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PC as server on home network

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September 22, 2010 5:36:19 AM

Hi guys, I've been thinking on using my PC as a server on my home network, my Motherboard comes with 2 LAN ports, so what I thought I could do is, connect MY pc directly to the internet router, and then, connect a switch to my other LAN port, and let others computers connect through this computer, is that possible?

If it is, can you please tell me how, I think I have an idea of how to do it, but no completely sure...

Thanks

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September 22, 2010 7:23:18 AM

Xtrastor said:
Hi guys, I've been thinking on using my PC as a server on my home network, my Motherboard comes with 2 LAN ports, so what I thought I could do is, connect MY pc directly to the internet router, and then, connect a switch to my other LAN port, and let others computers connect through this computer, is that possible?

If it is, can you please tell me how, I think I have an idea of how to do it, but no completely sure...

Thanks


Yes it is possible to make your home PC a server I have done it a few times. You don't need 2 networking cards though unless you wanted said server to function as a router. If you wish to convert your home pc into a home server there is a couple ways you could do it.

You could install something like ubuntu server which would be linux based. This would be a free solution and also wouldn't require as many system requirements.
Here is a good site to learn about linux servers and how to set them up.

You could also go the windows server route and use Windows Server 2008, 2003, Small Business Server (SBS), or Windows Home Server (WHS). Windows Server 2008, 2003, and SBS are very expensive unless you are a tech student at a college with a MSDNAA access (Through MSDNAA Students receive free Microsoft product downloads like Windows 7 Pro, Windows Server 2008 and etc.) you will be spending way more than it is worth to you otherwise. Then there is Windows Home Server which is your best bet if you want to go the Windows route. WHS is only about $99 bucks and or old PC will be able to preform automatic network backups, Central storage that is accessible through the local network as well as the internet. You can also stream music and video over the internet and local LAN which is pretty cool.

...or Microsoft also has a new WHS 2 Beta code named "Vail" availible for free. You can try that out here . I must warn you though, it has known bugs and there is very little help for WHS 2 "vail" since it is so new and not even a final product yet.

Hope this helps! :bounce: 

...and if you have anymore questions let me know and I'll help you out the best I can. I am a Networking student so I know a little about networking. I am still learning though and by no means considered a pro yet but I'll get there soon enough :sol: 
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September 22, 2010 7:53:42 AM

Amazing answer cbviking!!! Thanks.

The problem in my home is my brothers, they like to watch a lot of videos on youtube or movies online while I'm playing, so i get a loooot of LAG, what I wanted to do is:
Connect my PC to the modem that my Internet provider gave me, so I'll be directly connected, and then, through the other LAN port, connect my Linksys wireless router, so if I do it this way, I could limit the upload and download speed of that LAN port, so the router (and all the computers connected to it) would be limited, so, in this way I won't get any LAG.
I know there is an option in network connections that allows other network computers to connect through my computer internet connection, so that was the option that I was thinking, is not like a real server, is just, that I want to be able to limit every PC in my home network but from my PC.

For this, I will use NetLimiter, so as I said before, I just have to limit the speed on that LAN port and everyone inside my Linksys router would be limited as well.

Thanks again.
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September 22, 2010 6:16:10 PM

I know exactly what you need! You need to set up QoS provided your router has this function. It allows networks to to give priority to certain hosts/protocols on your network. With QoS you would set your computer to have priority over other host on the network. Most routers have this feature but I was wondering what kind of router are you using at home? I see that you said you had a Linksys but what is the model number? If you flip it around on the bottom of your router should be the model number.

I use a Linksys wrt54GL flashed with a third party firmware (DD-WRT big) Which turns my little old 60 dollar router into a 500 dollar router! The linksys firmware doesn't have many features and doesn't unlock your routers true potential. My router even has VPN features which are very expensive features to have on your router.

regardless your router should have QoS capabilities. This site may help with setting it up

Hope this helps :)  let me know if you have any trouble.


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September 23, 2010 1:47:08 AM

Thanks, the model number of my router is: WRT54G2 ver1.5; How can I flash the firmware in order to have those extra features?, right now I have the QoS that comes with it but, for me, it just sucks, I haven't felt any difference with QoS at all, but maybe is because it is too limited.

Is there a way to limit the bandwidth to wireless PCs also?

Thanks again
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September 23, 2010 8:58:55 AM

Unfortunatuly your router cannot be flashed with a 3rd party firmware because your router's specific model only has 2 mb of flash memory. The Linksys WRT54G2 v1.0, 1.1, 1.3 are supported however :fou:  .

So that kills that option unless you want to spend some money on a better router that can be flashed with DD-WRT, Tomato, or openWRT. I could help you find one that would be good for cheap if you decided you wanted to do that. The router I got was only $60 and it works like a pro. The only thing I don't like about it is that it is only 802.11B and G.

It sounds like the Linksys firmware fails once again...oh what a surprise lol. To control the bandwidth on your network whether it be a protocol or a wireless host on the network you will want an effective QoS set up on the router level.

Bummer about your router not being able to be flashed...I could of helped you on that. I have done it a few times on a couple of different routers.
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September 23, 2010 5:51:19 PM

Thanks, ok, why dont you give me good options for routers and I'll buy the best one?, depends on the price too but I'll see how much I can spend in a router.

Nice day.

PD: I would be able to sell the router that I have to a cousin that the only thing that he needs is wireless, so... ;) 
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September 23, 2010 7:17:23 PM

I would totally sell your router to your cousin if he wants it... You could prob get 20-30 bucks for it or if you wanna be nice you could sell it for cheaper.

Here's a link to a WRT54GL router for $60 bucks on amazon. this router is fully compatible with DD-WRT : http://www.amazon.com/Cisco-Linksys-WRT54GL-Wireless-G-...

...or you could get a Asus WL-520GU for around $45 bucks and it is fully compatible with DD-WRT and has a USB port for network storage or to share a printer : http://www.amazon.com/Asus-WL-520GU-ASUS-Wireless-Route...

Then there is always the 802.11n route. The n standard is consideribly faster but it will cost you a little more.

Cisco-Linksys WRT350N Wireless-N Gigabit Router with Storage Link goes for around $150 and is fully compatible. This is a very nice router if you want to spend the money : http://www.amazon.com/Cisco-Linksys-WRT350N-Wireless-N-...

There is a lot more routers out there but those where just a couple I would look at if I wanted to get a new router. Also if you don't like any of these routers I can look for more. These routers were mentioned as the best to use with DD-WRT which is probably the most popular 3rd party firmware for routers.
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September 23, 2010 8:19:23 PM

Now that you mention the USB feature, I think that in my case it'll work perfect too, because I need to share my printer over the network, and the USB is perfect...

I looked at the linksys, the style is horrible, but... well whats important is whats inside :p ...

I also found this other, maybe you can check them out and see what you think:
Netgear: http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-RangeMax-Wireless-N300-Gi...
Buffalo: http://www.amazon.com/Buffalo-Technology-Nfiniti-Wirele...
Those are N wireless routers, but I don't really think that I need a N router at the moment.

Is there another G wireless router that you would recommend me? (it would be great if it comes with an USB for sharing my printer ^^)

Thanks

PD: between the linksys and the asus,which one would you recommend?
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September 24, 2010 12:18:40 AM

The buffalo router is fully compatible with DD-WRT I just checked. It also looks pretty solid and has the USB port you are looking for :) 

The netgear one is also supported . Personally I am not a big fan of netgear I had their expensive WNDR3700 router which was a step up from the one you mentioned and I had problems with it. The range was terrible in N mode, G actually went further which is crazy. Also, the 5 Ghz band was almost not existent unless you were close to the router! I returned that router so fast! and got a Linksys WRT54G-TM router which is pretty much the same as the GL. I also overclocked it and put an extra heatsink and that router performs like a pro! Plus it only cost $60 on ebay.

Linksys has been good to me as long as the default firmware is not being used lol :pt1cable: 

If I had to choose between the Asus one and the Linksys one I would the Asus one because it:

A) Has the USB port you want to share your printer
B) Fully Compatible with DD-WRT (so is the GL)
C) It's Cheaper
D) Good product reviews
E) Supposedly this router has increased G speeds up to 125 mb/s. I'm not sure if it actually works but if it does that would be very nice.
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September 24, 2010 5:28:36 AM

Couldn't you just bridge the two interfaces and limit the bandwidth on the NIC connected to your brother's computers?
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September 24, 2010 7:01:02 AM

Quote:
Couldn't you just bridge the two interfaces and limit the bandwidth on the NIC connected to your brother's computers?


You could but on that pc you would have to convert it into a server, either linux or windows. Then install a routing role for Windows or package for linux that would turn the computer into a router essentially. You could install other stuff on it too like a file server and web server.From there you could install QoS software etc... To limit the bandwidth of a specific host on the network you need do it on router level. Windows XP can't function as a router even if you have dual NICs. Yes there is ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) in XP but you can not limit the bandwidth of the PC. If I'm wrong please correct me but I believe that is the way it is.

Since he has no knowledge of how a server runs or operates it would be much simpler to purchase a new router that would either have good stock QoS functionality or be able to be flashed by a third party firmware that has good QoS functionality.

Anyways, that's just my humble opinion...If I'm wrong I encourage you to correct me. I am a Networking Student and I'm always trying to improve and I most definitely don't have all the answers :) 
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September 24, 2010 10:22:49 AM

I'm still searching for more options, here's the problem, I want to buy a new router especially for GAMING, I dont really know what features have to come with it, but, dont you think that the Asus seems pretty much a normal router or not? (if not, I would decide to buy the asus)

Here's another one that I found (but it cannot be flashed with dd-wrt, so it doesn't make any sense):
http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-DIR-655-Extreme-Gigabit-Wi...

I'm also considering the Buffalo, but this is my first time listening of that brand, and Asus I KNOW for sure that it is a great brand.

My cousin is going to give me like $30 for the one that I own, he already said yes, now, the only thing left is to choose which one better suits my gaming specifications xD

So, what to do?, final decision ASUS?

Thanks
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September 24, 2010 8:10:47 PM

Wow, talk about over complicating something that is fairly simple.

You have an internet router.
Plug your switch into the internet router.
Plug all computers into the switch.

As far as the movie portion you can install QoS on each computer and tweak it there but that requires some math. I don't know what your router has in it but you may be able to tweak a setting in there. First I would recommend you try working without QoS or anything else. Netflix for example uses Silverlight which doesn't do that much traffic over the internet. If they are streaming videos over the network from another computer, you won't notice any issues.

Worst case I would look like a Linksys brand router that offers QoS. You might get stuck buying one online and spending a little more money but it will more than pay for itself in short time. I recently replaced my router which was nearly 10 years old.

What speed is your internet connection as well? You could have the best equipment but if your internet connection is slow, upgradin that may be the best solution overall.
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September 26, 2010 10:18:58 AM

My internet connection is 1Mbps download / 512Kbps upload (it's slow I know), but that's why I really want a good router and good QoS in order to limit the other PC's in my network, so I wont have so much problems while playing.

Thanks
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September 27, 2010 4:32:31 AM

cbviking said:
Quote:
Couldn't you just bridge the two interfaces and limit the bandwidth on the NIC connected to your brother's computers?


You could but on that pc you would have to convert it into a server, either linux or windows. Then install a routing role for Windows or package for linux that would turn the computer into a router essentially. You could install other stuff on it too like a file server and web server.From there you could install QoS software etc... To limit the bandwidth of a specific host on the network you need do it on router level. Windows XP can't function as a router even if you have dual NICs. Yes there is ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) in XP but you can not limit the bandwidth of the PC. If I'm wrong please correct me but I believe that is the way it is.

Since he has no knowledge of how a server runs or operates it would be much simpler to purchase a new router that would either have good stock QoS functionality or be able to be flashed by a third party firmware that has good QoS functionality.

Anyways, that's just my humble opinion...If I'm wrong I encourage you to correct me. I am a Networking Student and I'm always trying to improve and I most definitely don't have all the answers :) 


If you select multiple active network connections from control panel and right click, you have the option to bridge networks. I'm not sure what happens (probably setting some static ips and forwarding) but windows does all its fancy stuff in the background and gives you the equivalent of a bridge. The bridged section will still get regular ips from your dhcp server. I've done this once before so I know it works but kind of remember there was quite a bit of fiddling around to get it to work.

Riser's solution is the simplest so probably go with that if possible. It costs you nothing :)  Or you could go with a tricked out router if you feel the need...
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September 28, 2010 5:54:02 PM

Your internet connection is a big portion of the slow speeds. Watching a video on youtube requires a lot of downloading to speed it up. That will reduce your game's ability to download the data it requires. Uploading on the otherhand shouldn't be affected as much.
The lag you're getting is most likely due to your computer trying to get the data it needs from the game (download) and youtube is eatting all you bandwidth up on the download portion. Normally most people have issues with upload speeds.

Upgrading your internet connection would be ideal if you could. 1Mbps isn't really a lot when it comes sharing computers. One computer, yeah it'll do. Two computers, you'll see some issues.

I doubt even QoS will be able to help much in your situation.
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October 3, 2010 10:02:28 PM

Best answer selected by Xtrastor.
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May 21, 2012 5:55:34 AM

For Qos to be effective start by using 50% of your internet spped as the limits in the Qos settings. You will n9tice a big difference in the quality that everyone will get. Once you like what is happening you can rsise the limit setting 5% at a time untill you notice that os is no longer effective. Then back the settings back downa dn that will be the most your current connection can handle.

Most of the time that Qos "dont work for me" its because it was setup with to high of limits on the Qos. Qos cannot control bandwidth if you set its settings to high. I personally used to use 50% as my settings as yes your are sacrificing some speed. However i could never tell when others werre using the inters=net as the Qos did a amazing job.
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