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Old 09-01-2010, 10:00   #1
callmecheez
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home LAN advice please

If you take a look at the diagram below, particularly the bits in red - any suggestions on how to connect to the file server from my 'main PC' that is in a different room?

My only thoughts (not ideal):

- Buy a 2nd network card for file server, and 2 more home plugs (costly)

- Install wireless adapater on file server - not quick enough as I rip movies on main PC and want to shove them onto file server across network. .

Am open to other suggestions?! Thanks!

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Old 09-01-2010, 10:35   #2
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any chance of laying some proper networking cable down to connect the devices physically then slap in a gigabit switch and connect everything up to it?
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:48   #3
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agrott, thanks for the reply - sadly not, hence the need for homeplugs.

Just had a thought, would this work?:

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Old 09-01-2010, 11:02   #4
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Can you not move the file server next to the router ? or install a switch


gb switching is only worth it, if the pc is and the file server is other wise its pointless
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:32   #5
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Yes, your suggestion was basically what I was going to suggest, although was going to ask if the adsl router was just one port or 4 port? If it's 4 port you can use it instead of buying a switch.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:34   #6
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Oh no wait, you've confused things a wee bit - you don't need 2 nics in the pc (or don't need to use them if you do.

If adsl router has 4 ports
adsl to pc, popcorn and homeplug

if adsl router has 1 port
adsl to new switch
new switch to pc, popcorn and homeplug.

Easy as that.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:36   #7
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Cheers Doogie, the only issue with using the router (it has a few ports on it) is that it i only 100mb and I don't think that's good enough for streaming HD video.

Hence the gigabit switch & crossover connection between the popcorn and fileserver (via said switch). .

Make sense?
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:40   #8
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100mb is more than enough for hd, the pop corn has 100mb in it so any more is a waste


the sticking point will be home plugs if anything what speed are they
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:41   #9
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Haven't got them yet, this is all theory so far - I was going to get 200mb's I think.

I never thought of that (the popcorn hour NIC speed), very good point!
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:47   #10
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Originally Posted by internetuser View Post
100mb is more than enough for hd, the pop corn has 100mb in it so any more is a waste


the sticking point will be home plugs if anything what speed are they
That isn't strictly true, 100mb is not really 100mb, likewise some devices that quote 1gb don't achieve anything near that performance.

A good case in point, at work as we started to get more and more gb network cards in PCs, the 100mb network would get more and more congested, in our case it was simply the 1gb cards would allow a higher utilisation of the 100mb network. The other side of the coin, I upgraded my home network to gigabit switches and the 100mb devices perform faster too, clearly they weren't upgraded, so it could only be the gigabit network allowing faster throughput and the physical network was the constraint.

Another interesting example, my old router could only give me 5mb from ntl cable, despite upgrading to 20mb (at the time), clearly the 100mb switch on the other side of the network wasn't the issue, but just because it says 100mb didn't mean it could actually handle it. In fact the switches on the other side of the router, could manage no more than 20mb themselves, so printing 100 was a bit of a con.

Whether the popcorn hour is the biggest constraint or the homeplugs, I don't know, but never rule out the infrastructure as the performance bottleneck.

Speeding up a network is always a good idea, assuming you can/want to afford to do it, by reducing contention you will almost always improve performance, even where the devices on the network cannot perform at the highest speed.

mike

Last edited by mbuckhurst; 09-01-2010 at 11:50.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:04   #11
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Fair point, but having owned a popcorn that was the slowest point in the network, even tho its a 10/100 card it hits no were near the maximum speed.

Gb is worth it, if you have the cash. Just for the extra.

What speed are the home plugs ?
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:43   #12
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I currently just use the O2 freebie four port 10/100 router with wireless. My server's Gb card, popcorn A-110's 10/100, 360's 10/100 and PS3's 10/100 are plugged into it, with two laptops on the wireless.

I can stream HD from the server to the popcorn no problem.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:53   #13
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Just to rewind,

what can your network currently see of each other.

is the pop corn and the file server on the same network as the pc and the 360 etc ?
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:54   #14
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Using the homeplugs you're never going to get near the speeds of even a wired 100mbs connection are you? So the gigabit switch becomes a mute point as you're going to be limited by the speeds of the homeplugs.

Also, you've essentially created a circular connection in your second diagram with the machine with the 2 lan cards. Get rid of the connection from the machine to the ADSL and simply plug the ADSL and machine into the gigabit switch.
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Old 09-01-2010, 13:42   #15
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Looking at your set-up it isn't that radically different from mine and I've managed to get things working pretty well using Homeplugs.

You seem to indicate/think that you need to have homeplugs in pairs, but while you obviously need two to start off with, you should be able to buy single adapters as and where you need extensions to the network.

In my case I have the following (I'm not as artistic so you'll have to make do with a typed description).

"Office"
Desktop PC(s)
Firewall/Router
NAS

These devices are all connected to a Gigabit switch. Also connected to this switch is my "master" homeplug.

"Loft/Attic"
"slave" Homeplug talking to the "master" over the mains and connected to 100Meg switch which also has a main server and another machine running virtualized servers.

"Living Room"
Another "slave" Homeplug linked in with the master which is connected to my Panasonic V10 television. This has allowed me to use the embedded "internet" functionality of this set and it is quite happy to get out to the internet via the link between it's local homeplug and the master one where the Internet connection is located.

I am using Comtrend homeplugs which are rated at 200mbit/sec and with security/encryption enabled run at a steady 110-120 meg. I have not yet done any media streaming (the NAS was only added yesterday evening and I'm still playing with it). But everything works fine and I've not had to complicate things by adding a 2nd network card to any of the machines.

As others have already pointed out, with the Popcorn Hour only having a 10/100 interface, there isn't a need for the gig switch in your layout and they've also confirmed that 100 meg is also sufficient to stream your HD content. I'm a little way off being able to test that myself, but what they have said seems to be more than reasonable.
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