Networking a large house - any ideas?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Pyrix, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Pyrix macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2003
    Hi all,

    Firstly, I hope I've posted this in the best place - it looked like the place that was most suited to it, but I may be wrong!

    I'm moving into a house in the next month with some other university students. There's going to be seven of us in a fairly large house (four storey, high ceiling, massive thing). As we're all reasonably heavy internet users (especially when you consider things like iPlayer, 4OD, any other downloading we need to do) we're opting to get two 20 meg broadband lines - with one coming in on the first floor and one on the top floor. I'm currently trying to work out the best way to divide up the connections to make sure they get the best use.

    We currently have two main ideas - the first one is reasonably obvious, splitting the house in half with the top half on one connection and the bottom half on the other. However, I'm hoping to have an Apple TV by then to use in the lounge on the ground floor, and with two networks it wouldn't be able to see half the house's content (including mine!). It would also rule out easy sharing of printers and the such, unless there's a way to bridge the two connections without everything conflicting horribly?

    The second option would be to set up a proxy server on a computer that connects to one of the internet connections, and to point all 'heavy downloading' applications to use said proxy server. This has the advantage of meaning that the general browsing connection should stay nice and fast even if everyone in the house is busy downloading. However, this requires a computer to be on all the time to act as said server (electricity bill = greater!), and also means that we need to get 2 wireless networks to cover the whole of the house using repeaters or fancy aerials, rather than each only covering half.

    I'm posting this to see if anyone can see any other ways of achieving the split that might make more sense, or can solve any of the issues I'm having so far! Hope it makes some sort of sense...

    Thanks very much in advance!!

  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Another way to use a fancy router that has two WAN connections and routing rules to balance the load over the two connections. But unless you have the $$ to spend on this kind of router it means putting BSD UNIX on a PC and using that as your router. This is not much different then the proxy server in terms if power usage. You might even run a proxy on the router. That way you can do centralized ad filtering. Dynamically balancing the load is much better because you can use both connections for downloads if everyone is asleep or all for interactive.

    OK Google tells me you can buy these for not to much money. It found this. So there are likey more of them on the market. Years ago last I chaecked it looked like a DIY router was the only economical option.

    In either case I think you will be much better off putting the entire house on one wireless network. Apple makes this realy easy to set up. You simply buy as many Airport etreme or express routers as required to cover all the space. For best performance yu realy, really do want to use some wire too. In fact I'd use as much wire as possible.
    Just take the LAN port from the above router and conect it to the WAN port of as many Apple airport routers as you can

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