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Old 2008-04-13, 22:32   Link #21
Potatochobit
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a router without wireless should be relatively cheap, if you can find a decent one that does not have 40 ports and costs a bucket load that would be used in a business LAN.

the main cost though, is going to be in the cables. you dont necessarily need the newest type of cable to surf the internet, so you may find some good deals on older cable.

I would see how much cable u need, then compare it to wireless cards (u dont need expensive cards bear in mind)
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Old 2008-04-13, 22:34   Link #22
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
Probably mentioned already, but, it won't hurt to repeat. Buying a wireless router does not imply buying a wireless card.
It doesn't matter how many Ethernet ports it has. At most, it means buying one less wireless card (since it'd be near my PC). The three PCs are quite far apart, and at any rate, a wireless router is too much of an investment for now. I think it's far cheaper to run an Ethernet cable through the house, even if it's not such an elegant solution.

Quote:
On another subject, if you want to use two ethernet cards on your machine and use internet connection sharing, you may not be very happy with the results (actually, not you since you will be using the main machine, but your family, who will be using the shared connection)
They don't do heavy bandwith usage. Since I'm the only one using BT 24/7, I'm the one who needs it the most. My mom specifically wants to do it because they've banned Yahoo and Gmail access at her office and it's becoming increasingly difficult for her to keep up with her university studies. That's what she wants to do this for: to check email. She's not interested in web surfing. My sister probably only accesses those crappy myspace/fotolog websites and Youtube, and not much more.

Quote:
The effort and the results may not worth the money you will save by not going for the external router-based approach.
Sadly enough, paying more money to keep me away from an enjoyable tinkering does not sound too appealing

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the main cost though, is going to be in the cables.
Ethernet cable is expensive? I'm going to the store tomorrow to check up on the NIC and ask about the cable, but currently I'm seeing (in an Argentine website akin to eBay) extremely cheap deals on it.
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Old 2008-04-13, 23:25   Link #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Ethernet cable is expensive? I'm going to the store tomorrow to check up on the NIC and ask about the cable, but currently I'm seeing (in an Argentine website akin to eBay) extremely cheap deals on it.
Depending on where you buy, you can find it also cheap in US (especially from some of the online stores). The price is, I believe, guaranteed to be high if you buy it from a local retailer (though by high I mean starting at $5-7 range per cable, and compared to $1-2 that is actually high, especially if you buy 4-5 of those). Anyways, I don't know how the quality changes if you buy the cables very cheap, so if there are reviews it is better to check those first.

Quote:
They don't do heavy bandwith usage. Since I'm the only one using BT 24/7, I'm the one who needs it the most. My mom specifically wants to do it because they've banned Yahoo and Gmail access at her office and it's becoming increasingly difficult for her to keep up with her university studies. That's what she wants to do this for: to check email. She's not interested in web surfing. My sister probably only accesses those crappy myspace/fotolog websites and Youtube, and not much more.
I have observed problems even without abusing the bandwidth too much. Your experience may be better. You can try and see how it works out for you (the only additional cost would be another ethernet card in your case, since based on your options you are guaranteed to buy ethernet cables).
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Old 2008-04-13, 23:29   Link #24
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I'm afraid it's not that easy. You'd need to use so-called "crossover" Ethernet cabling in this situation. Connecting a normal Ethernet cable from one machine's network card to another's won't create an electrical connection.

One pair of wires in the cable is designated for transmission (the "TX" pair) and a second pair ("RX") is assigned to receive. Regular cables will connect the TX pair on one machine to the TX pair on the other, and connect the RX pairs together as well. Then the machines don't "hear" any traffic on the RX pairs and are sending data between the TX pairs. A crossover cable connects the TX side of one machine to the RX side of the other, and vice versa.

Since crossover cables are a more specialized item, it would be a lot more costly to use them than to buy a cheapo switch. Plus if you were to swap the cables WK's mother couldn't use her computer when his sister is online. Just buy the switch; you'll get more flexibility in the long run, too.
This is a good point. I know that all newer Apple systems have an auto-MDI/MDIX feature on their NICs (not sure when that started); I sort of assumed that all newer NICs would have this feature as well, but I guess not.

If I understand it right, if the card has auto-MDI/MDIX then crossover cables are not necessary because the NIC interprets what the device is on the other end and switches its interpretation of the cable automatically. You could use a crossover cable or a regular patch cable with such a card. It's probably not a safe assumption to make that all NICs these days support it; the NIC in my Macbook Pro is a Marvell Yukon card (Yukon Gigabit Adapter 88E8053 Singleport Copper SA). I'd imagine that NICs should advertise whether they have that feature or not, and if it isn't as commonplace as I'd assumed then it might only be on higher-end cards. Definitely worth checking out either way.
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Old 2008-04-13, 23:41   Link #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
If I understand it right, if the card has auto-MDI/MDIX then crossover cables are not necessary because the NIC interprets what the device is on the other end and switches its interpretation of the cable automatically.
I don't know the details on that, but, I was able to use ICS successfully without using a crossover cable. So, what you are saying might be true.
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Old 2008-04-13, 23:42   Link #26
bayoab
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Ethernet cable is expensive?
In the states, yes. Plain generic regular cat5/cat6 is not easily found in stores. It does not matter whether you get generic plain or super high quality cable for what you are doing though. The performance difference will be indistinguishable.

As said by others, crossover cable (computer <-> computer) on the other hand is much more expensive than regular cat5. You can usually buy 2 or 3 regular cat cables for the price of one crossover. If you know a small computer shop that makes and sells its own cables, they will usually make you one for a fraction of the price though.
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Old 2008-04-14, 07:35   Link #27
SeijiSensei
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Originally Posted by Fipskuul View Post
On another subject, if you want to use two ethernet cards on your machine and use internet connection sharing, you may not be very happy with the results (actually, not you since you will be using the main machine, but your family, who will be using the shared connection). It is not a stable approach. The effort and the results may not worth the money you will save by not going for the external router-based approach.
You're referring to the Internet Connection Sharing method that comes with Windows, no? ICS seemed tacked on by MIcrosoft. Linux, like all *nix systems, handles routing and packet filtering in the kernel.

I have a Linux router running NAT, an OpenVPN tunnel, and the squid proxy in front of some 250 workstations at one client site. It doesn't break a sweat (even if it could). At one time it was a 586 machine, but we swapped it out recently to a 2.4 GHz P4 purely on aging grounds. I've been building Linux routers for over a decade now; performance is never an issue.

WK, it might be worthwhile to find out exactly what it is your parents want to limit about your sister's usage. Is it the amount of time she's online? The types of places she can, or cannot, visit? Squid is a remarkably powerful tool for shaping people's web usage with elaborate access control features. It also keeps logs of users' browsing habits, so your parents could see if she strayed off course.

My daughter has had pretty much unfettered Internet access since she was in elementary school. I did run squid and could browse the logs from time to time, but usually I was trying to figure out the sources of the occasional spyware infections she got back when she was still a Windows user. I even let her have a computer in her bedroom which she could use privately. Maybe I'm just lucky to have such a wonderful daughter, but she didn't spend time at questionable sites or download "dirty" content. I had a bigger problem blocking porn spam from her mailbox, especially in the days when porn spam actually contained explicit pictures in the message bodies rather than off-site links.
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Old 2008-04-14, 07:54   Link #28
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
WK, it might be worthwhile to find out exactly what it is your parents want to limit about your sister's usage. Is it the amount of time she's online? The types of places she can, or cannot, visit? Squid is a remarkably powerful tool for shaping people's web usage with elaborate access control features. It also keeps logs of users' browsing habits, so your parents could see if she strayed off course.
It's basically the amount of time she's online. She's gotta study for a series of entrance exams to a really good high school here (though I did the same at her age and hadn't really studied that much ) so they want her to be fully concentrated in it.
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Old 2008-04-14, 09:30   Link #29
GHDpro
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I'd like to repeat again that buying a wireless router does not mean you actually have to use the wireless capabilities. You can just use it as a wired router, like this:
Spoiler for Maybe a bit large image:

Then if you decide you want to go wireless sometime in the future OR if you buy a notebook OR if a friend comes over with a notebook, they can connect easily.

And if you look around, a wireless router shouldn't be more expensive than a wired one (not much anyway). Actually I got the exact model pictured above (Netgear) for a friend of my sister just a week ago for about 30 euro, which is about as low as you can go here.

You may have to shop around a bit though, as one shop I went to only had "N" (100+ Mbps wirelss speed) class wireless routers, which are much more expensive than the slightly older but still quite capable "G" (54Mbps) class wireless.

Edit:
I just noticed you're neither in the US or Europe, so I'm not sure what kind of hardware is available in your country and/or at what price. If wireless is really much more expensive, ignore my advice.
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Old 2008-04-14, 09:37   Link #30
WanderingKnight
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I just noticed you're neither in the US or Europe, so I'm not sure what kind of hardware is available in your country and/or at what price. If wireless is really much more expensive, ignore my advice.
Everything over here is cheaper... everything, that is, except electronics. It's the only thing we get at the same price, or even a little higher, than the first world countries. A wireless router is definitely not cheap, even as a long term solution. The one proposed by SeijiSensei is dirtier but cheaper, and if we really need a router-related solution in the future, we'll see about that when the time comes. Until then, using my PC as a router is a lot cheaper, especially for the kind of usage my family will be giving to the bandwith.
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Old 2008-04-14, 11:31   Link #31
grey_moon
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Dragging UTP across the house is horribly messy imho and doors catching the cable can cause it to start having loads of errors. Has anyone mentioned homeplug solutions yet? homeplug v2 is out @200mbps (well it goes up to 200mbps, but that is dependant on your line). It's meant to be much more stable now then the companies which did their own versions before the standard was ratified. Unfortunately it is a bit expensive....

But if u do go for a wireless router (I recommend it unless u have a low power headless box), then I go for what martino said earlier about dd-wrt, they have a list of all the supported routers and they are normally quite cheap.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices
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Old 2008-04-14, 12:30   Link #32
Ledgem
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Homeplug - is that one of those LANs that work through the power lines? The idea is pretty neat and doesn't require much in the way of wiring but it's pretty hard to come by the components for it. I've also heard that it isn't as simple as they make it out to be - in order for it to work the network plugs need to be connected to sockets that are on the same circuit (or something to that extent). If you have a modest house you're probably in luck, but if you're living in some sort of mansion then you'll need to find the wiring layout so that you can match it up properly. The devices won't see each other if they're on different wiring sets.
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Old 2008-04-14, 13:54   Link #33
grey_moon
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Homeplug - is that one of those LANs that work through the power lines? The idea is pretty neat and doesn't require much in the way of wiring but it's pretty hard to come by the components for it. I've also heard that it isn't as simple as they make it out to be - in order for it to work the network plugs need to be connected to sockets that are on the same circuit (or something to that extent). If you have a modest house you're probably in luck, but if you're living in some sort of mansion then you'll need to find the wiring layout so that you can match it up properly. The devices won't see each other if they're on different wiring sets.
Yup! Personally I didn't know the actual standard was called homeplug and the devices that were released that were faster then 85mbps, before hp v2 came out were really unstable, but from reviews of the actual homeplug v2 (200mbps) they are stable. I haven't heard of any that have hit 200mbps, and some of the makes only have a 10/100mbps controller oO.

Not too sure what a circuit is now as my big boss has his with one down stairs and one up stairs and he is positive that they are on different fuses (on the same fuse box).
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Old 2008-04-14, 14:09   Link #34
WanderingKnight
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lol, I just remembered this motherboard carries an onboard NIC, and that I had put in an extra one my dad had lying about when I put the box together, so I guess I'll use that. Either way, the Windows box doesn't seem to have a NIC (it's a premade box, so I have no goddamn clue what's in it without popping it open, something I'll get to in the weekend), so I think buying one is inevitable.
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Old 2008-04-14, 14:35   Link #35
Fipskuul
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
You're referring to the Internet Connection Sharing method that comes with Windows, no? ICS seemed tacked on by MIcrosoft. Linux, like all *nix systems, handles routing and packet filtering in the kernel.

I have a Linux router running NAT, an OpenVPN tunnel, and the squid proxy in front of some 250 workstations at one client site. It doesn't break a sweat (even if it could). At one time it was a 586 machine, but we swapped it out recently to a 2.4 GHz P4 purely on aging grounds. I've been building Linux routers for over a decade now; performance is never an issue.
That is good to hear. If I ever give it a try for Linux, I would definitely use that option to see its performance.
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Old 2008-04-14, 14:54   Link #36
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d-link, $40.
Standard routers that are used in many houses and offices are prob the best choice for you.
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Old 2008-04-14, 15:23   Link #37
SeijiSensei
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Either way, the Windows box doesn't seem to have a NIC (it's a premade box, so I have no goddamn clue what's in it without popping it open, something I'll get to in the weekend), so I think buying one is inevitable.
I haven't seen a machine without motherboard Ethernet in a very long time. Take another look near the USB and keyboard/mouse ports. You can also review the machine's hardware inventory by running the System applet from the Windows control panel. You'll see a button or tab that displays a tree with the machine's hardware; look under Network Adapters.
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Old 2008-04-14, 15:28   Link #38
grey_moon
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I haven't seen a machine without motherboard Ethernet in a very long time. Take another look near the USB and keyboard/mouse ports. You can also review the machine's hardware inventory by running the System applet from the Windows control panel. You'll see a button or tab that displays a tree with the machine's hardware; look under Network Adapters.
If it is wired then it is all about gigabit now. I made a mistake with my shuttle and if I paid 30gbp more I could have got the version with a gig nic in it. Not such an issue for WK since they mentioned sharing internet connections (100mbps most in places like HK), but it does make a huuuuggge difference* if your family start using a NAS to store their data. Great solution for sharing media.

*ofc - patience is the best substitute for speed
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Old 2008-04-14, 17:13   Link #39
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
I haven't seen a machine without motherboard Ethernet in a very long time. Take another look near the USB and keyboard/mouse ports. You can also review the machine's hardware inventory by running the System applet from the Windows control panel. You'll see a button or tab that displays a tree with the machine's hardware; look under Network Adapters.
That's exactly where I looked earlier. I can see an Ethernet port near the USB ports now that I look at it, though. However, I haven't been able to find it in the Hardware app thingie XP has. It wasn't even listed as unrecognized hardware.
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Old 2008-04-15, 04:20   Link #40
Sides
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
That's exactly where I looked earlier. I can see an Ethernet port near the USB ports now that I look at it, though. However, I haven't been able to find it in the Hardware app thingie XP has. It wasn't even listed as unrecognized hardware.
Check the bios, maybe it has be disabled. Are you sure it is an ethernet port and not a RJ11?
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