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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.

Advice needed on a home network setup



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 8th 09, 06:36 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Richard Lobb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default Advice needed on a home network setup

Hi
I have two computers and a laptop - All HP running XP home or Pro -
all can use the internet by plugging them into the broadband cable
modem separately and switching the modem on. So I thought that I
could say get a Belkin fast Ethernet Switch to connect them together
to the internet and share files - Is this as easy as Belkin say ??-
namely simply connect them through the switch and all protocols are
automatically negotiated? (I've only just got them all to work
properly separately on the Internet after being totally misdirected
by my ISP free Indian "helpline" - eventually I solved the non
existent problems myself)

However in addition I have 7 printers , two scanners. and an All in
one fax/scanner/printer - All of which I would like to use as
seamlessly as possible. Three printers are high speed ethernet ready
lasers (using them as dedicated USB printers) - 1 printer is a old HP
parallel laser dedicated to printing envelopes (I have 6 spares and
loads of toners for it) - 2 printers are HP 895 cxi with parallel/usb
capability (using them as dedicated USB printers - 1 Canon USB only
inkjet printer (used as dedicated USB Photo printer) All printers are
connected to one computer. The Kodak all in one is not used as yet.

The work load is intermittent as I publish a quarterly Charity
Newsletter 1000 8 duplexed paged copies - plus 500 e-mailed PDF
copies. In addition to running three websites. I also send and
receive numerous daily e-mails for the Charity Helpline as well as
assiduously surf the Internet. The laptop is used primarily to take to
my charity work to show new website setups and various photos and
e-mails to fellow workers.

Any help and advice as to what I really need to set up a simple but
secured home network please - I will not use wireless for security
reasons.

I get the idea I need say a Belkin 16 port fast ethernet switch and
possibly a Prosafe VPN firewall - though I would like to simply use a
switch without the VPN firewall - Is this easily possible??

All advice welcomed!! :-)


Richard from London UK --
Bambi,Beauty,Brian(Brutus 77-97 Bessie 87-01 Ben 95-06 @ RB)
Greyhounds are for life not just for racing!!
Whittingham Homefinding Scheme
Visit our Kennels
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/greyhounds
www.whittinghamretiredgreyhounds.co.uk
  #2  
Old August 8th 09, 06:56 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Conor
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 80
Default Advice needed on a home network setup

In article , Richard Lobb
says...

Hi
I have two computers and a laptop - All HP running XP home or Pro -
all can use the internet by plugging them into the broadband cable
modem separately and switching the modem on. So I thought that I
could say get a Belkin fast Ethernet Switch to connect them together
to the internet and share files - Is this as easy as Belkin say ??-
namely simply connect them through the switch and all protocols are
automatically negotiated? (I've only just got them all to work
properly separately on the Internet after being totally misdirected
by my ISP free Indian "helpline" - eventually I solved the non
existent problems myself)

However in addition I have 7 printers , two scanners. and an All in
one fax/scanner/printer - All of which I would like to use as
seamlessly as possible. Three printers are high speed ethernet ready
lasers (using them as dedicated USB printers) - 1 printer is a old HP
parallel laser dedicated to printing envelopes (I have 6 spares and
loads of toners for it) - 2 printers are HP 895 cxi with parallel/usb
capability (using them as dedicated USB printers - 1 Canon USB only
inkjet printer (used as dedicated USB Photo printer) All printers are
connected to one computer. The Kodak all in one is not used as yet.

The work load is intermittent as I publish a quarterly Charity
Newsletter 1000 8 duplexed paged copies - plus 500 e-mailed PDF
copies. In addition to running three websites. I also send and
receive numerous daily e-mails for the Charity Helpline as well as
assiduously surf the Internet. The laptop is used primarily to take to
my charity work to show new website setups and various photos and
e-mails to fellow workers.

Any help and advice as to what I really need to set up a simple but
secured home network please - I will not use wireless for security
reasons.

I get the idea I need say a Belkin 16 port fast ethernet switch and
possibly a Prosafe VPN firewall - though I would like to simply use a
switch without the VPN firewall - Is this easily possible??

All advice welcomed!! :-)

Ethernet switch will do what you want - plug broadband cable modem into
wan port and rest into the others.

As regards the non ethernet printers, have a look at print servers.
These are things that connect to your network on one side and the
printers on the other. Some will support multiple printers, some
single.



--
Conor
www.notebooks-r-us.co.uk
I only please one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn't
looking good either. - Scott Adams
  #3  
Old August 8th 09, 08:33 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Alex Fraser
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 553
Default Advice needed on a home network setup

Richard Lobb wrote:
I have two computers and a laptop - All HP running XP home or Pro -
all can use the internet by plugging them into the broadband cable
modem separately and switching the modem on. So I thought that I
could say get a Belkin fast Ethernet Switch to connect them together
to the internet and share files - Is this as easy as Belkin say ??-

[snip]
However in addition I have 7 printers , two scanners. and an All in
one fax/scanner/printer - All of which I would like to use as
seamlessly as possible. [...]


You need more than just a switch - you need a router. There are lots of
different models, with the most important differences for general
domestic use being the type of WAN interface, wireless networking
capability (or lack thereof), and number of LAN ports.

(Sidenote: you can make a computer act as a router but a dedicated
router is much simpler, more reliable and more secure by default; given
their cost I think most would agree with me that it's a much more
preferable solution.)

For use with a cable modem you need a router with an Ethernet WAN
interface; these are commonly sold as "Cable" or "Cable/DSL" routers.

You've specifically ruled out any use of wireless, so I won't go into that.

Most routers have four LAN ports, however you can increase this by
connecting one or more switches. This can also reduce cabling, depending
on where the computers and network-ready printers are located relative
to one another and the cable modem.

For the non-network-ready printers, you can get print servers. I haven't
looked lately but it might have limited choice for a parallel printer.
Some routers also have this functionality built in. You can also turn a
PC into a print server by sharing the printer (this is analogous to
using a PC as router, as I mentioned above, but the trade-offs are
different so it makes more sense).

Compared to using a printer directly attached to a computer, whether you
use a dedicated print server or have it shared on another computer, the
biggest issue is possible loss of functionality such as reporting on
ink/toner levels etc.

Generally, you can't share a scanner between multiple computers (other
than by plugging it into the one you want to use it on), and you
probably don't want to try sharing anything from an all-in-one device
unless it's specifically designed for it.

I think those are the main factors to consider - if you can provide more
details about what you ideally want to be able to do, budget, and things
like the relative locations of equipment, then some more specific
suggestions can be made.

Alex
  #4  
Old August 8th 09, 10:51 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Conor
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 80
Default Advice needed on a home network setup

In article , Alex
Fraser says...

You need more than just a switch - you need a router.


Why? The broadband cable modem acts as a DHCP server.




--
Conor
www.notebooks-r-us.co.uk
I only please one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn't
looking good either. - Scott Adams
  #5  
Old August 9th 09, 12:46 AM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Mortimer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 342
Default Advice needed on a home network setup

"Conor" wrote in message
...
In article , Alex
Fraser says...

You need more than just a switch - you need a router.


Why? The broadband cable modem acts as a DHCP server.


If the modem is acting as a DHCP server then it's more than just a modem: it
must be acting as a router in that it is mapping the private IP addresses
192.168.x.y that it gives to the PCs on the LAN, to the public IP address
that the ISP has given to the customer.

If the modem really is a modem, the address seen at the songle PC which is
connected in the present pre-switch configuration will not be of the form
192.168.x.y and a router (with NAT - network address translation) will be
needed.

A NAT router, by virtue of the way that NAT works, will include a firewall
to block unsolicited incoming traffic (ie hacking).

You mention VPN. As far as I am aware (and I'm open to corrections) all
routers will allow PCs on the LAN to establish VPN connections to and VPN
server elswhere on the internet (eg operated by a company such as you
employer who may use it for you to work from home). If you need other people
to VPN into you (ie you are running a VPN server) you will need a
VPN-capable router.

  #6  
Old August 9th 09, 08:11 AM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Richard Lobb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default Advice needed on a home network setup

On Sat, 8 Aug 2009 18:56:43 +0100, Conor wrote:

In article , Richard Lobb
says...

Hi
I have two computers and a laptop - All HP running XP home or Pro -
all can use the internet by plugging them into the broadband cable
modem separately and switching the modem on. So I thought that I
could say get a Belkin fast Ethernet Switch to connect them together
to the internet and share files - Is this as easy as Belkin say ??-
namely simply connect them through the switch and all protocols are
automatically negotiated? (I've only just got them all to work
properly separately on the Internet after being totally misdirected
by my ISP free Indian "helpline" - eventually I solved the non
existent problems myself)

However in addition I have 7 printers , two scanners. and an All in
one fax/scanner/printer - All of which I would like to use as
seamlessly as possible. Three printers are high speed ethernet ready
lasers (using them as dedicated USB printers) - 1 printer is a old HP
parallel laser dedicated to printing envelopes (I have 6 spares and
loads of toners for it) - 2 printers are HP 895 cxi with parallel/usb
capability (using them as dedicated USB printers - 1 Canon USB only
inkjet printer (used as dedicated USB Photo printer) All printers are
connected to one computer. The Kodak all in one is not used as yet.

The work load is intermittent as I publish a quarterly Charity
Newsletter 1000 8 duplexed paged copies - plus 500 e-mailed PDF
copies. In addition to running three websites. I also send and
receive numerous daily e-mails for the Charity Helpline as well as
assiduously surf the Internet. The laptop is used primarily to take to
my charity work to show new website setups and various photos and
e-mails to fellow workers.

Any help and advice as to what I really need to set up a simple but
secured home network please - I will not use wireless for security
reasons.

I get the idea I need say a Belkin 16 port fast ethernet switch and
possibly a Prosafe VPN firewall - though I would like to simply use a
switch without the VPN firewall - Is this easily possible??

All advice welcomed!! :-)

Ethernet switch will do what you want - plug broadband cable modem into
wan port and rest into the others.

As regards the non ethernet printers, have a look at print servers.
These are things that connect to your network on one side and the
printers on the other. Some will support multiple printers, some
single.


Thanks Conor

What do you think of a Belkin 16 port Fast Ethernet Switch?

I hope to be able to plug each computer and ethernet printer into the
switch - one at a time - allow switch to negotiate connection - check
operation of last switched item - and it's interactions - then go on
to the next. Is this the correct procedure? (I'm trying to cover the
eventualities :-))

In addition I then hope to be able to only switch on the computer and
printer that I'm about to use - without niggling messages coming up
saying "various networked items NOT switched on" or some such. Is this
the case?

I can easily use the non ethernet printers as dedicated to a single
computer anyway. The last time I used a print server was in 1995 and
it was horrendously slow - I assume they're faster now! I used to run
a 200 computer network then which was easier to understand as nothing
was automatic - rather like new cars! :-) But a multi-printer server
could make things easier.

If I receive an affirmative reply - I'll buy the Belkin and report
back!! :-)

Thanks again - it's such a relief to chat to informed people after an
enforced absence of 4 years - I feel so behind!! :-)


Richard from London UK --
Bambi,Beauty,Brian(Brutus 77-97 Bessie 87-01 Ben 95-06 @ RB)
Greyhounds are for life not just for racing!!
Whittingham Homefinding Scheme
Visit our Kennels
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/greyhounds
www.whittinghamretiredgreyhounds.co.uk
  #7  
Old August 9th 09, 09:22 AM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Alex Fraser
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 553
Default Advice needed on a home network setup

Conor wrote:
In article , Alex
Fraser says...

You need more than just a switch - you need a router.


Why? The broadband cable modem acts as a DHCP server.


No it doesn't. In the days of NTL, although it probably hasn't changed,
the actual DHCP servers appeared to be in a few major data centres
nationwide and the Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTS), located at
the central distribution points (eg one place per town), acted as DHCP
relays.

The cable modem (CM) is a managed bridge, so it is a perfectly valid
network configuration to attach multiple devices through a switch to a
CM. However, the CM can be configured to restrict the number of MAC
addresses on the Ethernet side (it does this by entering each new
address they see into a list which is cleared at power on, until the
list reaches the configured size; only packets from MAC addresses in the
list may be forwarded to the cable side). That number is normally one,
which implies a NAT router is necessary to share the connection.

Alex
  #8  
Old August 9th 09, 09:44 AM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Chris Whelan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 89
Default Advice needed on a home network setup

On Sun, 09 Aug 2009 09:22:35 +0100, Alex Fraser wrote:

Conor wrote:
In article , Alex
Fraser says...

You need more than just a switch - you need a router.


Why? The broadband cable modem acts as a DHCP server.


No it doesn't. In the days of NTL, although it probably hasn't changed,
the actual DHCP servers appeared to be in a few major data centres
nationwide and the Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTS), located at
the central distribution points (eg one place per town), acted as DHCP
relays.

The cable modem (CM) is a managed bridge, so it is a perfectly valid
network configuration to attach multiple devices through a switch to a
CM. However, the CM can be configured to restrict the number of MAC
addresses on the Ethernet side (it does this by entering each new
address they see into a list which is cleared at power on, until the
list reaches the configured size; only packets from MAC addresses in the
list may be forwarded to the cable side). That number is normally one,
which implies a NAT router is necessary to share the connection.

Alex


Thank you for a detailed explanation of how this is configured. I'm
pretty much a complete numpty WRT networking, and had tried
unsuccessfully in the past to use a switch directly connected to my CM.

I found it didn't work, now I understand why!

Chris

--
Remove prejudice to reply.
  #9  
Old August 9th 09, 11:53 AM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Richard Lobb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default Advice needed on a home network setup

A follow up call to Virgin Media my ISP -

I've found they "recommend" - AKA sell - only a Netgear Wireless/4
port switch router WGR614 v6 and will offer "support" for it

They include a Virgin branded Installation CD with it.

So the question is - it gives me my three computer connection - but
only one port left for the printers.

Is it possible to seamlessly add extra ports rather like a USB hub to
extend the ports to cover my three ethernet printers and a print
server for my other printers??

Or is it better to ignore their "help-line" which has proved to be
useless in the past and go for an unsupported system.

My problem is I have no idea if the wireless part is continually
operating and so compromises my proposed deliberate ethernet cable
setup

Suggestions and advice please!! :-)

Richard from London UK --
Bambi,Beauty,Brian(Brutus 77-97 Bessie 87-01 Ben 95-06 @ RB)
Greyhounds are for life not just for racing!!
Whittingham Homefinding Scheme
Visit our Kennels
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/greyhounds
www.whittinghamretiredgreyhounds.co.uk
  #10  
Old August 9th 09, 12:11 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Rob Morley
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,379
Default Advice needed on a home network setup

On Sun, 09 Aug 2009 11:53:10 +0100
Richard Lobb wrote:

A follow up call to Virgin Media my ISP -

I've found they "recommend" - AKA sell - only a Netgear Wireless/4
port switch router WGR614 v6 and will offer "support" for it


They sent me one without my even asking for it, despite the fact that I
bought one elsewhere years ago. I just know that if I sell it then the
other one will fail ...

They include a Virgin branded Installation CD with it.


Totally unnecessary if you ask me - manual setup is easy.

So the question is - it gives me my three computer connection - but
only one port left for the printers.

Is it possible to seamlessly add extra ports rather like a USB hub to
extend the ports to cover my three ethernet printers and a print
server for my other printers??


Just plug a switch into the spare port - that's what they're for. :-)

Or is it better to ignore their "help-line" which has proved to be
useless in the past and go for an unsupported system.


The helpline droids are lost without a script, but we can make it up as
we go along.

My problem is I have no idea if the wireless part is continually
operating and so compromises my proposed deliberate ethernet cable
setup

Just untick the "Enable Wireless Router Radio" box on the advanced
wireless settings page. But properly configured Wi-Fi isn't much of a
risk anyway.

 




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