New infrastructure at home

Trough the last year I have been really wanting to do something to my home infrastructure :) I got wires running all over, and my little trusty server makes to much noice. I would like to hook up all my clients (2 workstations and a laptop) to a wireless network, maybe even my server, to get rid of all the wires cluttering my floor. I have been playing around with the thought of of trashing my current server totally, and find a new one wich is more home friendly (less power and noise). Even though webalizer tells me I have 1.5G traffic to each month, its not like I need a 2.0GHz processor and 1GB ram for it.

I have searched the net for devices which could help me do what I want with a minimum of devices. Beneath I have gathered all I found out so far but first I want to sum up my list of my requirements.

Here is what I want my home network and computers to do:

In the future I might want the following:


My first wireless was a Zyxel 2000. Spec’s was what I needed and the design of the actual access point was good. Random disconnects and the need for power cycling the acces point made me look for something new. Then I bought a Linksys WRT54GL on Fon’s website and tried that one out. FON is a really cool wireless community. Go read about them… you might like it.

I wasn’t able to open port ranges in the firewall on the Linksys using the FON firmware. So I tried a firmware from the OpenWRT project which FON actually builds upon for their Linksys WRT54GL devices. Linux on small devices rocks.

For some reason I had a high latency when playing World of Warcraft on the wireless… I never got the time to look into this before I stumbled upon another project using the OpenWRT project as base: Coova. Coova is a really cool project even though I had some issuses with it. Before I found the solution to the problem, which I later learned was caused by mysellf my colleague Tomas Krag had already introduced me to “La Fonera”, the latest access point from Fon. It is small, looks really slick and the wireless connections is very stable… so I’m gonna stick with this one for now.

The server

I have been looking a various possible server alternatives to my current “slim desktop PC” server.

First I thought about building a micro-atx machine. Though I would really like to make my server as small, noise free and with as low power consumption as possible. Then I thought I’d use my Lynksys WRT54GL, but it doesn’t have enought diskspace for my websites. Then I looked at different NAS solutions like Thecus N2100, and in the end I stumbled upon the Linksys NSLU2. You can install linux on the Linksys NSLU2, you can attach USB disks, its small and it is cheap :-D

I’m not sure if the processor is powerful enough. One of my mates reminded me that might be able to use alternatives to Apache which is more lightweight. Anyways I think I’m gonna buy one and find out for my self. For disk space I’d buy a laptop disk (2,5”). Perhaps a Seagate disk in a RaidSonic Icybox closure. It seems people have made the slimserver run on it which is cool. Don’t know if it can run a Teamspeak and it can’t run as a MythTV box for sure. But I might wanna make a separate box for all that multimedia stuff later on, perhaps based on micro or nano ATX motherboard.

The other stuff

I already go an IP telephone, or an IP2analog converter. Which works okay, good enough for me anyway. About the firewall I might want to use my current Linksys WRT54GL as firewall behind my Zyxel 650 router provided by ISP. The Zyxel 650 doesn’t use a normal RJ45 plug for the wan interface. I hope I will be able to find a device with a decent firewall and QoS / traffic shaping that can replace my Zyxel 650. So I don’t have to use 2 devices to get router and firewall functionality.

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New infrastructure at home by Jacob Emcken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.