Friday night topic: Your home empire, err, network

There was a day not long ago when a home network was a small, simple affair involving one to three PCs and perhaps a router. The ubiquity of Wi-Fi and various Internet-connected devices has changed all of that, and now many of us are network admins presiding over a pretty sophisticated mix of devices, from game consoles to entertainment devices to phones.

Personally, I have a home and home-office setup that involves a host of PCs, two VoIP lines, a wireless color laser printer/copier/fax/scanner, a bevy of netbooks and notebooks, at least one smart phone, a Wii, an HTPC, and… wow. Other stuff, too, I believe. My router is a spiffy Netgear dual-band model with multiple radios, and we have well over a terabyte of online storage, with mirroring and weekly backups.

Sounds like work!

Actually, most of the time, things work pretty seamlessly together, and the functionality of it all is quite nice to have. Management isn’t too hard, either, all told—no multicast IP routing has thus far been required.

What’s your home network look like these days? How many clients? Mostly wireless or are some still wired? What speeds do you support for each? How many fancy features do you have, like a DMZ or custom routing? Did you ever expect to be coming home and doing network admin for this many clients? Discuss.

Comments closed
    • iatacs19
    • 9 years ago

    – cable modem
    – 100% CAT 5e wiring
    – 2 x 8-port gigabit switches
    – WRT610N ~ 802.11a/b/g/n wi-fi
    – 8-core dual socket lenovo workstation gigabit connection
    – HTPC gigabit connection
    – PS3 on wi-fi
    – 2TB NAS gigabit connection
    – hp laptop dual core on wi-fi
    – iphone 4
    – samsung 52in LCD 100mpbs for widgets (pretty useless)
    – Multifunction copier/printer/fax on 100mpbs

    • Pegasus
    • 9 years ago

    I just have a basic DSL connection at the moment.

    Room 1 has:
    DSL Modem (built-in router disabled)
    4 port wireless router
    8 port gigabit switch (all computers have gigabit)
    1 workstation/gaming PC
    1 low powered desktop/server 24/7 PC

    Room 2 is wired to gigabit switch via Cat6 cable and has:

    Also have a netbook which connects via Wifi.

    • Corrado
    • 9 years ago

    Motorola Cable Modem that I own,
    Linksys WRT400N
    1 Mac mini
    1 iMac 24″
    2 MSI Wind Hackintoshes
    1 Dell WinXP laptop work provided
    1 HTPC
    2 XBox 360’s
    1 2TB Buffalo NAS
    1 PS3
    1 Wii
    1 iPhone 4
    2 iPhone 3GS
    1 iPad
    1 HP WiFi all in one printer
    1 Epson WiFi all in one printer

    • deinabog
    • 9 years ago

    I have two desktops and one printer connected through switches to a Linksys E2000 router along with a Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 modem (SBV6220).

    My laptop connects wirelessly to my router.

    • Delphis
    • 9 years ago

    My home network:

    Linux (Debian), Q8400 w/8GB RAM and 3TB RAID space is home file server and network gateway. I use this to manage/route my PPPoE DSL (3mbit AT&T) connection, my wireless router that I use just as an access point and also for my wired network. So, 3 gigabit ethernet interfaces on this machine. I run 2 VPNs too, one for internet and one for over the wireless. I use OpenVPN.

    Windows XP on the following, probably will convert to Windows 7 soon-ish though:

    3 laptops around house, wireless G, using OpenVPN as well as wireless encryption (WPA2).

    2 desktop PCs for games (both Pentium E5200 2GB, one overclocked to 3.2Ghz) for games that are on the wired lan. OC’d one is ‘my’ machine, the other one my son’s. I also use mine for photoshop and video editing.

    Game consoles, Xbox 360 and Wii are on the wireless too, of course no OpenVPN but they’re allowed out by MAC address filtering.

    I have some other machines, my work machines for example, that connect to my OpenVPN so I can securely access information at work. I am a system admin by profession.

    • Waco
    • 9 years ago

    Mine is a hodgepodge of stuff.

    Motorola Surfboard -> Opteron 175 “router” NIC -> second NIC to gigabit switch -> in-wall wiring -> Linksys WAP11 (yes, I know it’s old as hell), HTPC, 3 desktops, 3 laptops (wireless), Wii (wireless), and an Xbox 360

    • Lockheed_Tvr
    • 9 years ago

    Motorola cable modem (Cox)

    Older Linksys WRT54G running DD-WRT firmware (mostly to bump the signal strength.)

    HP ProCurve 24 port GigE switch

    Main server – Q6600 running XP serves music movies and photos 2TB storage
    Secondary server – E6300 running XO serves anything else and does backups for various devices. Also 2TB. Both servers are 2TB because that is the largest raid 5 supported on each raid.

    My box – Q6600 at 3.0 – Vista – Connected with wired GigE.
    My Backup box – old Sempron running Win2K for legacy work programs that won’t run even on XP.
    Wife’s Laptop – Wireless G. XP. Can’t get wire down the brick walls of her office.
    My laptop – Older Dell running XP. Usually wiredl
    Old laptop – XP emergency use only – P4 1.7! Wired only.
    2X kids boxes – both are 2.2gh Athlon XP. Works fine for internet, homework, music, old games. Both are wired GigE.
    Asus Eee netbook. Wireless. Hangs around the living room for frequent googling and imdb-ing.

    Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ – Wired. Plays served media on the TV in the living room.

    Wii. Wireless in basement.

    Blackberry – obviously wireless.

    Dell 2330dn networked laser printer – Static ip.

    Most of the house is wired. Every wifi setup that I’ve dealt with has had issues with reception. Plus, the GigE stuff is faster.

    Oddly, this is way more complex than my office at work!

    • End User
    • 9 years ago

    – Rogers 25Mbps cable modem
    – D-Link DIR-655
    – two 8 port gigabit switches
    – 6TB media server (Ubuntu 10.04 x64)
    – 2TB backup NAS
    – Mac mini HTPC (Mac OS X 10.6.x) running Plex
    – iPhone 3GS (remote for HTPC over Wi-Fi)
    – iPad
    – ASUS 1201N (my OS testbed – ChromiumOS/Ubuntu 10.04 x64)
    – 15″ MacBook Pro (Mac OS X 10.6.x)
    – Xbox 360
    – Q6600(2.8GHz) workstation (Ubuntu 10.04 x64)
    – i7-920(4.2GHz) gaming rig (Win 7 Pro x64)
    – Canon MX850

    • burntham77
    • 9 years ago

    Between me, my wife and our roommate:

    Internet comes from Centurylink DSL, which goes to a Cisco gigabit/ wireless router, and from there we also have a Netgear wired gigabit switch. This handles the following:

    In the living room:
    -My quad-core gaming PC
    -My wife’s laptop
    -Our roommates’s dual-core gaming PC
    -PS3 (wireless)
    -Xbox 360
    -Wii (wireless)
    -Silicondust HDHomerun
    -Zune HD (wireless)

    And elsewhere:
    -Roommate’s old XP system in his bedroom (wireless)
    -A wired connection from the switch in the living room to the master bedroom (currently not used but used, but it’s there if we need it)

    • Veerappan
    • 9 years ago

    1x Actiontec 4-port 100Mb w/ 802.11G router routing the FiOS connection
    1x Desktop over Ethernet
    3x Laptop via wireless (2 for me, 1 for the wife)
    1x Mythbuntu box connected to the TV via wireless
    1x iPhone 2G via wireless
    1x Wii via wireless

    Pretty simple for now, but it works just fine. We used to have a D-Link DI-634+ doing the routing duties, but it kept dropping connections under heavy load.

    The Actiontec has still been measured at ~20/15 Mbit/s Down/Up, so I’m happy. It’s not a bad router for something provided by an ISP. Still lets me do static DHCP assignment, which is one of my big requirements (having your mythbox’s IP change on you after a reboot is NOT fun).

    • conjurer
    • 9 years ago

    Router: Routerboard 433
    60Mbps internet line.
    8 port unmanaged gigabit switch.
    2 pc’s with gigabit lan, 1 Laser printer with 10mbps lan card.
    Sometimes i connect my thinkpad via wireless.
    I cant connect my console to network, because its too old (N64) 😀
    That’s all i need: two pc’s, and a printer without stupid usb or lpt connection.

    Whats with hardware firewalls at home? Do you really need one? As i last time checked they are expensive, and in computer firewall is far more efficient. Its Core 2 quad vs some ARM processor in small box. I i wanted to hardware firewall my 60 mbps i need to buy more expensive hardware firewall than my PC.

    • MHzTweaker
    • 9 years ago


    eVGA classified 759 i7 4GHz, 14TB internal + 14TB of backup HD’s
    triple 28″ LCDs media server, personal, home, work PC
    5870 + 4870×2, Gigabit ethernet

    Core2 Quad 9450, eVGA 295, Samsung LN750B 52″ 240Hz wireless media PC, blueray, wireless keyboard+mouse, dual 7db ext. antennae wireless N

    HP Core2 7550 laptop wireless N or gigabit wired
    older HP laptop wireless G

    iPOD touch

    Blackberry curve 8900

    a couple of dual core Pentium 4’s at 3.2GHz gigabit wired

    Misc PC DFI X48 – T2R w/ E5400 @ 3.7GHz, 2xATI 4850 in Crossfire

    D-Link DIR-655 Gigabit wired, wireless extreme N router

    Trendnet Gigabit hub

    Internet is 3mbit DSL

    Large Ricoh color Laser printer 100mb ethernet
    Large Canon Pixma multifunction
    Lexmark multifunction as backup

    All the desktop PC’s use Gigabit ethernet except the Media Center PC connected to the 52″ Samsung LCD. It has a Wireless Extreme – N card that has two external magnetic 7db high gain antennae. My main i7 PC runs 365 days a year and serves up to 1080p compressed movies through the D-Link wireless from downstairs to the upstairs Media PC in my bedroom. Windows 7 media center is the primary navigator on the MCPC. I have purchased the cat6e cable to somehow run upstairs as large numbers of movies listed can take long time to refresh via Win Media Center.

    • elmopuddy
    • 9 years ago

    Let’s see.

    30mb cablemodem, DLINK DIR655, then a DLINK GB switch
    was lucky to have access to new house prior to drywall, passed 2 cat5e and coax to all to all rooms, larger rooms have multiple drops. Even have a spot in top linen closet for an extra wifi hotspot if needed.

    My PC, Kids PC (both Win7) hard wired.
    Work D820, Wife’s netbook, WII on wireless
    HP combo printer hardwired
    WHS server with 1TB hard wired
    Western Digital Live coming soon (sick of burning DVD-RW for bedroom)

    Only my PC is backed up nightly, all important files on WHS server, which has multiple arrays. Photos are backed up to multiple forms of media.

    iPhone 3G and a BB for smartphones

    Kids PC is locked down, they login as user with time restrictions, and trying some Windows Live parental control addons. Their PC is right near mine so I can keep an eye out

    • bcronce
    • 9 years ago

    Netgear 3700

    My PC and Wife’s PC

    Netbook and Wii via wireless

    Wired network is full gig. 0.001ms pings between computers. Max sustained speed recorded between the gig computers is 112MB/sec @ 1.5% kernel over SMB2.0 using jumbo frames and ipv6.

    Benched speeds via iperf 946mbit/sec mono-directional and 1.56gbit/sec bi-directional

    Both computers are identical $1000(when new) Dells(2.5 years old) with an integrated Intel NIC.

    19ms ping to Chicago with 1ms jitter during PEAK hours, and it’s ~700miles away via tracert. My ISP hosts ~2mil customers over that Chicago link.

    ISP has IPv6, but my 3700 doesn’t support it yet.. waiting for DD-WRT to stabilize for my router(issues with wireless). I ran a list of IPv6 tests when connect directly to my cable modem and everything checked out.

    • Forge
    • 9 years ago

    Three bog standard 54g routers configured as client bridges, each is preloaded with one standard network to associate with, and one failover.

    These feed into a WRT600N which aggregates and does DHCP, PPTP, QoS, and DDNS update.

    That feeds into a network of D-Link gig switches.

    One big machine (dual gig link), my laptop docking station (single link), one HP EX490 with ~7TB of storage, one homebrew WHS machine with ~2TB of storage, five test machines (HP dc5800, software varies, on a KVM), my mac, my media transcoder/server (transcodes HD movies/shows off the WHS machines to feed the iPad, iPhone, and iPod).

    On a separate section of the network (100baseT feeding a MIMO 54g WAP upstairs), there are two Windows Media Centers (living room and bedroom “TVs”).

    I have no internet service, my neighbors are my internet services.

    If I want, I have five PPTP endpoints out in the world, the WRT600N can act as a client to one and “move” the out-point of my LAN. I spent a few weeks “in Europe” just to see what it was like. Latency made gaming sad, but nice enough otherwise. I was recently PPTP’ed to a UK point so that I could watch BBC online. It messed with Netflix, though, so the wife nixed it. 🙁

    If the network is an empire, mine is a bunch of well-armed and supplied guerrilla revolutionaries, hated and feared.

      • elmopuddy
      • 9 years ago

      I think I just developed a man crush 😛

      • cygnus1
      • 9 years ago


    • DancesWithLysol
    • 9 years ago

    – 3 Desktops
    – 1 Laptop
    – 2 HTPCs
    – 3 consoles (two XBOX 360s, one Wii)
    – 2 smartphones (Palm Pre, Nexus One)
    – 1 iPad
    – 1 VoIP ATA
    – 1 HP Mediasmart (WHS box)
    – 3 Sonos Zone Players
    – 1 Samsung TV that supports DLNA

    Those are the devices on my network that are leasing IP addresses via DHCP. Actually, not the WHS box, that’s a static IP and it’s running my DHCP server and forward caching DNS server.

    • tay
    • 9 years ago

    Linksys Cable Modem (Comcast)
    WNDR3300 router (2.4 GHz g + 5 GHz n)
    | – Slingbox
    | – PS3

    1 macbook (2.4ghz g)
    2 iphone 3GS 2.4ghz (2.4ghz g)

    WNDR3300 bridge (5 Ghz n)
    | – Windows gaming
    | – Linux server

    Wired stuff is on 100mbit .

    • jackbomb
    • 9 years ago

    Motorola cable modem
    Linksys wireless N/gigabit router

    Server (file and print)
    My gaming (and work) PC
    My wife’s PC

    Garage Jukebox
    “Super P3” (a 1.8GHz Tualatin with an x1950 Pro and Win7…yeah)
    Xbox 360
    iPad – just kidding.

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    My home network was simple. 1 router going to 2 PC’s not otherwise connected. Now i have a PC and fileserver which is connected to 4 other PC’s with plenty of wireless laptops and phones coming and going. It was a major pain to set up and get working seemlessly but now that it is my fileserver deals out all the multimedia to the other computers and a TV with the individual PC’s being separated from eachother.

    • ucisilentbob
    • 9 years ago

    Motorola Surfboard
    Asus WL520Gu w/Tomato 1.28
    HTPC+Xbox 360+PS3+Main Pooter+Wifeys Laptop+My Laptop+Brother 2170W

    • yokem55
    • 9 years ago

    Motortola Somthingorother cable modem going to a G/N wifi router running openwrt. 1 hardwired desktop, 1 hardwired laptop, hardwired printer, hardwired PAP2T SIP adapter, and 3 or 4 VirtualBox VM’s on the desktop bridged into the main network. On WPA2 wifi, 2 smartphones, a 2nd laptop, the Wii. On the same router, under a different subnet, I have a heavily firewalled and qos bandwidth limited virtual AP with no encryption for guest use.

    • bios_hazard
    • 9 years ago

    I have a router that connects the following to the internet:

    HTPC, Dad’s Work computer, Mom’s Computer, Little brother and sister’s computers, sometimes my laptop or desktop ( meaing when I am home) and grandma’s computer. (all hard line, save the little one’s)

    The HTPC is also a webserver, backup server, seedbox, Gaming Rig, Emulation box (nes, snes, n64, gamecube, wii), printserver, VPN, and Proxy server running Windows 7 and XBMC hooked up to a 1080p 73″ Mitsubishi DLP. My little brother gets to play Mario Kart in HD, wish I had that growing up :(.

    I have a second router in the network with DHCP turned off and the same SSID and WEP (yes I know wep is bad … ) as the first router as well as having the internet plugged into a lan port (instead of the WAN port) which allows every device that is plugged in or connected wirelessly to have access to the home network (NAS / HTPC / etc).

    This allows for total coverage of the large property that all of this is taking care of, and for the 2 smartphones that are serviced to be able to have a seemless connection between each router when it is needed, while still getting that “all in the same network” feeling.

    If I could draw this gigantic mess of awesome, I would, but I just simply do not have the markers to do so xD

    Thank you for listening, if you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know. I love fkin with stuff like this 🙂

    • Convert
    • 9 years ago

    Short and sweet: 4 servers (2008/R2/SBS), 10 PCs (XP/7), Wii, XBox360, two networked DVRs, networked bluray player, 7 laptops (XP/Vista), 3 smart phones, networked MFC printer, 2 WAP54G with ddWRT, wrtsl54gs with ddWRT, 10/100 24port switch and a 10/100 8 port switch.

    Wish I had a NAS and that everything was on gigabit though.

    *edit* Missed two PCs.

    • Xylker
    • 9 years ago

    In the home office I have the cable modem, a gigabit switch/router/access point that connects to a 16 port gigabit switch that has the home server, the domain controller and two office PCs connected. Then in the entertainment center there’s another switch that has the PS3, 2x TiVos and a Vudu all of which have DCHP reservations on the DC.

    In the garage I have an EMC Clariion CX300 that is connected to several ESX servers. Those are 2x Dell PowerEdge 2800s and an Athlon MP whitebox. There is another gigabit switch to which all those connect as well as a Brocade DS16B2 2 gig fibre switch. I have an old McData switch too for the odd time I need to look at the UI for one of those.

    There are a couple of notebooks that float around for guest access and I the iPhone connects to the network as well.

    • leigh crusio
    • 9 years ago

    My network looks something like this :

    Junky Netgear router (the only one that seems to work with my isp :()
    Wired connections to 2 desktops, 1 linux 1, win7
    Buffalo 54g with DDWRT in client mode so that my server can live in the garage.
    Wii wireless connection with homebrew MPlayer CE used as a media player for the living room.
    1 Eeepc wireless
    1 HP Laptop wireless
    1 HTC Android wireless

    The server is running VMware Server with about 5 active systems at a time mostly for testig but also for remote backup for customers etc. It has a nice 5 TB raid 5 aray but should probably be upgraded in the next few months with more ram and faster processor.

    • thermistor
    • 9 years ago

    Surfboard cable modem with a G/N wireless router, a Gig ethernet switch buried somewhere. 3 hard wired pc’s, one in basement, one on main level (mama’s pc), one upstairs for the boy. Mine and my girl’s are both ‘g’ wireless. Running a bunch of cat 5 thru the vent returns in the HVAC system, not glamorous but it gets the job done. Thinking of the NAS at some point, and reducing the cwazy amount of recorded TV, pictures etc. on individual PC HDD’s.

    • Kougar
    • 9 years ago

    We use a D-Link Gigabit/wireless router, but to date “wireless” has only been useful for my notebook. Both Super-G and “N” standards never reached the other side of the house or even the back sunroom where I work on systems.

    To solve that problem I ran a Cat5 through the attic so everyone was on hardline. Only recently did I find a good powerline-ethernet setup to get fast internet to the sunroom. The first one I tried was a simple Netgear setup, and it “worked” so horribly I chose to run that hardline instead. The current powerline-networking setup is Linksys, wish it had been on the market a few years ago!

    Only other thing directly connected to the router is my NAS, for easy accessing intra/inter-network. The RAID 5 NAS is used for personal backups and storage. It is <1TB though, and will soon need some upgrading…

    Router has a hardware firewall, and routing options were kept to a minimum beyond enabling QoS. If UPnP doesn’t configure ports correctly then attempting manually via DMZ usually wouldn’t work either. Configuring dedicated ports resulted in more program conflictions than helping, so I rely almost exclusively on UPnP configurations with the obvious exception of the NAS and custom IP rules.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    I have no Internet

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 9 years ago

    D-Link 802.11g router feeding to 3 laptops, 8-port gigabit switch feeding an xbox, 1 desktop, HP 4100n, and the HP ex470 Windows Home Server.

    • Philldoe
    • 9 years ago

    Wired: Bedroom PC, Living Room HTCP, Home Server

    Wireless: Blackberry

    Pretty simple affair. When I built my house I made sure to have each room wired with network cable. I honestly hate the unreliability of wireless networking. That and my HTCP has issues transmitting a signal through my gun room because of the safe.

      • burntham77
      • 9 years ago

      Having a home that is wired for ethernet is by far a better idea than trying to add it later.

      • Darkmage
      • 9 years ago

      You have an HTPC in your gun room? I’m jealous. 🙂

    • just brew it!
    • 9 years ago

    Heh… I’ve got a Frankenstein home network. It has just kind of grown organically over the years, and is always in a state of flux. It is a mix of gigabit Ethernet, 100 mbit Ethernet, and Wi-Fi. I’ve got 3 static IPs from my ISP, and all of them are currently in use!

    The main part of the network has 4 desktops, a netbook, two servers, a system which is used to run Hulu on the big TV in the family room, an Xbox 360, and an ever-shifting collection of experimental/test systems. All except one of the desktops and the netbook are on the wired part of the network. Most of these systems go through a piece of crap Netgear WGR614v5 router/firewall (which occupies one of the static external IPs) to reach the Internet.

    There’s also a web server, which sits outside the firewall on a second static IP address. I host a number of sites for myself, family and friends on it. A couple of years ago I switched it from running a really ancient copy of Redhat to Ubuntu; it’s actually virtualized, running inside a VirtualBox VM.

    On the third static IP is a box I’m using to teach myself how to set up router/firewall capabilities on Linux. Two of the desktops (mine and my son’s) are currently configured to use that as our Internet gateway (completely bypassing the Netgear).

    Yup, it’s a bit of a mess… but it works!

    • 5150
    • 9 years ago

    Here’s my home network:

    256kb DSL Line
    Zoom DSL Modem
    Sonicwall NSA E7500 Firewall

    • TechNut
    • 9 years ago

    My “home” is also my “small office”, which enables me to work from home quite easily…

    2 x Cisco 851 routers
    1 x HP Procurve 1810G-24 port managed GigE switch (broken into 3 VLANs)
    1 x Cisco/Linksys WRT120N
    20 x Virtual Machines (Windows/Linux)
    3 x VMware vSphere Hosts (w/ vCenter & vSphere Enterprise Licenses)
    1 x Fileserver w/ external storage array
    1 x Cisco VoIP/PSTN gateway
    3 laptops
    1 Desktop PC
    1 iPhone

    Everything here is Gigabit, unless the device can only handle 100M. Each of my ESX servers has 3gb/s of bandwidth (upgradable to 4) My file server has 3 gb/s of bandwidth, with private VLAN’s for storage, vmotion, etc.

    Later this year I’ll add the media server, which should be a diskless, iSCSI box ( w 2gb/s of connectivity) from my living room to the backbone of my network in the basement. My house was wired with Cat6 when I built it, so it’s easy to do media here.

    Currently, my switch tells me there are 36 active devices/systems on my network.

    • MixedPower
    • 9 years ago

    Between our family of five we have twelve devices that I can think of on our network:

    Two PCs, three laptops, two iphones, two ipod touches, a printer, a Wii and a DS.

    All of it is wireless aside from my desktop, which connects via ethernet over power.

    • cygnus1
    • 9 years ago

    between me and my roommate…

    -quad core server (custom built with 8x1TB in raid6 with hotspare +several smaller drives) (mine)
    -router w/dd-wrt (crappy netgear w/ wifi disabled) (mine)
    -router turned access point w/ dd-wrt (no routing)
    -custom built tower (mine)
    -vonage box (mine)
    -dell tower
    -1 xbox 360
    -power line ethernet to living room (mine)
    -2 non-dvr sat receivers (1 mine)

    living room (connected via power line ethernet):
    -xbox 360s (mine that barely gets used though)
    -dvr (shared)
    -mac mini (mine)

    -3+ laptops/netbooks (two laptops mine)
    -iphone (mine)

    network itself is run by the 2 dd-wrt routers above, 2- 5 port gig switches, the power line ethernet gear, and occasionally a 16 port 100m switch for temp stuff

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    Sgt. Duck notwithstanding (because he has the smallest of them all) my network is pretty small – 2 PCs, 2 iPod touches, a couple of game consoles. The printer is shared from my routed (AEBS 802.11n, single-radio version) and can be printed to from either PC. It really was a painless setup in that regard.

    • bp
    • 9 years ago

    Comcast broadband with Toshiba modem
    Cisco ASA 5505 firewall
    Cisco SLM2008 (8 port gigabit switch)
    | |
    | Dell XP desktop (DLNA server, backup, etc.)
    |…… |……….|………..|……………|
    |…..PS3….Wii…..Xbox…..Airport Extreme (2.4/5Ghz)——Macbook Pro 13″ and iPad
    Ubiquiti Nanostation 5 (5ghz wireless bridge)
    Ubiquiti Nanostation 5
    Netgear WNR3500 (2.4Ghz 802.n AP)
    | | |
    XP Desktop, PS3, XP laptop
    HP All-in-one printer

      • Dashak
      • 9 years ago

      I don’t think your formatting worked. Try again?

    • bthylafh
    • 9 years ago

    My naming scheme is World War II warships. Mine are after American carriers, which are up to /[

      • just brew it!
      • 9 years ago

      I name systems after styles of beer. My main desktop is currently Tripel (it was Doppelbock before the last upgrade). Servers are Bock and IPA. The experimental router box is Porter, and the current Linux screw-around system which was cobbled together out of junk parts is Lambic.

        • Xylker
        • 9 years ago

        At the place I work the equipment we produce had beer names (MGD, Kirin, Shiner, Guinness, Fat Tire…) while in development. I think that the engineers are getting older and more settled. The current generation of servers are all named for Dr. Seuss characters.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    I’ve got a bucket load. You guys ready for this?
    1 PC.
    Yes, I have 1 PC hooked up directly to my Internet. No router, no cell phone, no consoles (well, I do have a DS but that doesn’t really count), no servers, no laptops, no e-book readers.

    Beat that.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      directly to the internet? No hardware like a router? I’m just too antsy i guess.

        • Sargent Duck
        • 9 years ago

        No router : )

        Windows Firewall for the…wait, let me check that it’s on first. Yep, Windows Firewall for the win.

        I have a router, just haven’t bothered since I only have 1 computer. No problem yet, been running router free for over 2 years now.

          • Kurotetsu
          • 9 years ago

          1 PC, hooked up to a D-Link DIR-655 which is fed by a Motorola cable modem. Used to have a WRT54GL running DD-WRT, but I had to leave it at home. Only reason I got it, despite only having 1 PC hooked up to it, is because I wanted something sitting between me and the Internet and I didn’t want to bother with software firewalls. I’m hoping to hook up a console or a network media player to it at some point though.

          ACK, meant to respond to #27, but its the same guy so who cares.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 9 years ago

          Might work fine for you, it’d just make me paranoid. :p

            • indeego
            • 9 years ago

            The Windows 7 firewall is incredibly powerful, (much moreso than any consumer router,) and no remote network wired exploits have been found for Windows Desktop systems in default configurations since Vista came outg{<.<}g

            • bthylafh
            • 9 years ago

            Defense in depth.

          • dashbarron
          • 9 years ago

          My personal hero for the day Duck 🙂

          Simple wireless router, two PC’s, a notebook, and a wireless HP multi-function piece of crap.

      • pedro
      • 9 years ago

      One laptop, using my building’s WiFi.

        • Laykun
        • 9 years ago

        Very efficient and makes for easy reading, I like.

        I only wish my network was this simple, but not wanting to cart around terabytes of storage space I have a Desktop PC and Server PC separate. Sometimes I use my laptop on it through WiFi.

    • ShadowEyez
    • 9 years ago

    2 desktops (one wired, one wireless), a wireless laptop, and a roku via wireless all connect to my netgear 3500L (running latest dd-wrt). There is also a printer connected to the netgear, and then the comcast cable modem goes to the internet.

    Not that I work for netgear, but the 3500L is nice… 4 1-gig ports, dd-wrt capable, N wireless, usb port which can be used for printing or storage, and a modem uplink.

    • Thresher
    • 9 years ago

    1 custom built PC
    1 HP laptop
    1 MacPro
    1 Xbox 360
    1 PS3
    1 Linksys NAS thingy with 2 USB drives hooked up to it.
    HP AIO Networked
    D-Link Gamers Lounge B/G wireless router
    D-Link 8 port Gigabit LAN
    Apple iPhone

    and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting.

    I need to dump the Linksys thing and just get a cheap, low-end RAID 1 networked enclosure. Although, I have to admit, the Linksys has been very reliable, if a bit frustrating.

    Oh, and on the things where I get a choice of names, I use Norse gods.

    • dolemitecomputers
    • 9 years ago

    I’m surprised no one uses power line adapters. My home is wired with CAT 5E but I use a pair of adapters for a computer in a location that doesn’t have a jack.

    • Prospero424
    • 9 years ago

    I have a WRT54GL running the Tomato 1.28 firmware.

    The home server and media center are connected with wired ethernet both so they can pull data from each other at full speed and so that all of the wireless clients can pull data from them without the 50% single-direction bandwidth loss you incur when transferring data from one wireless client to another (WLAN acting as a “hub”).

    The rest of the clients, of which there are 4, are all wireless G. A couple of them have N adapters, but I’m not quite ready to take the plunge, yet. I can get by for now only because the only HD content I stream is 720p, and that works over 2.5 megabytes p/s of effective bandwidth fairly well.

    The other big thing holding me back on N is the desire to run custom firmware, which just doesn’t seem to be possible on N routers. Maybe I’m being silly in this regard, but I’ve just gotten used to having the increased feature sets offered by third-party firmware like Tomato and DD-WRT. I don’t really want to go back to whatever interface and features the hardware manufacturers deem “good enough” for their consumer-level routers, and I don’t have the money to buy an enterprise-level router.

    1 WRT54GL running Tomato connected to 16Mb cable modem
    1 Home server/media tank – wired ethernet
    1 HTPC – wired ethernet running Windows Media Center and Boxee
    4 wireless desktop clients
    2 smartphones with WiFi access

    My gaming computer would probably be wired if it weren’t so far away from the access point. And I rent, so I can’t run cables.

    Anyway, I almost never have a problem with this setup. Works great. Only problems I have are due to interference from the neighbors’ new 2Wire routers, which seem to cause much more interference than older routers do. Dunno why. But I find myself having to check frequencies every other week where I used to have to do it only every couple of months at most.

    • willmore
    • 9 years ago

    Hmm, cable modem to a thin client converted into firewall/router (runs linux/iptables). From there to slow switch(100BT). From there to fast switch (1GbT).

    Wired slow devices are desktops, printers, two STBs and ‘slow’ 2.4GHz G/N wireless AP. Fast wired devices are HPC/CUDA cluster, ‘fast’ wireless AP as well as the primary and backup servers. Primary server is 4x2T RAID5 and backup is 5x500G RAID5.

    Wireless network is more fun. 2.4GHz G/N AP and a ABGN router at 5.8GHz. These guys serve the laptops and the Wii. Authentication is WPA2-Enterprise using FreeRadius. The Linux based laptops use EAP-TLS while the windows ones can only manage EAP-PEAP.

    There’s a couple of desktops and a half dozen thin client boxes doing various odd jobs–print serving, remote serial ports, etc.

    • axeman
    • 9 years ago

    I hate wireless, so I only use it when I have to – surfing from the couch. The rest of my home network is gigabit ethernet.


    Linksys WRT-310N – DD-WRT firmware
    DLink 5 port gigabit switch
    DLink VoIP adapter
    HP JetDirect -> LaserJet printer
    Wii attached with USB -> ethernet dongle
    Samba-Apache-VMWare-SSH-SquidCache-kitchen sink Ubuntu box
    Dell docking station -> Dell Latitude D420
    Wifey’s PC

    wireless devices:

    Latitude D420 (sometimes)
    Athlon XP system running Ubuntu in the garage

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago


        • axeman
        • 9 years ago

        I can’t believe it took me so long to figure out this alternative to having to listen to the same few CDs while working out in the garage. It’s only been there for a couple of months. If all the dust, etc kills it, I’m sure I can find another free PC that can play mp3s and run Ubuntu pretty easily 🙂

          • not@home
          • 9 years ago

          I had a similar setup at work once. We had an old 333 mhz celeron PC running win 98 with an 8 gig HD stuffed to the brim with mp3’s. It was hocked up to an expensive stereo. The boss did not care if we listened to music as long as no customers were in. Most of our business was online so that was no problem.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          This is p-e-r-f-e-c-t

          One /[

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 9 years ago

            Music in the garage is farily useless if you use power tools and wear hearing protection most of the time.

    • NeelyCam
    • 9 years ago

    8-port Gb switch plus old DLink 802.11g router w/ 4x100Mb ports. Most of those ethernet ports are used (all PCs hooked up to 1Gb ports for file sharing):

    Two bedrooms wired (HTPC/server hooked up to one)
    Dining room; 2nd PC hooked up.
    Living room (currently nothing connected)
    Home theater room: Onkyo network receiver, TivoHD, PS3, 2nd HTPC + one extra for work laptop.
    + 802.11g for two personal laptops and Logitech Touch

    If Comcast screws up and my internet goes down, 80% of the activity in my household comes to a screeching halt…

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    Nothing fancy… Three laptops, two desktops, 5 iDevices, one shared printer. Just one of the computers connects to the router via Ethernet. Three computers by 802.11n, one by g.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 9 years ago

    –DSL–WRT54G running DD-WRT–TrendNet gigabit switch–computers

    Computers are: two laptops (“G” wireless), one desktop, one file server.

    That’s it at the moment. It changes from time to time.

    • fantastic
    • 9 years ago

    Simple setup here. Wired Gb LAN with printer, HTPC, desktop and Blu-ray all plugged in. I’ll eventually upgrade the router/firewall when there are some more options with built in IPv6 support and decent throughput on a Gb WAN port. Sometimes I consider building one, but I know how much power they eat.

    In the future I want NAS for backups, which means I’ll have to get a Gb switch and put it somewhere. A media extender would also be a good idea. I have a feeling they will be bundled into TVs soon… I hope. I’ll have to add wireless for the smartphone soon too.

    It is getting complicated, but I’ve seen it coming for years.

    • DaveSylvia
    • 9 years ago

    My setup is pretty basic:

    2 desktops
    2 laptops
    1 HTPC
    1 Data server

    WRT54G with Tomato + gigabit switch

    The Data server has four 1TB drives with no RAID currently setup. My data is currently split onto two of the drives.

    So originally, I had a RAID5 setup on the data server (Nvidia-based mobo) but something about the RAID setup made me leery. Any cheap suggestions? Should I just trust the RAID?! I would if I was using a server-level RAID controller!

    I currently have about 1.4TB of data stored on the server. What backup solutions have you guys been using? External HDs, tapes, online backup? Obviously 1.4TB is quite a bit of data to backup. I have a 2TB drive, new and unused right now and I’m wondering if I should use that as the backup drive or as the main drive?

    Should I just delete all those ISOs, Movies, Shows, etc?!?!?!

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      What’s a “Tomato”?

        • bthylafh
        • 9 years ago

        3rd-party firmware for certain wireless routers. Not the most featureful such firmware, but the interface is pretty slick and the features all work. Lots more features than stock firmware, usually.

    • quackxp
    • 9 years ago

    I have cable internet and my cable modem and router are both downstairs with my Home Theater.

    Hardwired into the downstairs router is my Blu-Ray player (for BD Live and Firmware updates) and my Western Digital TV Live. There is Wii in the home theater that connects via wireless.

    Two laptops roam the house and connect via wireless.

    Upstairs in the office/spare bedroom/guinea pig room I have a WRT54G running dd-wrt and configured as a wireless to wired bridge. Connected via wired to this is the main desktop and a Brother HL-2070N Network Laser Printer.

    Occasionally a second PC is connected upstairs and my friends and family have access to the wireless network when they visit. I rent or I would have figured out a way to run a wire from downstairs to upstairs and get rid of the wireless bridge.

    • Spyrano
    • 9 years ago

    Home: Ruckus 2825 G router
    Wired to 1 desktop, Wireless to 1 laptop occasionally

    Work: Linksys WRT54G V8 /w DD-WRT
    3 wired, 1-2 wireless.

    • not@home
    • 9 years ago

    6 desktops including HTPC and CAD workstation – wired
    2 laptops – Wireless
    2 printers – wired
    DSL modem
    WRt54GL wireless router
    2 switches (we have a very long house, one on each end)

    I used to have a home-brew file server with 2.5 terabytes but he mobo crashed (bad caps). The drives are stacked up waiting for me to finish school and get a job so I can build another.

    • bthylafh
    • 9 years ago

    Toshiba 1100 cable modem
    WRT54GL running Tomato Firmware

    2x self-built desktops (wired)
    2x laptops, one seeing frequent use (wireless)
    Wii (wireless)

    I’d like to add a NAS at some point, but don’t know when that’ll be.

      • flip-mode
      • 9 years ago

      wrt54gl+tomato here too

        • axeman
        • 9 years ago

        Here too, until the router started locking up on a regular basis. It’s a V.1 WRT-54G so it is *old*. I replaced it with a WRT-310N and DD-WRT firmware. It works alright, but the administration is so much less slick compared to tomato. ie… graphical view of what QoS rules are being applied versus ssh’ing into the router and viewing /proc/net/ip_conntrack

    • RickyTick
    • 9 years ago

    My main desktop is wired directly to the Linksys WRT300N router.

    It just so happens that on the other side of the wall from the router is my TV and Xbox 360. So I cut a hole in the wall and installed a receptacle and faceplate so I was able to hard wire the Xbox 360 directly to the router. Really nice for streaming Netflix.

    Kid’s playroom has a desktop that connects wireless 802.11n to the router, and there is a Wii that connects wirelessly.

    Wife has a laptop that also connects through 802.11n and I have an additional laptop that connects 802.11g.

    Also within the network is a Linksys broadband router for VOIP through Vonage.

    It’s secured with WPA2 and it all runs extremely well. Broadband is Time Warner Road Runner with Turbo.

    As someone who does NOT work in the IT/Tech/PC field, I’m quite proud of my setup and how well it performs.

    • petecool
    • 9 years ago

    Wow, lots of stuff in the home network…

    – Dad’s laptop (Wifi G)
    – Dad’s IP phone (Wired 100Mbit/PoE)
    – Dad’s Laserjet (10 Mbit Jetdirect)
    – Mom’s desktop (Wifi G)
    – Mom’s Printer (Behind WRT54G AP in client mode)
    – Sister’s desktop (100 Mbit)

    Server stuff:
    – Cisco UC520 PBX (100mbit)
    – Mini-ITX ESXi Server (Linux router, Win2003 webserver for Dad, Blackberry Enterprise Server + Exchange soon) – (1Gbit Lan + 30 Mbit WAN)
    – Mythtv backend/Fileserver (2.3TB usable) (1Gbit)
    – HP 24 port Gbit Switch (has an IP and fancy interface)
    – Linksys WRT600n with DD-WRT, AP Only (1 Gbit)
    – Cisco 1100 series AP (B only, lol) for wireless IP phones

    My stuff:
    – Cisco IP phone on my desk (100mbit)
    – Mythtv frontend in the basement living room (100mbit daisy-chained with my phone)
    – My desktop (1Gbit)
    – My laptop (802.11N 5Ghz)
    – My Blackberry (802.11G)
    – Sometimes a PC or two on the test bench (100mbit or 1Gbit)

    Yeah, we’re an IT family!

      • dolemitecomputers
      • 9 years ago

      Who do you use for your ip telephony provider?

        • petecool
        • 9 years ago

        We still use 2 landlines at the moment, PBX is there for extra features: voicemail, call transfers in between the house, “independent lines”, intercom…

        I didn’t find a provider with numbers in our area code in Montreal, QC where rates end up being lower than landlines… We’re not replacing unlimited local calls for 20$, to something like 1000 minutes a month for 35$!

    • Firestarter
    • 9 years ago

    I guess that without consoles or smartphones, my home network is pretty boring. I don’t even have a NAS, as I’m not keen on adding anything that needs to be on 100% of the time to be useful while being 99% idle. I guess I’d attach a USB drive to the router if it had been an USB host, but the router/modem provided by my ISP isn’t.

    • CasbahBoy
    • 9 years ago

    I have a WRT610N running DD-WRT with custom-written iptables scripts performing traffic prioritization.

    Everything on my internal network is wireless; only the desktop PC and laptop are 802.11n, everything else is 802.11g.

    Router/firewall: Khorne
    Desktop PC: Slaanesh
    Thinkpad: Nurgle
    PS3: Tzeentch
    Android cellphone: Nurgling

    I suppose I never expected to have all of my network client devices be wireless-capable. The router has a gigabit switch, but honestly I’ve barely ever used it (the location of my phone jacks limits placement to areas in proximity of my DSL modem). If I could reasonably wire both my desktop PC and PS3 to the thing, I wouldn’t have to lower my quality settings in PS3MediaServer anymore…but aside from that I have no further wants for my home network.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This