Thursday, December 28, 2006

How Is Your Home Network Setup?

I was thinking of adding some new hard drive space to the 'ol home network for the purpose that people and read and write from/to it. Then I got to thinkin... What does your home network look like?

My entire home network consists of a Comcast high speed internet modem, linksys router, modded with the "$60 to $600 router" hack, Vonage modem, my pc, a shared printer, my pocket pc, my wife's laptop and a D-Link Media Adapter.

[More after the jump]

My pride and joy of the whole system is the media adapter. My wife and I negotiated a bit and decided to get rid of the bloated cable service package of Comcast's digital cable. However we did decide to get the antenna service from comcast that offers us channels 2-23. It is not an antenna sitting on top of your house, it is actually just another package that comcast offers that just happens to be called antenna. So, with our new media adapter and new $10/month cable tv package, we figured that the media adapter would pay for itself within a year. And thats dam good news to me! Anything outside of our antenna package that we wanted to watch, we would just download off of Mr. Internet.

The media adapter came with the D-Link Media Server. This was all good and well, until we started getting Divx videos. After trying other media server programs, I finally setteled with TVersity and haven't looked back since then. It's still in beta, but it handles everything I have. I haven't tested it with DVD back up files yet, however (the vob files). This media adapter is connected wirelessly across my family room and plugged into the TV through component audio/video cables. I used to have a 20' S-Video cable going from the pc to the tv and the quality was horrible. Now the quality is crystal clear!

I did tinker with the router a bit and it's Quality Of Service (QOS) settings. My vonage calls break up a lot while downloading with bit torrent program uTorrent, and I wanted to try and fix that. After some time passed I quickly gave up on QOS and just let the router to what it wanted to do. There was too much testing and tinkering that needs to be done with it, and I don't feel like spending my time on that. Otherwise, it works great and is now worth $600!

I then have my slave hard drive shared on the network as read only. It is on this drive that I have the usual "My Documents" folder. This way, whenever the master hdd decides to crash and i need to reformat, my pictures, music and movies will not be harmed at all. They will be safely tucked away on a completely separate hard drive. This drive is what the media server streams off of and what my wife looks to when she is trying to find some pictures of the kids that she wants to save to a flash drive and take to target and get some prints made.

The next planned addition is my 80 Gig hd sitting in my tower that is not plugged in and is just collecting dust. I do not have any more ide ports to plug this one into, so i have to pick up either an ide card or a 3-device ide cable. I would like for this to be a read/write area for everyone on the network and for friends that stop by that might need something off of my computer real quick. I'm lazy and never want to burn anything to a cd. I might stick it on my jumpdrive and give it to them that way, but I'm very lazy.

And thats my home network in a nutshell. Give me a shout and let me know how yours is set up. Did I do a good job? Let me know what recommendations you have for any improvements that i should do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good organization !