Re: home networks


Subject: Re: home networks
From: Michael Gogins (gogins@pipeline.com)
Date: Thu Sep 29 2005 - 15:26:27 EDT


I thought everyone with a computer had a home network by now.

I have 2 small home networks. Most networks now, even home networks, are TCP/IP networks and that is what you should use -- will probably be the default on your equipment.

Each network has 2 notebook computers on it. One network is wireless, the other is wireless and wired. Both use Linksys wireless access points/routers. One uses a cable modem for broadband Internet access, the other uses DSL for the same purpose. Both the cable modem and the DSL are fast and make being online much more usable. The wired network connection is noticeably faster than the wireless connections, but even the wireless connections are plenty fast enough. I can do both audio and video streaming. These are brainless, out of the box, 100 Mbit/10 Mbit commodity type setups using DHCP (Dynamic Host Control Protocol, means the router makes up IP addresses for computers on the network so you don't have to do that yourself).

Having done various network setups in the past, I think that the easiest way is to get a DSL line, put a wireless access point/router on it, and wire up computers to the router with DHCP. The wireless access is just a fillup if you like to move your computer around.

You will need a firewall, I use Zone Alarm free edition. I do not use the built-in Windows firewall as it did not seem to be very good. If you use the wireless networking you should enable WEP in the wireless access point, otherwise your neighbors can freeload on your Internet connection and maybe even surf around on your hard disks.

If you run Windows you MUST have up to date, competent anti-virus software such as Norton or Symantec, and you should probably run anti-spam and anti-spyware software as well.

You could simplify your life by spending a little money and use a hardware firewall/router instead of a software firewall, especially if you don't need wireless networking, in which case you can use the firewall router for your network hub as well. Netgear makes a popular and inexpensive one that I installed in my wife's business.

Hope this helps,
Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: Linda Seltzer <lseltzer@alumni.caltech.edu>
Sent: Sep 29, 2005 2:36 PM
To: cec-conference@concordia.ca
Subject: home networks

Does anyone out there have a home network? If so, what type,
configuration? Are you satisfied with it? Do you have voice
over IP or audio streaming on it? How is the speed of your
Internet access?



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