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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

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  #1  
Old August 30th 04, 01:23 AM posted to uk.media.broadband,uk.telecom.broadband
David Hall
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Home Networks

Hi there,

I'm living with 3 other students and we'd like to set up a network in our
house so that we can all share the same broadband connection. Knowing
nothing about networking, I have no idea where to start looking for
information, so wonder whether you could help?
- what hardware do we need to buy to share a broadband connection between 4
computers (3x laptops, 1x desktop)?
- how much will this cost, and is a wireless network an affordable option?
- how difficult is it to set up?
- what sort of bandwidth will we need for 4 users (admittedly, not v heavy
users, but some music downloading)?
- is there any particular company most likely to suit our needs viz a
broadband connection?

Thanks for your help!

Dave


  #2  
Old August 30th 04, 02:08 AM posted to uk.media.broadband,uk.telecom.broadband
Colin Wilson
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Posts: 850
Default Home Networks

- what hardware do we need to buy to share a broadband connection between 4
computers (3x laptops, 1x desktop)?


A router would be a good start, as it would allow each computer to access
the net independently of the others (you don`t need one left switched on
to pass the traffic through)

If you`re on BT you need an adsl router/modem combo
If you`re on cable (ie. NTL / Telewest) get a cable router

A router will usually use NAT (unless otherwise configured) and ignores
traffic "incoming" from the internet that wasn`t requested by the
machines within the "private network". In effect it acts as a firewall
and cuts out most of the crap that might otherwise be hack attempts etc,
but a firewall on each machine to monitor outgoing traffic might still be
a GoodIdea (TM)

- how much will this cost, and is a wireless network an affordable option?


40+ for wired, and probably 60+ for wireless

- how difficult is it to set up?


Wired - piece of cake - seriously ! ("connect via LAN")
Wi-Fi - probably a little harder, and security may be an issue

- what sort of bandwidth will we need for 4 users (admittedly, not v heavy
users, but some music downloading)?


Depends on what your usage patterns really... 512kbit gets you 60k/sec
download speed. Work upwards from that basis to come up with a figure if
that won`t do you. Load balancing isn`t an option on cheap routers, so
you might still find someone hogging all the bandwidth :-}

- is there any particular company most likely to suit our needs viz a
broadband connection?


Netgear gets a fair share of mentions of firmware updates and problems,
but apart from that, I can`t really think of any to "avoid".

SMC Barricade seem well regarded, but may be a little more pricey - as
for myself, i`m using the cheapest one I could find 18 months ago, and
i`ve never had a problem with it.

--
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  #3  
Old August 30th 04, 02:10 AM posted to uk.media.broadband,uk.telecom.broadband
NoSpam
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Posts: 21
Default Home Networks

"David Hall" wrote in message
...
Hi there,

I'm living with 3 other students and we'd like to set up a network in our
house so that we can all share the same broadband connection. Knowing
nothing about networking, I have no idea where to start looking for
information, so wonder whether you could help?
- what hardware do we need to buy to share a broadband connection between

4
computers (3x laptops, 1x desktop)?
- how much will this cost, and is a wireless network an affordable option?
- how difficult is it to set up?
- what sort of bandwidth will we need for 4 users (admittedly, not v heavy
users, but some music downloading)?
- is there any particular company most likely to suit our needs viz a
broadband connection?

Thanks for your help!

Dave


Hi Dave - this is a very common question to ask and in general it is easy to
answer.

The main reason why people find it difficult to migrate to a solution where
people can share a broadband connection, is because it means that you have
to bite the bullet and start to learn the 'networking' part of wired or
wireless networking.

If you understand how to set up a home computer network, then the rest is
easy. If not, then you might need to browse the internet for some guides.
In general its easiest if all your computers are running Windows XP or 2000.
If they use older operating systems, you'll have a lot more hassle.

The item that you need to buy in general depends on what you already have
and whether you are using ADSL or cable. Assuming you are using ADSL, the
easiest is to get a wireless ADSL router. This is a device which comes
equipped with all the stuff you need - broadband modem, router, firewall
etc, in a single box and is probably the easiest to set up. A good choice
is the Netgear DG834G (currently on offer at Simply Computers with a free
USB Adapter):
http://www.simply.co.uk/productinfor...G111/index.htm

(Wireless gear is more expensive than wired gear. For example, a standard
network card is about 10, whereas a wireless card is about 30.)

You will also need to buy:
1) A network card for your desktop - I am assuming that this is going to be
near your router which is near your phone line. You can buy a cheap network
card:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...058947-5664636
You can also go for a wireless card so that you don't have to keep your PC
next to your broadband modem.

2) You can either buy wireless network cards or USB adapters like the one
bundled with the ADSL router to connect the remainder of your laptops.

Okay, a few points to mention:
a) Wireless technology is the only practical way forward for students
sharing a broadband connection in a house. If you go wireless, you want to
stick to the latest 802.11g wireless specification.
b) If you go wireless, everything is greatly simplified if you go for
hardware from the same manufacturer - less technical issues. I recommend
you go for Netgear - very good reputation.

I'm sure that you'll no doubt get a lot of good advice from other posters,
but this will get you started. Wireless is a fairly expensive option, but
it is the only real option available to you.

Cost wise:
- ADSL Router - about 95.
- One network card for your desktop - 12
- One CAT5 network cable for your desktop - 5
- 3 wireless network PCMCIA cards for your laptops - 35 each:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...058947-5664636

(There are T versions of each of the above, which allow for greater transfer
rates - but these are a lot more expensive.)

It is better to buy a wireless network card for each of your laptops and use
the USB adapter with your PC so that it does not need to maintain a wired
link. However, you need a wired link initially to access the ADSL router to
setup the software and settings. That way, your ADSL router can sit near
the phone socket without any of your 4 machines connected to it wired. From
a cost splitting perspecive, as the USB adapter comes from with the ADSL
router and is worth 35, I recommend that the desktop person absorb the cost
of the router, network card, cable and free USB adapter and the laptop users
buy the wireless network cards (if their laptop already has wireless
networking capability then obviously they do not need to do this). This way
when you all depart, you know who owns what. Whilst the desktop person pays
more, he gets the freebie that comes with the modem which is quite a saving
and a useful item. In fact, I bought this item seperately (42 at the
time).

In terms of broadband access speed, I recommend that you go on to a 1MB
package. This will be about right in terms of balance of use/cost. It
means that all four of you can comfortably be online playing an online game
at the same time. Also, 512K and 1Mb packages are fairly competitive.
Beyond this, the packages are not so competitive and depend heavily on where
you live. So look for a 1MB package from the start.

AMO


  #4  
Old August 30th 04, 03:21 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
poster
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Posts: 1,542
Default Home Networks

On 30 Aug 2004 in uk.telecom.broadband, "NoSpam" wrote:

You can also go for a wireless card so that you don't have to keep your
PC next to your broadband modem.


Or use USB for all of the PCs, laptop or desktop, once the router has been
setup. Might not be as pretty but can ensure a reasonable signal. Helped
a friend and having seen comments about small shift in position making the
difference (esp if thick walls) the USB units worked a treat for both desk
PC (in a son's bedroom) and a laptop downstairs. Belkin 7630 router which
can handle different speed, but the cheapish Belkin USB wireless units for
19 +VAT [in packs of 2 for 38 +VAT] came with Quake :-) Of course setting
up the wireless router does need a cable, even if the router ends up being
at a spot with no PC nearby in the end... (The USB units he bought have a
cable of approx 1.5 m so can be positioned for good signal, where a PCMCIA
or PCI card will perhaps be screened by the computer to a degree.) Peter.
  #5  
Old August 30th 04, 03:22 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
poster
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Posts: 1,542
Default Home Networks

On 30 Aug 2004 01:08, in uk.telecom.broadband, Colin Wilson wrote:

- is there any particular company most likely to suit our needs viz a
broadband connection?


Netgear gets a fair share of mentions ....


There are a number of ISPs with uncapped service. Might be worth paying a
little extra for a monthly contract so can migrate to another ISP is a new
or better deal comes along... PlusNet 1000 kbps would probably serve well
at 29.99... 7.50 a month per person... POP mailbox(es) for each user... PN
also gives a fax-to-email number, 250 MB webspace, fixed IP... plenty for
4 users to share, and good value, IMO :-) Peter Morgan.

PS for original poster: I removed "uk.media.broadband" as someone was
picky before about hardware queries appearing there

--
PlusNet http://tinyurl.com/24ymz - I recommend them and save some cash.
  #6  
Old August 30th 04, 12:18 PM posted to uk.media.broadband,uk.telecom.broadband
Albrow SJ
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 45
Default Home Networks


"David Hall" wrote in message
...
Hi there,

I'm living with 3 other students and we'd like to set up a network in our
house so that we can all share the same broadband connection. Knowing
nothing about networking, I have no idea where to start looking for
information, so wonder whether you could help?
- what hardware do we need to buy to share a broadband connection between

4
computers (3x laptops, 1x desktop)?


- A router, personally I like the Vigor routers but they aren't the
cheapest. Take a look at dabs.com etc.

You will also find it possible to get ones with built in wireless.

- how much will this cost, and is a wireless network an affordable option?


Yes wireless is affordable but wired is cheaper. Wireless is easier to
deploy in the sense that if you all move house, a cabeled network, minus the
switch \ hub \ router will stay there is you move (if you install it
properly).

Cost: you will each need a wireless card, at around 30 ish, plus the router
and wireless access point (or a combined one).
I would suggest not using USB for the wireless cards, use PCI in the
desktops.

- how difficult is it to set up?


Not at all really,
- what sort of bandwidth will we need for 4 users (admittedly, not v heavy
users, but some music downloading)?


Do you like each other? My suggestion would be that a 512k connection should
be fine, as long as people are considerate and limit their downloading to
overnight \ times when everyone else isn't trying to use the internet.
- is there any particular company most likely to suit our needs viz a
broadband connection?


I use plusnet and would recommend them in terms of good service and price.
Some of the more well known brands are crap on support, not that cheap etc.
As you need your own equipment anyway it's pointless going for a free modem
offer - they aren't free, just subsidised by the monthly cost.

How long will you be there for - you may need to consider the fact that most
broadband contracts are for 12 months.

I would also check that you go on one with unlimited downloads - with four
of you, and some music downloading the cheaper capped services are unlikley
to be much good.

Plusnets Home 512k ADSL 'Premier' (uncapped) service is 21.99 a month
(20.99 without a www.xxxxxx.co.uk address)
I would suggest you check out www.adslguide.org.uk for some comparisons
though.
Sam


Thanks for your help!

Dave




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  #7  
Old August 30th 04, 12:23 PM posted to uk.media.broadband,uk.telecom.broadband
Beck
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 88
Default Home Networks


"David Hall" wrote in message
...
Hi there,

I'm living with 3 other students and we'd like to set up a network in our
house so that we can all share the same broadband connection. Knowing
nothing about networking, I have no idea where to start looking for
information, so wonder whether you could help?
- what hardware do we need to buy to share a broadband connection between 4
computers (3x laptops, 1x desktop)?
- how much will this cost, and is a wireless network an affordable option?
- how difficult is it to set up?
- what sort of bandwidth will we need for 4 users (admittedly, not v heavy
users, but some music downloading)?
- is there any particular company most likely to suit our needs viz a
broadband connection?


Cheap option ---- A hub or switch (15), 4 straight through cables, ICS

More expensive but better option ---- adsl modem router (50+), 4 straight
through cables.

Whatever option you choose, you have to ensure you have a free network card in
each computer. Most computers nowadays have them built in, chec the back of
each computer, the port looks like a telephone socket but a bit larger.
Although 50+ may seem like alot for students, once you break it down and share
the cost its not so much and it is a much better option as most (if not all)
routers have a built in firewall so there is the added security involved.

Moving on to wireless which would be the top option, and the most expensive, BT
currently have a wireless router package on special offer in their shop (you
don't have to buy their adsl to get it).
http://www.shop.bt.com/invt/0710569

96 will buy you the wireless router, you also get a free usb adaptor, so thats
one pc sorted. You can then buy additional adaptors for each pc and 10 off
each.
So that would work out as 24.99 for the laptop card and 28 x 2 for the other
two pc cards.


  #8  
Old August 30th 04, 02:11 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
poster
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,542
Default Home Networks

On 30 Aug 2004 in uk.telecom.broadband, "Albrow SJ" wrote:

Plusnets Home 512k ADSL 'Premier' (uncapped) service is 21.99 a month
(20.99 without a www.xxxxxx.co.uk address)


Are you sure about the 20.99 price ? I only ask because I have never had
a domain linked to my account and know the standard charge in my case is
21.99 (before discounts for recommending Plus.Net). With 123-reg.co.uk
and ukregg.com offering registration for 2 years for under 8 quid, it
would seem pretty daft to pay 12 quid a year for Plus.Net to handle a
registration - esp as they have a transfer-out fee of 45 (?) quid. PGM.

--
com/org/info/biz domains as low as $7.00/year
com/org/info/biz transfers give 12 month extension
Visit http://www.vfm-domains.com/ today :-))
  #9  
Old August 30th 04, 02:35 PM posted to uk.media.broadband,uk.telecom.broadband
Tiny Ramsden
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 35
Default Home Networks

Roderick Stewart wrote:

In article , David Hall wrote:
I'm living with 3 other students and we'd like to set up a network in our
house so that we can all share the same broadband connection.


I see your question has already been answered by several others, and they
all, very wisely, suggest that a wireless network would be best for a
house full of students (It'll save you a wiring project, and a lot of
laptops today come already equipped with wireless terminals built in), but
there is one small point they all seem to have missed. Even if everybody
prefers wireless laptops, you need to make sure there is at least one
computer in the system that *can* be (even if it normally isn't)
physically connected by wired ethernet for the purpose of setting up the
wireless connection details in the modem/router unit. Otherwise you have a
"Catch 22" situation where you need to connect to the box to set up the
wireless connections, but you need a wireless connection to connect to the
box.... :-)

Rod.


My Lioncom Wireless router can start and stands alone so you do not need to
connect it by it's ethernet ports. You can configure it easily over the
wireless connection.

--
Lioncom adsl 4 port router, Nildram adsl running on Redhat 7.3. You can see
and hear me and my pal Joe Longthorne on uktalent.org.
  #10  
Old August 30th 04, 02:43 PM posted to uk.media.broadband,uk.telecom.broadband
Roderick Stewart
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 11
Default Home Networks

In article , David Hall wrote:
I'm living with 3 other students and we'd like to set up a network in our
house so that we can all share the same broadband connection.


I see your question has already been answered by several others, and they
all, very wisely, suggest that a wireless network would be best for a house
full of students (It'll save you a wiring project, and a lot of laptops
today come already equipped with wireless terminals built in), but there is
one small point they all seem to have missed. Even if everybody prefers
wireless laptops, you need to make sure there is at least one computer in
the system that *can* be (even if it normally isn't) physically connected
by wired ethernet for the purpose of setting up the wireless connection
details in the modem/router unit. Otherwise you have a "Catch 22" situation
where you need to connect to the box to set up the wireless connections,
but you need a wireless connection to connect to the box.... :-)

Rod.

 




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