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New PC Advice

beatgammit

Member

Thanks: 13
Messages: 78

#26
markbsd said:
I no longer have the manual to the modem/router! But, I will buy a new modem and a new router anyway. This one came from my ISP, so it may not be very good.
Ever since I bought a replacement (~$30 US) for my ISP-provided wireless router/modem, I've been much happier. Since it's not acting as a modem and a router, it's smaller and produces less heat. The interface happens to be nicer (and more reliable), so I'm happier all-around.

I have my spare WRT54GL set up with DD-WRT, and it acts as my DHCP server. I have some of my routing still on my modem because I haven't gotten around to putting it in bridge mode. Everything is plugged into this router, and I have a Wireless N access point (not compatible with DD-WRT) for faster NAS -> laptop transfers.

I bought a domain name, set it up with freedns.afraid.org, and made the appropriate port forwarding rules so I can access my server from the outside (work, parent's house, etc). I plan on setting up my FreeBSD NAS as a DNS server so it can resolve my domain from within my home network, and then set up our laptops to mount the NAS as a network share off the DNS name, so I can access my files anywhere.

I highly recommend this setup. Hopefully this helps give you some ideas!
 

markbsd

Active Member

Thanks: 7
Messages: 177

#27
kpa said:
Personally I don't trust WiFi enough to use it for anything else but my laptop, everything else on my system (that is exactly like I described above in post #21 btw) is using wired ethernet.
I think this is good advice. I'll keep WiFi available, but will try to use ethernet for every link, if possible.

beatgammit said:
Ever since I bought a replacement (~$30 US) for my ISP-provided wireless router/modem, I've been much happier. Since it's not acting as a modem and a router, it's smaller and produces less heat. The interface happens to be nicer (and more reliable), so I'm happier all-around.
I'm shopping online for a router now. Most local retailers seem to just have modem/router devices, which I don't need -- I already have the modem/router from my ISP. So I'm looking on Amazon. Do you have one you would recommend? There are so many options. I want an 8 ethernet port with 802.11n capabilities and an inbuilt configurable firewall. Do I want IPv6 functionality? I don't even know what that is.

Does something like this seem right? This one is nice and cheap, but only has 4 ports.

I have my spare WRT54GL set up with DD-WRT, and it acts as my DHCP server. I have some of my routing still on my modem because I haven't gotten around to putting it in bridge mode. Everything is plugged into this router, and I have a Wireless N access point (not compatible with DD-WRT) for faster NAS -> laptop transfers.
I don't know what DD-WRT or DHCP is. I know FreeBSD auto-configured DHCP with my ISP during the installation process because it was one of the questions. Do I need the router to do these things too?

I bought a domain name, set it up with freedns.afraid.org, and made the appropriate port forwarding rules so I can access my server from the outside (work, parent's house, etc). I plan on setting up my FreeBSD NAS as a DNS server so it can resolve my domain from within my home network, and then set up our laptops to mount the NAS as a network share off the DNS name, so I can access my files anywhere.

I highly recommend this setup. Hopefully this helps give you some ideas!
I would like to do this; have a domain name and be able to access my home network from anywhere as I travel a fair bit and this would be great for school! I also would like a FreeNAS DNS server but don't know how! Can you please provide a tutorial of the process you used to do all of this? It sounds just like what I need! I have two physically separated locations that contain several computers each. I need both physical locations to have access to a communal network and server.

Physical Location A (PLA):

Code:
internet ---> modem in bridge mode ---> (public IP address)firewall/router/proxy-+--->server AB
                                                                                 |
                                                                                 |
                                                                                 v
                                                                              clients
needs to access Physical Location B (PLB):

Code:
internet ---> modem in bridge mode ---> (public IP address)firewall/router/proxy-+--->server BA
                                                                                 |
                                                                                 |
                                                                                 v
                                                                              clients
I guess, like a VPN or something. Or, like you've setup: if PLA has a domain and is accessible from anywhere, that will work. But both locations need to backup, write to, and read from, a main server.
 

beatgammit

Member

Thanks: 13
Messages: 78

#28
markbsd said:
Do I want IPv6 functionality? I don't even know what that is.
Current IP addresses are IPv4 (ex. 192.168.1.1). There are not enough IPv4 addresses (only 4 billion or so) for every computer to have its own without conflicts. IPv6 is an extension that increases the number of addresses significantly so we'll never have to worry about conflicts again.

It's not particularly important for a home network, but lacking IPv6 support is often a sign of dated equipment. I'd go for it, but set it up to use IPv4 by default.

markbsd said:
Does something like this seem right? This one is nice and cheap, but only has 4 ports.
I don't like that the ethernet ports are limited to 100 mbit (your wireless -> wireless speeds may be faster than wired -> wired...), but this only really matters if you're moving a lot of data between computers wired into the network. Personally, I'd prefer gigabit, but they'll cost more (and you probably won't notice the difference for a while).

I don't know your particular circumstances, but either is probably fine. You can always buy a switch if you need more ports, so if you don't need 8 ports now, it's okay to go with a 4-port router.

markbsd said:
I don't know what DD-WRT or DHCP is. I know FreeBSD auto-configured DHCP with my ISP during the installation process because it was one of the questions. Do I need the router to do these things too?
DHCP is just the name for automatically giving an IP address to your computer. When you go from home to school/work, your address will change to match addresses on that network. All routers come with DHCP on by default (AFAIK), so that will work fine.

DD-WRT is an alternate firmware for routers that can give capabilities generally found in more expensive routers. You won't need most of these features, but if I use DD-WRT, I already know where to look for everything so I don't have to hunt around on a foreign interface. There's always a chance of bricking (read breaking) your router when upgrading to a DD-WRT firmware.

markbsd said:
I would like to do this; have a domain name and be able to access my home network from anywhere as I travel a fair bit and this would be great for school! I also would like a FreeNAS DNS server but don't know how! Can you please provide a tutorial of the process you used to do all of this? It sounds just like what I need! I have two physically separated locations that contain several computers each. I need both physical locations to have access to a communal network and server.
I'm guessing you're after a common NAS (networked attached storage), not DNS (domain name system). I'm currently in the process of getting this configured, but maybe I'll write a tutorial sometime when it's all done (probably won't get done until after the holidays though...).

I'd tackle the setup in pieces. First, get the home network set up like you want it. Then, check if your network is accessible from the outside world:

1. Google "what's my IP"
2. Check router's WAN address and see if they match

If the two addresses match, you're probably in luck. To double check, try accessing your address from outside (i.e. at home or work). To do this, either ping (not ideal), access remote admin page on your router (sufficient), or set up port forwarding to forward 22 (SSH's port) to your FreeBSD server. If everything's working, then you can set up a domain name.

Assuming the above worked as expected, you can try this tutorial to get dynamic dns working. I use freedns.afraid.org (their servers run FreeBSD =D) and they're very reliable.

Once this is set up, you just need to decide how you want to connect things together. I hope this helps.
 

markbsd

Active Member

Thanks: 7
Messages: 177

#29
Thank you very much, @beatgammit! I will approach this task as you suggest!

I will purchase a router with IPv6, DD-WRT and gigabit capabilities. For the time being, 4-port routers are fine; 1 for each PL, which, as you suggest, can be upgraded with switches. And, with the WiFi accessibility, well, as many notebooks, tablets, printers and anything else can be connected anyway.

An NAS is okay for the one, or even both, of the PLs. But, ideally, I think I need DNS to host my own website. At the moment it is hosted by Vistaprint, I'd like to have it hosted by myself if I can. In fact, I would like that to be on the communal server accessible by both PLs. It will need to be a stable, secure server that never goes down.

This doesn't need to be operational till early next year, but I'd love to do as much as I can over the holidays. At least have the home (PLA) network up and running as smoothly as possible.
 
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