network. Your friends and family are likely looking for help with troubleshooting a wide array of issues such as: "I can't get my iPad onto the Internet (i.e., Wi-Fi connectivity)," or "I just bought a new TV, and it's supposed to show photo albums from my PC (e.g., a DLNA-enabled device)." Take a look around your home and count the number of Internet-connected devices that your family owns today. Then, think back to a few years ago. How many devices were in your home then? Chances are, the number has increased dramatically. The average family of five has 15 or more devices that connect to the home network, everything from gaming systems like Xbox or Nintendo Wii, to individual laptops, tablets, smartphones, or even the television. Not surprisingly, that number continues to grow as the breadth of devices being introduced into our homes expands.