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Networks Home networking Help for a beginner

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by xPinky, 24 Apr 2014.

  1. xPinky

    xPinky What's a Dremel?

    2 Dec 2011
    Likes Received:
    Hey guys, I am due to move into a new place in the coming weeks, and whilst it is being decorated etc I want to take the opportunity to get a home network in place, or at least the foundations of one.

    I had a quick google but couldn't find exactly what I was after, a poke in the right direction would be awesome!

    The basic set-up I am aiming for is as follows:

    Media PC - Living room
    Central Storage - Cupboard or Office
    Gaming PC (as sig) - Office

    My starting point is basically my gaming PC and a virgin media router out of the box but im willing to invest to get what I am looking for. Id like to be able to stream media stored centrally through either my Media PC or Gaming Rig and would like to be able to stream to both at the same time. I would also like to use the storage unit to work with CCTV recording equipment so I guess this would be some additional permanent load on it. First step is running Ethernet cables so any advice would be awesome!

    So I guess my questions are:

    How much grunt do my storage and media pc's need to perform well, old recycled bits do or something with a lot of firepower needed? (Do I need storage PC or do I just add storage to my Gaming Rig)

    What other equipment should I research outside of the standard router provided by my net supplier?

    Any particular software I should look at?
  2. Flibblebot

    Flibblebot Smile with me

    19 Apr 2005
    Likes Received:
    Storage PC doesn't really need much grunt at all, you could probably get away with a cheap Atom setup unless you want to do transcoding for your media PC (i.e. if you want to run Plex or something similar). You could use old hardware, but bear in mind the inefficiencies that hardware had a few years ago - a storage server is something that you'll need on 24/7. This also precludes using your Gaming PC for storage, as you'd need to keep that on all the time.

    Likewise, the media PC doesn't need to be massively powerful if it's only going to be used to play movies. The most important part is the graphics card, as most movie players can offload most of the grunt work to the GPU, meaning that the CPU is pretty much idle when watching films.

    As for wiring, you really need to sit down and think of future proofing. Do you want network ports in every room, or are you going to limit yourself to whatever networking you put in now? If you can't see yourself changing in the near future, keep it simple and use the Virgin box as your main switch (so every cable runs back to the living room or wherever your cable entry point is).

    Alternatively, consider a star layout, with a separate switch located centrally (common sense would say to put it in the same cupboard as your server), with all your cable runs going back to this location. The downside of this is that you'll have two runs going to the living room, but it is more flexible in the long term.

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