Scott Hanselman

Hanselminutes Podcast 66 - Setting up a Home Network

June 02, 2007 Comment on this post [7] Posted in Podcast
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My sixty-sixth podcast is up, and Carl and I take a moment to discuss Home Networking. We chat about the benefits of Wired vs. Wireless, when you might saturate your network and security. 

If you have trouble downloading, or your download is slow, do try the torrent with Āµtorrent or another BitTorrent Downloader.

Links from the Show

More on Alternate Linksys Firmware (pkx)
On Losing Data and a Family Backup Strategy (pkz)
Leaving Comcast for Verizon Fios - Upgrading the Home Network to Fiber Optic (pl1)
Configuring PPTP VPN with alternate Linksys Router Firmware (pky)

Do also remember the complete archives are always up and they have PDF Transcripts, a little known feature that show up a few weeks after each show.

Telerik is our sponsor for this show.

Check out their UI Suite of controls for ASP.NET. It's very hardcore stuff. One of the things I appreciate about Telerik is their commitment to completeness. For example, they have a page about their Right-to-Left support while some vendors have zero support, or don't bother testing. They also are committed to XHTML compliance and publish their roadmap. It's nice when your controls vendor is very transparent.

As I've said before this show comes to you with the audio expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple. Avoid wasting the listener's time. (and make the commute less boring)

Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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June 02, 2007 20:43
One correction to the podcast:
* Scott, you introduced Hamachi as being open-source. It's closed-source freeware.

You requested listener input for this one, so here goes ...

[remoting in]
To remote into my home network, I either:
* VPN into my gateway router (wrt-54g running dd-wrt firmware) running OpenVPN and DynDNS
* Use hamachi
* running on primary server as a means of "getting back in" when VPN isn't happy
* occasionally, I run it on home workstations if I might want to VNC in from work

[network cable]
We're renting a home and pulling cable is out of the question. Instead, almost every room in the house has a set of bunny ears (wrt54g) hiding somewhere ... these all bridge wirelessly to my main wireless network and act just like network jacks in the wall would (devices dhcp into the main subnet).
* Benefits include: inexpensive, no messing with wires, very easy to configure using dd-wrt firmware on routers, pretty darned secure (WPA w/AES + MAC Filter), ethernet-ready devices don't need wireless adapters, good alternative to pulling cable if it's not an option
* Downsides include: much slower than cables, your (encrypted) data is still flying around in the air.

[home media]
* Host: local server hosting video/music shares over SMB
* Clients: the living room and bedrooms each have a networked xbox (plugged into bridged wrt54g's) running xbox media center (XBMC) reading our media from the SMB shares. Each room also has a nice wireless xbox controller (as our 'remote').
* Benefits include: the same as multiple replayTVs ... you're watching saved TV/movies in your living room and get tired ... turn off the TV, turn on the TV in the bedroom ... and continue watching. Also, original xboxes are very inexpensive and XBMC is a great application that'll play just about any video you throw at it (weird codecs that your PC might struggle with, etc).
* Downsides: we don't have a DVR - this only supports playing videos you give it. Our system of downloading media is completely automated, but one day I would want to tie a DVR into this setup. I would also like a way to stream videos when I want to watch them remotely ... I've never found something that works as well as I'd like.


some links / my systems, for those who want them

* all workstations (personal laptops) are running , as are all servers. servers have two functions: / sharing + . all services are hosted from VMs (some custom, many ).

firmware for wrt-54g linksys routers
includes howtos for OpenVPN, setting up local DNS, Wireless bridging, DynDNS, and all kinds of great things

... *praying that the links work* ... i hope i get a preview of the comment before submission ...
June 02, 2007 20:51
Scott, I would love some comment previews! :)

trying my links again, this time with normal HTML:

* all workstations (personal laptops) are running ubuntu linux, as are all servers. servers have two functions: smb/nfs sharing + vmware. all services are hosted from VMs (some custom, many pre-built).
* xbox media center"
* dd-wrt firmware for wrt-54g linksys routers
* dd-wrt tutorials wiki includes howtos for OpenVPN, setting up local DNS, Wireless bridging, DynDNS, and all kinds of great things
* hamachi

Thanks for the show, Scott!
June 02, 2007 21:27
Great feedback Remi, and thanks for the Hamachi correction!
June 04, 2007 8:48
It's true that Replay had it first and it took Tivo years to catch up, but Tivo does have Remote Room Viewing now. You can also transcode any media file on the fly and share it to your tivo from your Desktop.
June 04, 2007 11:37
Have you tried powerline ethernet adapters? I'm very happy with the Linksys PLK200/PLE200, especially for the bandwidth it offers and the scalability it offers. I have three and am planning to add more. Excellent results for HD content. To me atleast Wireless now seems good only for untethered devices(such as a laptop) and for everything else Powerline seems a better alternative: NAS boxes, PCs, DVRs, Gaming stations etc.

Great shows, always, thanks
June 04, 2007 11:53
Great show! There were some useful tips and hints, but I think the main thing is that it opened my eyes to the obvious: I need to sit down and make an inventory, fully understand what I've got, outline what I want, and find out the diffs.

June 13, 2007 5:31
Just on the VNC part of the show: I use RealVNC almost exclusively at home and at work, however I ran into a roadblock when trying to walk someone through installing hamachi, joining my network and running RealVNC and opening a port on windows firewall blah blah blah. I had done it for three aunts and my mother so I thought I was Superman, and then a more tech-savvy-friend stopped me in my tracks!

I tried out Crossloop, which is a front-end type of thing for UltraVNC. download and install, click host and have them tell you what the six-digit number on the crossloop 'dashboard' is, you click connect and type in the number and poof just like that, I was remoting her laptop in Italy.

Made me a 'switcher' just like that. I still use RealVNC at work and around my own house but as soon as I need to help someone, it's like a quickdraw to crossloop :)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.