Investigating the use of smartphones in the context of home networks
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The focus in this thesis is to investigate how smartphones on the market today can be used in the context of home networks. The latest generation of these devices has powerful hardware and software which makes them useful for a large number of new applications. The task is to design and implement a home gateway running on a smartphone. Android is chosen as the platform to develop the prototype because of the strengths this system has compared to other systems like iPhone OS, Symbian and Windows Mobile. Technologies related to home networks, Internet connectivity and smartphones are discussed. Based on this discussion, the design for a home gateway running on Android is proposed. A prototype offering most of the functionality found in a regular home gateway such as DHCP, DNS, NAT, firewall and encryption is then implemented. New functionality such as a Web interface, hostname configuration and port forwarding is added compared to the related applications. The prototype is put through different tests to see how it performs in real life. These tests show that it is possible to use a smartphone as a home gateway, but with some limitations when it comes to battery life, bandwidth and network drivers. The implemented prototype proves the potential of combining technologies in today's smartphones to support more functionality on top of basic voice calls/ SMS / MMS and Web browsing. It is therefore expected that during the next years a large number of products in this category will probably be available in the market.