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uk.comp.home-networking (UK home networking) (uk.comp.home-networking) Discussion of all aspects of computer networking in the home, regardless of the platforms, software, topologies and protocols used. Examples of topics include recommendations for hardware or suppliers (e.g. NICs and cabling), protocols, servers, and specific network software. Advertising is not allowed.

ICS vs router - pros and cons?



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 26th 03, 01:54 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Tiny Tim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 173
Default ICS vs router - pros and cons?

I would appreciate some advice on the pros and cons of running a 11g
wireless home network using either a dedicated wireless ADSL router or ICS
via a media server PC. Budget is a big factor but I would like to understand
what I might be missing if I go with ICS. I would like the following on the
network....

Media Server - hard wired
XBOX - hard wired
2 * laptops - wireless

I already have a USB ADSL modem that is working just fine for my needs,
connected to one of the laptops. At the moment I do not have a network. As I
see it my choice is either...

Buy 2* laptop PCMCIA wireless cards and a PCI wireless NIC for, say, 100
the lot max. Connect USB modem to the server, connect XBOX to the server
10/100 NIC. Use the server to provide internet access for XBOX, laptops and
itself. Total price to create network ~100 max.

or

Buy a wireless ADSL modem/router/WAP and 2* laptop PCMCIA wireless cards.
Cost ~200 minimum.

So I figure I can save ~100 by using ICS through the media server PC. Two
questions - will the ICS setup work as described? What sacrifices will I
make in performance/security/flexibility by taking the ICS route?

Thanks,
Tim.
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  #2  
Old November 26th 03, 02:05 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Robert Peacock
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Posts: 4
Default ICS vs router - pros and cons?

What sacrifices will I
make in performance/security/flexibility by taking the ICS route?

Thanks,
Tim.


the obvious ones a

PC must be on for net access if no router

Range on wireless. Ad-hoc I could barely get to the back room downstairs and
be in range. Wireless AP/router and I can take the laptop to the bottom of
the garden and surf.

Hardware firewall?

Robert


  #3  
Old November 26th 03, 02:18 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Tiny Tim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 173
Default ICS vs router - pros and cons?

Robert Peacock wrote:
What sacrifices will I
make in performance/security/flexibility by taking the ICS route?


the obvious ones a

PC must be on for net access if no router


Yep, I appreciate that. As a "server" I would expect the PC to be on 24*7 to
provide net access and also record/replay TV etc..

Range on wireless. Ad-hoc I could barely get to the back room
downstairs and be in range. Wireless AP/router and I can take the
laptop to the bottom of the garden and surf.


If range is likely to be limited that would be a problem. The server would
be in the front living room and the laptops would be used either in the same
room, the bedroom or the back garden. But I've seen "wireless ready" routers
that become wireless by the addition of a wireless PCMCIA NIC so I figure if
that's a valid approach to a wireless router then would it really be any
worse having a wireless NIC on the PC? At least that would have a proper
antenna rather than a 1/2" stubby blob. I guess I need up to 20m range
through one internal wall and some patio doors. This seems to be comfortably
within quoted ranges for 11g stuff. Am I correct?

Hardware firewall?


What benefits would that have over ZA, Kerio, Tiny etc. software firewalls?

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  #4  
Old November 27th 03, 06:44 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Jay
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Posts: 25
Default ICS vs router - pros and cons?

On Wed, 26 Nov 2003 13:54:23 -0000, "Tiny Tim"
wrote:

I would appreciate some advice on the pros and cons of running a 11g
wireless home network using either a dedicated wireless ADSL router or ICS
via a media server PC. Budget is a big factor but I would like to understand
what I might be missing if I go with ICS. I would like the following on the
network....

....
So I figure I can save ~100 by using ICS through the media server PC. Two
questions - will the ICS setup work as described? What sacrifices will I
make in performance/security/flexibility by taking the ICS route?


Your setup is identical to mine except I have a second PC instead of
the X-Box.

Firstly, as cost is an issue, I'd look at 802.11b instead of .11g.
The network speed is not going to slow down your internet connection
speed, but the prices are dropping off now .11g is becoming more
mainstream.

I'd recommend getting a small (5 port?) switch, hard connected to your
PC and X-Box. I'd also get a Wireless Access Point and hard wire that
to the switch. For best range put the WAP central in your area of
use. Get two wireless pc cards for the laptops and you are done.

25 for the switch, 60 for the WAP (eg Belkin at PC World), 30 each
for the pc cards, 5 each for the outlets (four of them?), 10 for 50m
of cable. All up cost 235.

But you could substitute the switch for an ADSL modem/router...eg a
D-Link DSL-504 is only 90 - 65 more than above. These are
frighteningly easy to set up (my experience is with BT Broadband
settings).

My personal view (cue flames) is that you don't really need the
functionality of a router for this sort of network, and that you don't
really need a hardware firewall either.

You only really gain with a router if you intend to VLAN your set-up
to keep your wired and wireless networks seperate for security. This
depends on your level of paranoia, how "hardened" you set things up,
and what sensitivity of data you throw across the airwaves.

And a hardware firewall just makes it harder for someone to hack
you...these firewalls can still be breached using their configuration
screens by any determined hacker. A software firewall is just as
effective against script kiddies imho.

have fun

jay
  #5  
Old November 27th 03, 10:18 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Tiny Tim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 173
Default ICS vs router - pros and cons?

Jay wrote:
On Wed, 26 Nov 2003 13:54:23 -0000, "Tiny Tim"
wrote:

I would appreciate some advice on the pros and cons of running a 11g
wireless home network using either a dedicated wireless ADSL router
or ICS via a media server PC. Budget is a big factor but I would
like to understand what I might be missing if I go with ICS. I would
like the following on the network....

...
So I figure I can save ~100 by using ICS through the media server
PC. Two questions - will the ICS setup work as described? What
sacrifices will I make in performance/security/flexibility by taking
the ICS route?


Your setup is identical to mine except I have a second PC instead of
the X-Box.

Firstly, as cost is an issue, I'd look at 802.11b instead of .11g.
The network speed is not going to slow down your internet connection
speed, but the prices are dropping off now .11g is becoming more
mainstream.

snip

Thanks for the reply. The reason for going with 11g is that I have a DV
camcorder and wish to edit my video footage before burning to DVD. My
thoughts are to make use of my server to reduce the strain from my laptop
and to capture, edit, render and burn on the server but control the process
with the laptop as the front end. The server will be stuck over by the TV
and I'd like to "play" from the confort of my settee and coffee table.

This is all theoretical (for me) at the moment but I'm thinking that either
I leave the files on the server and have the data flying back and forth to
the laptop over wireless from the network (server) drive, or I use VNC as a
client to control the server and have it do all the IO apart from the GUI.
I'm assuming one or both of these will be possible with 11g but not 11b. I
do not plan to have a keyboard or mouse attached to the server and the only
display attached to the server will be the TV or the laptop via VNC.

Any thoughts on this approach?

Cheers,
Tim.

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  #6  
Old November 28th 03, 10:13 AM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Jay
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 25
Default ICS vs router - pros and cons?

On Thu, 27 Nov 2003 22:18:07 -0000, "Tiny Tim"
wrote:

Any thoughts on this approach?


Yeah - video editing is a cpu eater. I would personally *definately*
go for the VNC option...

I would also argue that given the kind of thing you plan, 11b would
still be more than adequate - all you are sending across the radio is
a screen image and keyboard/mouse commands.

11g would of course be "faster" only in the sense that it can pump
more data across the room. Your bottlenecks are more likely to be the
"server" chunking through the video editing process and your laptop
handling screen refreshes...and again it doesn't sound like those will
be problems for the task.

Personal choice - I would go cheap hoping that soon there will be a
faster wireless standard with decent security built in. But then my
whole approach to "future proofing" is save enough today to buy
tomorrow's technology six month's late!

One small piece of advice on the video editing....if you intend using
Pinnacle software I believe there can be problems with non-Pinnacle
hardware relating to sound and vision losing synch. Worth
investigating if you haven't already bought your software. There was
a piece in this or last month's PCW mag.

cheers,

jay
  #7  
Old December 3rd 03, 10:51 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Tiny Tim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 173
Default ICS vs router - pros and cons?

Tiny Tim wrote:
I would appreciate some advice on the pros and cons of running a 11g
wireless home network using either a dedicated wireless ADSL router
or ICS via a media server PC. Budget is a big factor but I would like
to understand what I might be missing if I go with ICS. I would like
the following on the network....

Media Server - hard wired
XBOX - hard wired
2 * laptops - wireless

I already have a USB ADSL modem that is working just fine for my
needs, connected to one of the laptops. At the moment I do not have a
network. As I see it my choice is either...

Buy 2* laptop PCMCIA wireless cards and a PCI wireless NIC for, say,
100 the lot max. Connect USB modem to the server, connect XBOX to
the server 10/100 NIC. Use the server to provide internet access for
XBOX, laptops and itself. Total price to create network ~100 max.

or

Buy a wireless ADSL modem/router/WAP and 2* laptop PCMCIA wireless
cards. Cost ~200 minimum.

So I figure I can save ~100 by using ICS through the media server
PC. Two questions - will the ICS setup work as described? What
sacrifices will I make in performance/security/flexibility by taking
the ICS route?


I've read the replies so far to this thread and thanks for the feedback.
I've decided to forget ICS and go with a proper router setup. My next
question is (given cost as a consideration) what are the pros and cons of
the following approaches (and will they all meet my needs described above
(i.e. work) or have I demonstrated my noobieness a little too much?)....

A) Get an all in one wireless modem/router/firewall like a Netgear DG834G
plus a couple of laptop cards; I've looked up some prices and reckon I can
do this for between 175 and 200 depending on brand.

B) Get an ADSL 4 port modem/router and a separate WAP, plus the cards; Could
do this for about 150 total, for a DABS Value modem/router (45) and a 3com
WAP/card bundle (75) and another card for 30.

C) Get an ADSL ethernet modem and a wireless router, plus the cards. I
can't see me doing this for under 200 with 'name' brand stuff such as
Netgear or D-Link but could shave some cost if I went with own brand stuff.

Is there any/much advantage to matching the manufacturer of the wireless
bits - after all, if using a wi-fi hotspot then it would be unlikely that my
laptop card will be the same brand as the WAP on the site so does it matter
if I mix and match at home? I'd actually like 3com x-jack cards for the
convenience of the retractable antennae - I've got a 3com bluetooth card
with x-jack at the mo - but the cost is steep so I probably won't :-((

So with about 50 separating cheapest and dearest options I wonder what
would be the best choice. I'm actually hoping it'll be the second one, on
cost grounds, but also giving me the flexibility to change the wireless bits
in the future at lowest overall cost when new technology arrives

So, A, B or C as an approach? Also, should I go name brand for the whole
shebang or will I be OK getting DABS Value or Ebuyer's own brand or similar
for some or all of it?

Thanks again,
Tim.

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