Home networking?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ike, Sep 4, 2001.

  1. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Well, here's my problem, and I only will take suggestions about it.
    As I get more computers, I find that it's difficult to have 2 computers that get onto the same internet connection. So, I want to link two computers together, so they can use the same phone line (but run off of different wall outlets), and if possible, the same internet connection. If that's not possible, using two seperate phone lines.
    What I need is a setup that allows me to have two computers seperated far apart in the house so that they use one internet connection. I have a normal Internet connection, and a Compuserve connection, so I don't want to get yet another one. I saw something on Buy that said have two computers on one internet connection. What is this? How hard are they to install? What do you need? What are the drawbacks?
    Thanks for all help.
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Home PNA. Yes, it works on regular phone lines..
    See here for more details:
    http://www.homepna.com/ http://www.practicallynetworked.com/
    It will share a regular connection, but not so sure about compuserve/AOL type.. people have had trouble there.. and you're sharing low bandwidth to begin with.. works better to share, say, cable or DSL.. sharing less is not super functional...
    CW
     
  3. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    If you can connect the computers together with a network cable (the most economical and functional alternative) it's not hard. There are "modem sharing" packages you can buy and it handles the internet connection part (basically detects when the Internet connection is needed and connects automatically).
    Windows ME, 98 Second Edition and Windows 2000 all come with software built-in that can do this, in fact, but you can buy more functional software on the net for not much money.
    There are other options too, such as wireless networks. Security goes down but you don't have to connect any wires.
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    /Kimmo
     
  4. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Have a look at this site for some good info and guides to home networking and internet connection sharing.
    It's quite straight-forward to do. You'll need a method of connecting the two (or more) PCs together - eg ethernet, wireless etc (I think that you can connect them using the mains electricity ring as the conduit - might be different in the US compare to Britain). Then you share your internet connection from the main PC (easy in Win98SE/ME/2000).
    ------------------
    My HT My DVD Collection
     
  5. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    I'm looking at the link, and some links from it, and it never really says, "This is used to have two computers on one connection." They keep talking about file sharing. What does this mean?
    Secondly, will I have to go to wireless if the 2 computers are far apart? One is one the bottom floor, and the second is on the second story. Or are the wires like telephone wires, and can be run out of buildings and such?
    Also, if one computer is way better than another computer, will the slower PC slow down the faster one? Will they be able to network?
    And finally, what products do you recommend for the task at hand? Please, just post a link.
     
  6. Roy C.

    Roy C. Second Unit

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    Ike,
    the easiest way to do it is by linking the two PC's together and have them share a single Internet connection. Since they are so far apart you are really limited to either using the phone lines or wireless. Both options limit your connection PC-to-PC to 10Mbps. I would suggest setting up the faster PC to be the one connecting to the Internet and also doing the sharing so that it does not slow down a whole lot when the other PC is being used. There are several manufacturers that make some sort of Home Network stuff like D-Link, Linksys, Intel, 3Com, Netgear and Asante. They are all comparable; it's just a matter of cost/price, I think. On the other hand if you can get these 2 PC's connected via CAT5 (if less than 300') you would have the fastest connection between the two and the cheapest. Of course, if you can not then ... IN other words, there are a number of options.
    Good luck,
    Roy C.
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    [Edited last by Roy C. on September 04, 2001 at 04:25 PM]
     
  7. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    What you need!
    Option 1:
    2 x 10/100 network interface cards (NIC's). Brand is not that important.
    Enough networking cable, aka CAT5 (category 5) to reach from one computer to the other
    Either Windows ME, Windows 98 second edition or Windows 2000 on both computers or a software package like Sygate, from http://www.sygate.com/products/gate_ov.htm
    Optionally a 10/100 network hub; if you don't get that, the CAT5 cable used to wire the computers together has to be specially configured.
    Option 2:
    2 x Wireless lan cards. Cost much more than the NIC's in option 1, but require no cabling. Security goes way down unless you configure them with encryption etc. You still need either the Windows flavors I mention above or a software package like the Sygate one I mention above.
    One of the computers need to have a modem and an internet connection, and that is the computer on which you install the Sygate software. The software then passes the Internet traffic through either the wired or wireless network to the other computer.
    A side effect of setting up this network will be that you can share files between the computers, ie you can work directly on the hard drive of the other computer if you so desire. Can be very handy.
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    /Kimmo
     
  8. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    I am currently using the 3COM Home Connect networking which uses phonelines. It only at 10 mbs but its fine for most stuff we need. It uses the USB connection on both PCs so I didn't have to open anything up and stick a card in. It runs fine actually sharing my cable modem connect. I set it up, and had it up and running in less than an hour. The only thing to keep in mind here is that I need to have the "server" pc on so the other PC ( a laptop ) could access the network and internet. Shutting down the main PC shuts down the whole network so to speak.
    We plan to get another pc soon and I'm thinking of getting a cable modem router. With this, I don't need to have the "server" pc on at all times. I will however need to get a network card for the laptop and run CAT 5 all over the place for it to work.
    If you could run the CAT 5 all over, go the router way. For us, our old house cannot to rewired and I just have to stick with phonelines for now.
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    Eric Samonte
    Dito sa Pilipinas..may Hom Tiyeter rin kami!
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Realize, if you're going to use wireless networking, shooting through two floors/ceilings is not a guarantee and it -may not work-. You'll also have a maximum bandwidth of about 4.5MB, and if you use WEP, even less. And even with WEP, it's pretty easy for people to horn in on you and take advantage of your connection (though they are working on that)
    Anyway, if you've got them that far apart, and you do have the availability of telephone wiring, HomePNA 2.0 is probably going to be a better choice. You get 10MB (comparative of 10BT) connections, and it's fairly solid.
    HomePNA 2.0 is a long way from the crappy PNA 1.0 and the only slightly improved PNA 1.1.
    Check this link to see if it will work for you.
    http://www.practicallynetworked.com/..._phoneline.htm
    If you've got a shared phoneline nearby, and you can't run ethernet (preferred) but you've got to shoot through two floors (which is what it sounds like..) then this is going to be the most reliable option available.
     
  10. Peter McDonald

    Peter McDonald Stunt Coordinator

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    You should also note that if one of your computers is handling the internet connection and the other one is networked to it, the one with the internet connection MUST be on for the other computer to use the internet.
    Peter
     
  11. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    A couple of questions:
    1. is the second computer one or two floors up? This will probably make quite a difference for wireless solutions.
    2. are you running Win98SE, Win2K or WinME? These come preconfigured for what MS calls ICS - Internet Connection Sharing - and will allow you to set up a halfway decent network. If you aren't, you'll have to go third-party.
    I am not a huge friend of wireless. Too insecure IMHO. But if that is what works for you, go for it.
    I prefer ethernet cable. In my case, I had to string it across the house to another computer to enable ICS. It was a pain, but given cable modem access speed, highly desirable.
    I ran mine in-wall, up to the roof area, across, and back down to wall. I bought a couple of those wall sockets where you can install multiple types of outlets (these are available at Home Depot!). Since I ran standard CAT5 ethernet cable (8 leads, or 4 pairs) and only needed 4 leads for ethernet, I rewired the other 4 leads for 2 telephone lines. Essentially setting up the other area with cable modem, phone, and fax/modem capabilities for backup. Which given it was a home office, became pretty important.
    Go to www.homedepot.com, into their online store, look for electrical, then datacom products. The wall plates come with one, two, three, four, six, and I think 8 small square openings into which you snap the type of jack you want. They have these for regular phone, ethernet (8-lead), audio, video, etc., etc., etc. Very, very versatile; costs a bit more.
    I also got 10/100Mbit cards (they are 3COMs). They work great, the entire system runs at 100 - very fast. Not very expensive - $25 range.
    Eventually, I added a network printer over there. So I also set up a 4-port router, and hooked in a printer server. All machines on the network can use it.
    Wire can be gotten at Home Depot also. I used standard Cat5, plenum rated (anti-smolder in case of fire). Didn't run it through any AC ductwork (though I thought about it). You can now get 5e, but IMHO is overkill (rated for 1000Mbit - who has that at home?). I got a 100ft spool, used most of it.
    If you want more info, send me an e-mail. I can give you lots more details that way...!
    Mike
     

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