home network question

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by AmarSingh, Aug 3, 2002.

  1. AmarSingh

    AmarSingh Guest

    im by no means a windows newbie, but im not too familiar with networks. i'm thinking about setting up a new home network (most likely wired) and i want to know the best way that i can set this up:

    - i want to be able to share my cable internet connection with 2 or 3 computers

    - i want to be able to share files between the computers

    - i dont want to use one of the computers as an internet gateway (any computer should have internet access without another one being on)

  2. keylo

    keylo Guest

    you need to get yourself a router and few nics and alot of cat-5 wire.... once you get the hardware, then come back here
  3. Tokar

    Tokar Guest

    well...first question is what kind of networking ability do you have? I ask that because if you are intending on using CAT5 cable (meaning ethernet) and the systems are halfway across your house, the only way to do such networking would be thru either running cat5 all along the walls or LITERALLY networking your house to hide the cables, which means you gotta drill holes in the walls in the rooms of the computers for the cable to go, both of which werent an option in my house because my mom didnt like either idea. The only other alternatives for networking is wireless, phoneline networking (HPNA), or power outlet networking. power Outlet networking is quite expensive being that it is relativey new, besides the fact that it only runs at about 400 KiloBytes/sec (i dont know how reliable it is). Wireless is still expensive even though the wireless routers and card have dropped like 66% in price since a year and a half ago. And if price is an issue i dont recommend wireless. But the speeds you see with wireless will be the same with ethernet. Wireless with 802.11b standards run at 10 megabits/sec at max, thats assuming you get 100% signal. Speed drops exponentially or so as the signal gets worse. With the wireless products i tried 1.5 years ago i saw only a 26% signal, which was bogus for the $500 i shelled out for it at the time. Today you can get those same products for like $300, but if wireless is your choice, dont go linksys, their wireless products stink, their tech support stinks and they know their wireless routers, though they may look fancy and feature-full, have bad signals and all the tech reps all tell you to upgrade the antennae to more powerful ones from Radio Shack. After many calls to Radio Shack and them telling me these antennae dont exist and to call back linksys, and then linksys telling me to call back Radio shack, i just was so fed up i returned everything. I was told by some guy at Microcenter, a guy buying SMC wireless cards on sale, that SMC makes good wireless products, but if you ask me, i wouldnt go for wireless. Im pro cables :). SO if wireless is not u thing, drilling cant be done and the price of power outlet internet is too much i HIGHLY recommend HPNA (phoneline networking). Its cheap, if you have phones in your house already your house is networkable thru the phoneless, provided you cant put the computers on the same line (as in all the computers have to be on the phoneline where the number is the same, so if Comp A is on 434-434-3434 then Comps B and C have to be on 434-434-3434 to see each other). The cards can be found online for at low as like $10-$15. If online buying isnt your thing, microcenter and compusa should carry linksys cards that run $40 a piece (either in the single box or the 2 cards in the one box job). I have 2 linksys cards (which use a broadcom chip), a card that came with one of my gateway systems thats an HPNA/modem (that has a broadcom chip) and a Diamond HomeFree HPNA card i bought online for $17 after shipping. Everything works fine, but i run one comp as a gateway (over 600 gigs of network transfer thru the computer in 1 year).

    A few notes with the HPNA:
    -all computers have to be on the same phoneline (as in Phone number)
    -phonelines act as a hub, no other hardware required, just the cards them selves
    -having the HPNA on does not affect phonecalls
    (i have cable internet so im unsure as to what happens with DSL, i would appreciate it if someone with DSL and HPNA would tell me their experience with the two)
    -HPNA 1.0 runs at 1 megabits/sec, HPNA 2.0 runs at 10 megabits/sec....make sure you get 2.0 should you decide on HPNA...

    Now should you decide on HPNA you would have to buy a router along with the cards, then you would have to buy an RJ-45 (ethernet) to RJ-11 (phone cable) convertor such that you could hook the router into the phonelines and have that run as the gateway.
    The setup i have is the cable modem runs into a win2k comp via ethernet. Internet Connection Sharing is sharing the ethernet card onto the phoneline card. The phoneline card is plugged into my line 1, and then i have 3 other computers on the line. All computers see each other, internet works fine.
  4. Fhuising

    Fhuising Guest

    If you do fancy some Wireless Networking advice, you should always stick with the same brand of cards, router, and or accesspoint. They all say they offer cards of the same standard but in real life it turns out that most of them don't work together.

    Buying the network cards is not very expensive, but the accesspoint & router are the most expensive. Edimax is offering an accespoing & router in one box, but then your internet connection should be either cable or adsl.

    Setting it up is not ery hard, if you're running Windows XP it will almost do all the work for you, just make sure the wireless network cards are compatible with Windows XP.
  5. AmarSingh

    AmarSingh Guest

    ive already got a phoneline network set up, but ive got one computer as the gateway so it has to be on for the other to get access to the net. wireless is not an option right now. as far as running wire, we are in the process of building a new house which will be done in 4-5 months and the home will be pre-wired for a cat5 network. ive got plenty of NICs as well.

    now the problem with my current setup is that i need comp A to be on for comp B to access the net. if i use a router, i will be able to share the connection how i want, but how will i get the computers to share files?

    btw keylo, thanks for trying, but some people like to research a project before they go out and start spending money on stuff that they may or may not need.
  6. AmarSingh

    AmarSingh Guest

    so all i need is to get a router, plug one end into the modem, and plug my PCs into the router and i will be able to share files once i configure them properly?? i didnt think that it was that easy.
  7. AmarSingh

    AmarSingh Guest

    i was just browsing the linksys site and the manual for this router/switch says that the modem must be connected to the wan port on the router and that it wont work on any other port
  8. AmarSingh

    AmarSingh Guest

    new question about setting up the network in the new house. there are going to be like 7 or 8 ports running through the house. i assume all of the cables will converge on one central location. tell me if this is right: plug all of these cables into a hub or switch and connect the hub/switch to a router and then the cable modem??(or directly to a router with a built in 8 port switch). i assume a switch is preffered over a hub since it doesnt share the bandwidth??

    the reason i ask now is cuz if i buy some hardware now, i would like to be able to reuse it (theres no point in my buying a 4 port router/switch when ill need an 8 port one in a few months. although i guess i could jsut add another switch to the 4 port one correct?)

    ps. and catch...please read my edit to my last post

  9. AmarSingh

    AmarSingh Guest

    maybe its just the linksys router, but the manual says that the uplink port is used to connect another switch/hub in order to add more devices to the network.....anyway i guess that doesnt matter
  10. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

    Note: Linksys isn't dumb. The WAN port and the Uplink port is NOT the same thing. Not by far.

    WAN port:
    "Internet side" - all packets are run through NAT (Network Address Translation) before being sent out on the switch ports (including uplink).

    Uplink port:
    The same as the other switch ports except for the fact that it's twisted (like in a cross over cable). Used for switch-to-switch connections.

    I'm not sure there are any 8-port routers. Set the network up like this:
        /   \\
       /     \\
    Switch   Clients (if you want to)
    Btw, the HPNA, is it an adapter with a CAT5 cable to it or do you have to have a special HPNA card in the computer? I'm asking because the later will cause problems.
  11. Tokar

    Tokar Guest

    HPNA uses CAT3 cable...better known as standard phone cables. The connector on it is RJ-11.
  12. AmarSingh

    AmarSingh Guest


    i dont think that this one has an uplink port, but that just means that i need to use a crossover cable if i want to connect another switch right?

    so i do connect the modem to the wan port?? and i connect a switch to the uplink port if i decide to use one??

    thanks all
  13. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

    If the switch has an uplink (it most certainly has) you can connect a straiht cable from that to any port on the router. Otherwise you use a crossover.
    Yes. Yes (or see above).

    Side note. How do you connect the other computers? If they use CAT3 cable and RJ-11 connectors I mean? Ethernet is RJ-45. Am I missing something (I have no clue how HPNA works, never seen it in action)?
  14. AmarSingh

    AmarSingh Guest

    you need a specific network adapter in all of the computers on the network and you plug each into a phone jack in the wall using a standard phone cable. then you set up the network using windows.
  15. keylo

    keylo Guest

    thanks for making a few things str8 zedric about the uplink port, zedric, hadnt had time to come back and check here lately...

    With the Linksys or ANY other type of router, except say a nix box or such, the uplink port is for attaching another router or hub/switch as mentioned, linksys isnt dumb, just the tech support is... great product, just crrrrrrap tech support

    The uplink port and port 1 are only "shared" if the uplink port is in use, thats with ANY router

    pretty much, its that easy... of course you will have to configure the pc's, such as file sharing or configure as to what protocol you wish to share files and play games on the lan with... either install your choice of IPv6 (command prompt install IPv6 for XP, go to help and support in XP, will tell you how), IPX/SPX, netbeui, or you can share files over IP/netbios.... my opinion is to use IPX/SPX, but the others will work. I wouldnt really mess with netbeui, old and outdated protocol, and not the safest one either, I just mentioned it as a possible choice, some ppl still like it:rolleyes:

    You will have to configure the Linksys browser of course, which is pretty much cake to do. DO NOT mess with the DHCP tab, unless you plan on running say a switch or an access point behind one of the computers on the Linksys/LAN. The router itself is a dhcp server built in. I would reccommend configuring each client pc on the network as obtaining an IP automatically, and putting in ip's such as and down the line to not create confusion on the lan when packets are being thrown everywhere, and each PC has its own same unique address each time each pc boots up. This will help also with problems such as having an FTP server and USING pasv mode if desired, among a few other thingy's you and others will use down the road.

    To end... Dont go the cheap route for a network by just getting a switch/hub or using ICS... if you want FULL CONTROL of your network, and want to avoid problems that may occur, such as sharing files, and computers not seeing eachother on the lan, wanting a desired computer running when the others arent, or hosting your own lil web server or whatever it may be, save yourself the headache and FUTURE headaches and get yourself a router. I dont in no way no how work for linksys, but I do recommend their product. Plus, if you have problems, I think a majority of 3rd party hardware firewalls use Linksys, and also, it seems as tho the prices keep coming down on their products. I believe i seen the 4 port router for $69 after rebate a few weeks back, may be cheaper now... when i believe I paid around $120 for mine well over 2 years ago.

    1 last note, if you do get the linksys router, and find that your linksys is running JUST FINE, and they have a new firmware out, wait a while before thinking of getting it... I am still running 139 when current version is 142... some have a few little bugs, and maybe some were fixed. I recall older firmware that i upgraded to was a pain becuz evertime i hit apply/continue, it looked like the new settings didnt take affect, among other things, usually there is not a big upgrad in firmware, or nothing you would use anyways.

    Ahhhh, isnt coffee great :)
  16. AmarSingh

    AmarSingh Guest

    thanks everybody for all your help:)...i think im gonna stick with my current network for now and get a router to connect all of the rooms when we move....(i decided a while back that it would be a good idea to get a network port put in each room in case I wanted to add more computers, move a computer, or just use my laptop in that room). right now i have three computers that i use (two destops and a laptop) as well as an old P120 and a 386 that are too ancient to use.
  17. flat_tyre

    flat_tyre Guest

    You can always turn the P120 into a Linux Router, if you already have the hardware you get a free router. There are some distributions for just that. ie: IPCop,Clarkconnect......
  18. Kw4ntuM

    Kw4ntuM Guest

    or not....

    anyways....my friend and I did what you did, everything from drilling to pulling cables thru the AC shafts ourselves a while back, and you get to skip that part(lucky punk)

    anyways...once you move in
    here is what you do

    First plug modem into the WAN, then(this is just how I would do it if I had 8 computers) plug one 4 port switch into slot 2 on the router and another into slot 3, then u run the computers into those...so you get sumthing like this <|computers a & b|
    / <|computers c & d|
    \ <|computers e & f|
    <|computers g & h|
  19. AmarSingh

    AmarSingh Guest

    cant u jsut plug the lines directly into an 8 port router or an 8 or 16 port switch insted of 2-4 port switches? is there a performance hit?
  20. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

    Yes you can. The difference (if any) is negligable.