noob network questions

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noob network questions

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:20 pm

Hey guys,

Here's my equipement:

Windows 7 PC (Main computer for gaming and general browsing etc)
HTPC (serves as main host to media files, used daily for watching cable TV and netflix, light gaming)
various WIFI devices, iphone, ipad, mac book, bluray player, tv, etc
Modem = comcast cable modem, not sure what model
Router = apple airport extreme wireless N
wifi adapter = TP Link 150mbps thingy (Connected to main PC, I don't have any way to wire this PC)

I currently have two PCs in my household and I was wondering if it makes a difference which PC "creates" my home network through Windows 7. My cable modem and router are downstairs, my main PC (which used to be my only PC) is located upstairs and connected over wifi. This is where I have my apple airport utility installed and where I originally created the network through windows 7. A while back I built a HTPC located downstairs connected directly to the router and I simply just connect to the existing network I had.

My question is, would there be any performance gains if I were to recreate my home network on the HTPC since its actually wired to the router? Before I make any changes I thought I would ask here.
Also, my main PC is where I created my homesharing through windows, would it make a difference if I created it on the wired PC?

I don't really have any serious issues, occasionally I'll transfer a video file or game file from my main PC to my HTPC via wifi, if the file is large or if I'm transferring multiple files I notice I'll lose connection. I'm not sure if its an issue with my wifi adapter or if my router is just being over worked or something. Unfortunately I can't wire both PCs . Also the network will drop if I'm gaming while torrenting and both of my kids are watching netflix simultaneously with the wireless devices, again, not sure if its the router to blame or the modem.

My network is pretty simple, pretty much just used the airport utility from apple to create the network, enable security and marked the network as hidden, then joined the network through windows. Any suggestions to optimize my network would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance,
AMD Phenom II x4 955 | ASUS M4A87TD Evo | 8GB G-Skill ddr3 | XFX Radeon 6950 2gb | Antec BP 550 | Antec 300 | Windows 7 64
Skullzer
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Re: noob network questions

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:45 pm

Alright, let me preface this by saying that I haven't used an Apple Airport, nor have I ever bothered trying to network with Win7, beyond hardwiring my PC to my DSL router, and to my franken-network of various cisco devices.


Since the HTPC is wired to the router already, you won't see any speed gains on the wireless devices while streaming movies from it. That's about as good as that part of the network is gonna get.

If you're sharing from your PC via WiFi to the Airport, then to the other devices in the house, then yeah, it'll be faster if you move that stuff to the HTPC.

Remember, the top rated speed of the 802.11n is assuming you've got clear LOS to the AP, and are pretty close to it. With your PC being upstairs, depending on distance, and what wall/floor construction is between you and the Airport, you probably aren't get as much speed as you should be, and that affects traffic from you to other devices in the house. Hardwired to the router/radio is going to beat that every time.

If it were me, I'd either upgrade the HTPC a bit, and make it the center of the network, or maybe compliment the existing one with a small NAS connected next to it on the router.
Hz so good
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Re: noob network questions

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:55 pm

Skullzer wrote:wifi adapter = TP Link 150mbps thingy (Connected to main PC, I don't have any way to wire this PC)



Sorry, I forgot to nerd out about this part. :P

Unless distance is the problem, there's always ways to fish CAT5e/CAT6 cable to where you need it. I've run all sorts of data cable through structures that even I thought wasn't possible. If tools are the problem, you can rent power tools at Lowe's and Home Despot. Cable spools, crimpers, cutters, and testers can all be had at monoprice for rather good prices.


Coax, on the other hand, is trickier. You gotta make lazy curves with those (especially the thick ones, like LMR-400). Those definitely aren't conducive to right angles.
Hz so good
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Re: noob network questions

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:07 pm

Hz so good wrote:Unless distance is the problem


And what he means by that statement is that if the total length of the cable run is roughly equal to or greater than 100 meters (~328 feet)...which isn't likely to be the case in a residence.

I've got to agree though...there is always a way to run cable. Even if you run it outside of the structure through metal conduit (which is fairly cheap at Lowes...less than $2 for a 10' piece of 1/2" EMT). IF you're going to run it, you might as well go with CAT6...and make sure it's Plenum rated. It'll cost a bit more, but it won't release any toxic fumes should it be exposed to fire. I always put in plenum-rated cable even if the installation doesn't necessarily require it. It almost always does, though, because at some point in the run you're very likely going to have cable that will be exposed to the HVAC's air return (which is called a plenum, hence the cable being "plenum rated"). It's better to be safe than sorry.
curtisb
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Re: noob network questions

Postposted on Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:28 am

Hz so good wrote:
Skullzer wrote:wifi adapter = TP Link 150mbps thingy (Connected to main PC, I don't have any way to wire this PC)



Sorry, I forgot to nerd out about this part. :P

Unless distance is the problem, there's always ways to fish CAT5e/CAT6 cable to where you need it. I've run all sorts of data cable through structures that even I thought wasn't possible. If tools are the problem, you can rent power tools at Lowe's and Home Despot. Cable spools, crimpers, cutters, and testers can all be had at monoprice for rather good prices.


Coax, on the other hand, is trickier. You gotta make lazy curves with those (especially the thick ones, like LMR-400). Those definitely aren't conducive to right angles.


I'll look into that, I rent a condo with outdated wiring and such and the landlord is a pita. If I did make any improvements I would have to do it myself and at my own expense for sure.
AMD Phenom II x4 955 | ASUS M4A87TD Evo | 8GB G-Skill ddr3 | XFX Radeon 6950 2gb | Antec BP 550 | Antec 300 | Windows 7 64
Skullzer
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