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Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring (Read 32533 times)
MrMagoo
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #15 - Mar 5th, 2009 at 6:27pm
 
Dan Goodell wrote on Mar 5th, 2009 at 4:04am:
And harder to find, IME.  You just can't find hpna stuff at newegg, or Fry's, or Best Buy, for instance.


I've never worked with HPNA personally, but it's speed and range have always interested me.  The difficulty in finding it that you mention and the price of it has always kept me from buying it just to play with it.  In my mind, HPNA is there if you need it, but not worth it unless there just isn't any other way to get to the back corners of your coverage area.  If it is as difficult as you say to install the drivers and deal with crapware, that just furthers my opinion that it should be reserved for special needs.

I did hear that Phillips introduced new HPNA adapters designed to work over coax at CES this year.  Hopefully they have made improvements over previous generations.
 
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Dan Goodell
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #16 - Mar 5th, 2009 at 9:36pm
 
My experience with hpna is limited to three customers over the past 5 years.  All three were originally installed by PacBell/SBC along with their dsl service, and used 2-Wire dsl boxes with either 2-Wire or Netgear adapters.

In one case, one adapter died.  I simply couldn't find a replacement anywhere, online or local.  SBC said they could custom order a new one, but at an exorbitant price.  The customer had me rip out the hpna network (3 computers) and replace it with conventional ethernet.

In another case, the customer wanted to add a wireless access point for her laptops.  I couldn't find a way to get that to work with her existing hpna gear, so we replaced everything with ethernet.

In the most recent case, an XP computer with a Netgear usb hpna adapter was replaced by a Vista computer.  No Vista driver--in fact, the Netgear website won't even own up to having ever made any hpna devices!  Again, we junked everything and switched to ethernet.

So for me, hpna's track record is zero for three.

 
 
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #17 - Mar 9th, 2009 at 8:56am
 
Sounds like I won't be using my house wiring as a network, any time soon.

However, I have upgraded from a Wireless G-type router to a Wireless N-type router.  (Intellinet Wireless N)
Not only do I have a lot faster wireless connection inside my house, but my neighbors, 300' away are benefiting from it too.
I installed an Intellinet Wireless N nic card in their PC.

Going "N" gives you faster speed and greater distance.
The only drawback I've seen so far is that "N" requires Cat-6 cable for direct connections, to get the max speed, and a Wireless N nic card for computers using the wireless N service.

interesting thread!

Shadow  Cool

 
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MrMagoo
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #18 - Mar 9th, 2009 at 11:38pm
 
TheShadow wrote on Mar 9th, 2009 at 8:56am:
The only drawback I've seen so far is that "N" requires Cat-6 cable for direct connections, to get the max speed, and a Wireless N nic card for computers using the wireless N service.

Cat6 is nice, but unnecessary.  You need Cat5 or better for 100Mb/s Ethernet and Cat5e or better for 1000Mb/s (or 1Gb/s) Ethernet.  Cat6 is only required if you are pushing both the distance and speed limitations of Gigabit connections.

For those following along in the audience, almost no house would need a 1Gb/s connection at home (which implies you don't need Cat6.)  It doesn't make the internet faster - your ISP is still only going to work at their max speed (which is usually in the range for several Mb/s.)  The only way you will notice is if you routinely transfer large files between computers in your house, all computers involved in the transfer were on the gigabit network, AND you sat around waiting for the transfer to finish.

The only thing I could envision in a home that would fit this senario is a few computers networked into a video editing or rendering cluster.  Maybe if you were sharing serious data via a network drive...  

Also, it might be nice to go ahead and run Cat6 if you are installing a network in your house and want to be more future-proof.  I'm not saying you'll *never* need it.  Just that it's going to be a decade before you appreciate it.  I stream media files around my home network constantly and it only uses a few Mb/s at most.  If I remember correctly, even HD movies would only need something like 25 Mb/s to stream across the network.

Now, Gigabit Ethernet IS beautiful inside a data center or linking various offices across town from each other.  All of the local libraries are hooked together by a 1Gbit MetroEthernet LAN, and the Admin of that network says it made his job about 14 times easier, so I'm not knocking Gigabit.  Just saying most people shouldn't sweat it.

Wireless N, on the other hand, is nice.  It's range and signal processing make connections that wouldn't have worked before now smooth and easy.  And the extra speed WILL be noticeable.  Since the advertised speeds are bust speeds, as we discussed earlier, the real-world throughput of G is around 19Mb/s.  Numbers for N are harder to find because it is still new, but I've seen speed test results in the range of 44Mb/s.  If you just have one or two computers sharing the Internet, you might not notice much difference, but if you do ANY file sharing between computers at home or have more than about 3 computers on the network, the upgrade to N will probably give you a noticeably more pleasant experience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/802.11

[soapbox]
Not to be the party spoiler, but having worked for an ISP my conscience makes me mention this.  

Wireless does make it all too easy to share your internet with your neighbors.  However, it is both likely against your Terms of Service and morally questionable if it means that your neighbor doesn't pay for service of his own from the ISP.  The legal troubles multiply if you accept any amount of money from your neighbor in the arrangement.

Moral and legal issues aside, you are giving up quite a bit of privacy.  If you voluntarily shared your wireless network with me, there isn't much you could do to keep me from gaining access to every file on every computer of your entire network, along with lists of every site you visit, and you'd never know.  Even if you trust your neighbor, do you trust everyone who visits his house?

Ok, I've said my bit.
[/soapbox]

[public service message]
And now that I've brought up the subject of wireless security, I want to remind anyone still with me in the audience that even if you *didn't* voluntarily give me access to your wireless network, I could probably get it myself anyway.  Cracking WEP is trivial and takes only seconds.  Cracking WPA2 with a weak pass-phrase is only slightly harder.  Only WPA2 w/ TKIP and a strong pass-phrase provides any significant protection.

So, if you have a wireless network, make sure you secure it.  Turning it off if you aren't going to use it for an extended time also helps.  If you could just as easily use Ethernet, I would.

And please don't give me the "there's nothing on my computer anyone would want" line.  You have no idea what is really there and how people could use it against you.
[/public service message]
 
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #19 - Mar 10th, 2009 at 10:07am
 
My neighbors are great but completely computer Illiterate.
The Mr. can't even turn on the computer and the Mrs. can only do email and the most simple job searches, etc.  So I don't think they'll be hacking my own computer.  NO-One else goes to their house and uses their PC.
Anyway, it's only a temporary setup till they get their own Cable Service.

Wireless G would have never made the 300' trip to the neighbors house and all the way thru the Double-Wide mobile to their PC on the other side of the house.  The Intellinet Wireless N setup makes the grade with a connection speed of 230 and three out of five bars on the signal strength meter.
I have the same Intellinet Wireless NIC card in my #2 PC here in my house and the connection speed to the router is 300 with Five Bars.

We live out in the country and there are no other neighbors around that would be able to access my Wireless router.  So just the logistics themselves are my best protection.

I'm getting a new 5 Meg Cable ISP service installed someday soon and as you can assume, I'm really looking forward to the increase in Internet Connection speed.  
By comparison, my Wild Blue Satellite service runs at a snails pace.
I just downloaded the new AVG 8.5 FREE at a blazing  Roll Eyes Grin Grin Grin 60 KB/Sec download speed.

I've been paying $50 per month for that lousy speed, for two years now.
(OK, y'all stop laughing! )

Interesting Thread!

Shadow  Cool
 
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #20 - Mar 10th, 2009 at 12:19pm
 
TheShadow wrote on Mar 10th, 2009 at 10:07am:
I've been paying $50 per month for that lousy speed, for two years now.
(OK, y'all stop laughing! )

Shadow  Cool


I'm not laughing! I'm on wildblue also. not great, but much better than dailup. It's not really so much the speed but the FAP that bugs me. With five systems on the network (three kids) i really have to watch the download usage. As soon as we can get cable or DSL around here then WB is history!
 

If anything can go wrong, it already did, and you just now noticed it.
 
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #21 - Mar 10th, 2009 at 3:31pm
 
I can download files from my ISP and a few other sites at 1000 to 2000 KB/sec. But most internet downloads are less than 150 KB/sec so a potentially fast connection is rarely used at full speed.
 
 
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #22 - Mar 11th, 2009 at 12:56am
 
TheShadow wrote on Mar 10th, 2009 at 10:07am:
By comparison, my Wild Blue Satellite service runs at a snails pace.

Brian wrote on Mar 10th, 2009 at 3:31pm:
I can download files from my ISP and a few other sites at 1000 to 2000 KB/sec. But most internet downloads are less than 150 KB/sec so a potentially fast connection is rarely used at full speed.  

It is true that fast cable/dsl connections are rarely maxed out, mostly because you are capable of receiving data faster than a lot of sites will send it.  Cable and DSL also have the advantage of extremely low latency.  The terrible latency on satellite providers makes it completely unusable for certain types of traffic (such as VoIP and some online games.)  So, even when you aren't maxing it out, Cable/DSL/Fiber are providing a better surfing experience than satellite or dial-up.
 
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #23 - Mar 12th, 2009 at 10:16am
 
Boy, you can say that again!  The latency really sux!

I can actually download my email faster on my dial up service, than I can over WB (Satellite).  Forget about Voip......WB flatly tells you that they don't support any such service.

Most of the problems with Satellite ISP were not presented up-front.  I didn't find out about them till I started running into problems, like with the max. 30 day usage.  They shut me completely off, the second month I had the service.  Angry
I finally got back on-line, after a few days, but had to download nothing more than email for about two weeks, till I got my rolling 30 day usage total down to a tolerable level.

I'm still using WB Satellite, because the Cable company isn't sure whether they can actually give me Cable ISP service or not.  It has to do with the length of the cable run, to my house.  They may need to extend the main trunk cable, closer to my house.  There are three families here on this corner that want the service, so maybe that will be enough to get the cable company to extend their trunk line.  I sure hope so.

I'm sorry that we've gotten off of the original topic.  My bad! Sad

Shadow Cool

 
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MrMagoo
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #24 - Mar 12th, 2009 at 7:19pm
 
TheShadow wrote on Mar 12th, 2009 at 10:16am:
I'm sorry that we've gotten off of the original topic.

Discussing various types of network connections is on topic and everyone seems to be finding it interesting.  Thanks for sharing your experience with satellite.

TheShadow wrote on Mar 12th, 2009 at 10:16am:
There are three families here on this corner that want the service, so maybe that will be enough to get the cable company to extend their trunk line.

What is the local cable company?  The cable company I used to work for would likely have solved the issue by setting up Arcwave.  Arcwave is a pair of small wireless transceivers.  You hook the main cable line up to one side, and it wirelessly extends the main cable to the other side.  It's a nice solution if you only need to reach a few houses, need to cross a barrier that would otherwise be hard to get around, or just need a semi-permanent plant extension. 

For example, sometimes getting the rights to build a line across the freeway is cost prohibitive.  Other times, extending the main line across a large field to reach a few houses on the other side just doesn't work out when you do the cost/potential income analysis.  Arcwave can often be cost effective in these cases. 

Whether they will do it for you or not depends a lot on the cable company.  Some are too small to have the skills to deal with arcwave.  Some are too big to care about 3 customers.  Some find it too difficult to support or have other reasons.  We found a big benefit in keeping the community happy, so we would do anything we could as long as it was financially workable.

 
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #25 - Mar 14th, 2009 at 10:33am
 
The cable company servicing this area is "Cablevision".
Most of their customers are in Retirement communities or Rural areas.

The latest word here is that they will run a cable to me for ISP only, but the run will be too long, to give me HD-TV.

Since I'm well covered for TV and telephone service, all I need or want is the ISP service.  Well, next week, we'll see what they've come up with.

They will give me 5Meg service for about $50 per month.  That's still ridiculously slow, compared to my 300 Meg internal network speed, with my Intellinet N Router.
But, quantum leaps above my current 60k download speeds, with WB Satellite or 3.5k download speeds with my Dial Up service.

The latency (time delays) with the satellite is so bad that it takes me two to three times the time to get my email as it does when I just use my Dial Up service.   I don't really notice it though, because I have Outlook Express programmed to check my email every three minutes, in the background.  So I'm never just sitting here waiting on the mail to come in.
It simply gets here, when it gets here. Roll Eyes
So in actuality, I'm tricking myself into ignoring the Latency. Wink Grin Roll Eyes

Well, enough of that.

I still suspect that Wireless N is a better method of connecting computers within a building, than some of the other alternatives.
Because of its higher power, it will penetrate walls better than Wireless G.

For instance, a person who lives in an apartment and maybe moves periodically, could benefit greatly from a Wireless N setup.

Cheers Mates!
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #26 - Mar 14th, 2009 at 8:44pm
 
TheShadow wrote on Mar 14th, 2009 at 10:33am:
The latest word here is that they will run a cable to me for ISP only, but the run will be too long, to give me HD-TV.

It's really cool of them to run the cable for you even though they will only be able to provide one service.  Many cable companies would have trouble justifying the cost of extending a line unless they could sell all their services on it.

TheShadow wrote on Mar 14th, 2009 at 10:33am:
They will give me 5Meg service for about $50 per month.  That's still ridiculously slow, compared to my 300 Meg internal network speed, with my Intellinet N Router.

I think you'll find 5Mb/s to be plenty of speed.  There aren't very many sites that can send you data that fast, except for the big one's like Microsoft, Google, etc.  So, you wouldn't be able to use much more speed than that anyway unless you are doing something outside typical surfing.

As we discussed earlier in this thread, the 300Mb/s speed quoted for wireless N is sort of a technicality, and you'll never be able to transfer data anywhere near that speed.  Actual throughput is a small fraction of that (~40Mb/s.)  Still plenty fast for surfing, though, as you pointed out.

TheShadow wrote on Mar 14th, 2009 at 10:33am:
I still suspect that Wireless N is a better method of connecting computers within a building, than some of the other alternatives.

It depends on your goals.  For surfing the internet from the couch on your laptop, wireless is fantastic.  For pretty much anything else, wireless uses more power and provides less reliability, speed, and security than almost any other popular method of networking.  I know you make light of wireless security problems, but as someone who has done penetration testing on wireless networks I can tell you the weakness of wireless security IS real and IS scary.

So I'm interested what angle you are seeing this from or what alternatives you had in mind and what disadvantages you see them as having.

TheShadow wrote on Mar 14th, 2009 at 10:33am:
Because of its higher power, it will penetrate walls better than Wireless G.

802.11n is just the latest specification from the 802.11 working group, the same fine people who developed 802.11g and 802.11b.  It is based on the same protocols and the same 2.4MHz frequency range.  That frequency range is not specifically set aside for wireless networking and is shared with Bluetooth, cordless telephones, and microwave ovens.  Power output is limited by regulations to ensure all these devices share the spectrum fairly.  N doesn't use a higher power so much as improved modulation techniques and multiple antennas to improve its range and speed.  Although a nice improvement, and sufficient for a decent sized house, it is still not going to provide coverage for an entire hotel or apartment building.  You still need multiple access points for that, connected together by some other network type.


 
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #27 - Mar 15th, 2009 at 12:34pm
 
I greatly admire, those who can get right into the technical nooks and crannies of things like Wireless Networking.
But, at my stage in life, I just want what works.

I've seen apartment dwellers run cat5 cable all over their apartment to connect several computers together.  Wireless would surely be better than having cables running over doorways and under carpets.


Yes, my Intellinet Wireless N router and Intellinet Wireless N network card both use three antennas.  If that's what it takes to double the effective area of coverage, then I'm all for it.  

Now I'm considering the practicality of using a 3' Dish on the remote end of a connection to greatly enhance the signal level at a distance of 1000' or more.

I found several very good web sites that deal with using an old TV dish to use as an antenna for a remote wireless receiver.

I'd love to be able to use this dish.....
...
but alas, I may have to settle for something a bit smaller. Cry

So, MrMagoo, you're saying that at least in your opinion, there is NO way to protect a Wireless Network, from hackers? 

I'm not talking about someone at the CIA level, but just the local jerkwad wanting to steal a little wireless service.

Eh wot? Roll Eyes

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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #28 - Mar 16th, 2009 at 9:42am
 
I was looking into this for a company the next town over I do general computer stuff for.  They were leeching wireless from the owner's house next door (but same building and wiring) through a repeater - it was OK for just one computer checking email, but fell to its knees when they tried to do real work. My first thought was to replace the router in the house with a powerline device and use another in the office. That plan fell through for a variety of reasons and they ended up getting a new cable account for the business, but I learned a couple of things along the way. For one thing while they're still around on the secondary market you can get set up for this with an excellent product really cheaply here

http://snipurl.com/dxbcb

Last year's model, but a real high quality product you can get for a song.  I bought two of them intending to set them up with both ends there. When it turned out they didn't need it I sold them one and kept one myself. I've been using it for a couple of weeks and as a router it's rock solid.  I didn't get around to trying out the powerline stuff which I don't need right now, but when they pay the bill Wink I'm going to buy another. Note that you can use this as an access point as well as an originating router, so I'm thinking I may use it to stick a music server far away up on my second floor and listen downstairs. Even if it's slower than cat5 it should be fast enough.

I also read that supposedly the question of whether or not the two outlets you want to use are on the same leg of the breaker box is a real issue. In the US your power comes in at 240V and is split into two 120V legs - on each side of the breaker box, every other breaker (vertically) is on the same leg.  But there's a workaround domestic dryer plugs connect to both legs, and somewhere else on Amazon is a product from another manufacturer which is just a pass through dryer plug with circuitry to bridge the network signal across the two legs. It's cheap, maybe $25, and should solve that issue.

 
 
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Re: Rad: wired connections, using the home's pre-existing electrical wiring
Reply #29 - Mar 17th, 2009 at 8:19pm
 
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