So when I move into my new place, I want to have a "state of the art", solid network setup, with multiple desktops, laptops, and gaming devices on it, as well as file sharing/storage/auto-backups, and print sharing. The problem is, I'm currently unaware of the internet speeds in the area. My friends are currently living there, and they informed me Time Warner Cable provided them with a cable modem (not sure exacts speeds they are getting with it?) Anyway, besides not knowing my true net speeds, I'm attempting to map-out a setup for when I get there. So here's my crude network map (sorry, I don't have visio on this computer). http://postimage.org/image/32looo1c4/
I already have a D-Link DGL-4500 Wireless GamingLounge Router and I'm unsure of what switch to buy, and if this is how the setup actually looks when using a switch, router, and a firewall when setting up a wireless home network and connecting to the net? Is using a separate firewall what I should be doing?
As the drawing showed, I'm connecting:
-5 PCs (2 desktops, 3 laptops)
-2 xbox 360's
-1 file server
All through a switch, d-link router, all through a firewall into a cable modem. My plan was to get a 1-2TB external HDD and use it as a file server, as well as using a USB hub splitter to plug that and a printer (don't have a network printer, just a cheap USB hp inkjet) into the USB port on the D-Link gaming router. Would that work? I'm a real noob when it comes to networking, so any help w/ this or pointing in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. Also, what sort of guidance or direction can you give me on configurations for everything? I have a decent price range to work with, but obviously the less-expensive, the better.
The router already has a firewall in it, so unless you want to spend extra money no need for another one.
Switch, any name brand gigabit switch will do, just get one with enough ports for your needs. I don't think a splitter will work well with the port on the router for sharing. If you want to have a central file storage, get a NAS that connects through the switch. When I used my USB port on the router with a usb drive, I always got errors after a large copy of over a few gig. Not very stable.
That router already has a basic FW inside of it, you just need to purchase the required switch. I'd recommend a high quality one from D-Link or Belkin.
You should also invest into building your own home server. My suggestion is to stay AWAY from NAS devices, you won't get much for your investment. I have a good home server / file server listed in the systems section, I'll link you to it.
It's basically a Via Nano platform with an external eSATA RAID enclosure. Insert four disks and share them out and your golden. If you chose you can run AD / DNS and any "service" package you want from there, you to you. It's cheaper then NAS's and gives you significantly more flexibility and power. The only down side is that you must be familiar with building a PC and installing / configuring your own software.
Palladin's Home Server with hot swappable hardware RAID array
I won't be able to use your standard due to me using a Mini-ITX Via board with an external array, so I'll break it into two parts.
Case: Morex 2766 Expandable Mini-ITX case $82.50
Power Supply: Included in case.
Cooling: Included in case / mobo
DVD Burner: Not used, if required use USB DVD-Drive for OS installation, also recommended to have a USB Floppy drive or USB Thumb drive for Windows Storage Driver installation.
Total Base Cost: 280.47
Power Consumption of less then 40W.
That concludes the base system, this will host the OS of choice (Windows Server / Linux). I chose to go with a slower 2.5" inch notebook HDD to reduce system power consumption. The point of this system is to have rock bottom power usage with the ability to do full disk encryption at full R/W speed with Via Padlock and Diskcryptor. The actual storage system is below and is modular, I've priced it at 4x1TB disks but the user can chose to go with whatever.
Total Cost of Storage Subsystem: $446.85
Power Consumption of under 40W, tonight I'll read the material again.
Cost of System without Disks: $487.45 (Cheaper then Commercial "NAS" solutions")
Cost of System with 4x1TB disks: $727.32
Cost of System with 4x2TB disks: $807.41
You connect the MediaSonic Enclosure to your Base Server through an eSATA Cable. This sections off your storage system so that even if your server crash's you can still access / retrieve your data by connecting the enclosure to your PC. If you've encrypted the disks then ensure you have a backup key stored on a USB thumbdrive. The disks in the enclosure are hot-swappable and it has been tested with up to 3TB SATA disks. The enclosure has its own RAID I/O controller that will do the XOR math for RAID-5, this is not fake raid / software raid but real HW RAID. The enclosure supports RAID 1 /0 / 5 / 1+0, so pick your poison. The server has a 1Gbps network interface, the Jetway board supports add-on daughter cards that you can purchase. The daughter cards include a 3 x 1Gbps network card if you desire additional network ports.
[How I use it]
This is what I use inside my home, I have Windows 2003 Server Enterprise loaded on the base system with DNS and Active Directory configured. I'm sharing out the RAID-5 array. I have installed Windows Services for Unix and have enabled single sign on for my Solaris / Linux systems using my AD credentials. I stream video's from this system to a WD TV Live and several laptops / netbooks / computers in the house. I use this system to store all my downloads and file, it's become my own personal "cloud" if you will. This is more then a NAS, its a full home server.