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Home network question

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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February 8, 2007 2:25:04 AM

I'm about to get my second desktop for my house, the wife wants her own.... and I want to network it together with my first one and my laptop. I bought a dlink wireless router and plugged the ethernet from the modem to the router. I get internet fine on both the desktop and the laptop. Now comes my question: I want to actually share files and share printers and such... Is it possible to do that with all 3 computers? Or is it just possible to do that with the 2 wired ones? Ive heard that you need a computer to act as a firewall and do some sort of conection sharing of the internet. Do i need to go modem, comp1 in, comp 1 out, router and then on? Is it even possible to do what I dream of? If i got an NAS, how would I incorporate that?

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February 8, 2007 1:02:17 PM

Quote:
I'm about to get my second desktop for my house, the wife wants her own.... and I want to network it together with my first one and my laptop. I bought a dlink wireless router and plugged the ethernet from the modem to the router. I get internet fine on both the desktop and the laptop. Now comes my question: I want to actually share files and share printers and such... Is it possible to do that with all 3 computers? Or is it just possible to do that with the 2 wired ones?
All three. You just need to run the home network setup wizard on each computer, set them all to the same workgroup, and enable the folders / printers you want to share.
Quote:
Ive heard that you need a computer to act as a firewall and do some sort of conection sharing of the internet. Do i need to go modem, comp1 in, comp 1 out, router and then on? Is it even possible to do what I dream of?
Your router should have a built-in firewall to protect your network from outside-in attacks. You also need a software firewall on each computer to protect against trojans and the like (renegade applications establishing the connection from the inside-out)
Quote:
If i got an NAS, how would I incorporate that?
You connect it to one of the empty ports on your router and follow the setup instructions from your NAS supplier.
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February 8, 2007 1:12:03 PM

I'm trying to look for an excuse to build an HTPC... If I do ICS through a computer, does that computer need to be on 24/7? Could I have an HTPC act as my input computer?

My idea revolves around my den and a home theater setup: Internet comes in to my HTPC, that routes internet to a wireless switch/hub/acess point. The HTPC is used for recording shows (using a hardware encoder to lighten the load on the PC) and playback on a home theater projector. The HTPC would be on 24/7 and stashed with my projector in the back of the den. I would want to network all 3 computers together and possibly and NAS to watch any of the shows i record on any of my other computers.

Another question: does it make more sense to share a printer hooked up to one of the computers via USB or get a printer that will connect to my router via ethernet? (or is there some sort of adaptor that will connect my USB printer directly to my hub/switch/router?)
February 8, 2007 2:10:40 PM

I think you would be well advised to read a little about home networks, especially the network infrastructure devices.

A couple of basics: You should avoid ICS if possible (IMO). It is too much trouble. A router will allow all of your computers, etc., access to the internet (WAN) as well as manage the IP assignment and related chores for your home network. Plus, they are cheap.

To answer some of your questions, yes, the ICS computer needs to be on whenever anyone wants access to the internet. Is that 24/7? Depends on your needs.

You can share a printer a variety of ways. You can simply enable printer sharing on the computer the printer is attached to. This requires that that computer be powered up whenever anyone wants to use the printer.

You can share the printer using a USB switch. This requires the computers sharing the printer to be relatively close to the printer (USB cable length) and sometimes (depending on the switch) requires manual switching. There are limits as to the number of computers than can share directly (usually 2).

You can combine the two above techniques and allow other computers on the network to share the printer attached to the USB switch. This requires one of the computers physically attached to the printer to be powered on and have printer sharing enabled.

You can purchase a printer server that will attach to ethernet. This will allow all computers on your network to share the printer independently. No other computer needs to be powered on.
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