Control and understanding:Owning your home network

Mortier, R. and Rodden, T. and Lodge, T. and McAuley, D. and Rotsos, C. and Moore, A.W. and Koliousis, A. and Sventek, J. (2012) Control and understanding:Owning your home network. In: 2012 Fourth International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks (COMSNETS 2012). IEEE, pp. 1-10. ISBN 9781467302968

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Wireless home networks are increasingly deployed in people's homes worldwide. Unfortunately, home networks have evolved using protocols designed for backbone and enterprise networks, which are quite different in scale and character to home networks. We believe this evolution is at the heart of widely observed problems experienced by users managing and using their home networks. In this paper we investigate redesign of the home router to exploit the distinct social and physical characteristics of the home. We extract two key requirements from a range of ethnographic studies: users desire greater understanding of and control over their networks' behaviour. We present our design for a home router that focuses on monitoring and controlling network traffic flows, and so provides a platform for building user interfaces that satisfy these two user requirements. We describe and evaluate our prototype which uses NOX and OpenFlow to provide per-flow control, and a custom DHCP implementation to enable traffic isolation and accurate measurement from the IP layer. It also provides finer-grained per-flow control through interception of wireless association and DNS resolution. We evaluate the impact of these modifications, and thus the applicability of flow-based network management in the home.

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18 Mar 2019 11:50
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15 Sep 2023 02:01