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Creating network and NAS sharing from scratch

by WilliamHand / May 18, 2012 10:33 PM PDT

I am looking to setup a brand new home network with new equipment over the next few months.

Our home situation is: We have 3 Mac computers, 2 PC's (all home/office use) and loads of phones and other equipment. Each computer stores files independently, there is peer-to-peer wireless sharing (through the OS) but no true central file sharing.

Our existing network situation is: We have O2 Broadband but don't use the O2 equipment. We use a Netgear ADSL2+ modem (delivering 5/6-7meg) connected to a Time Capsule that offers us home backup for our Mac computers and also acts as our wireless router. We broadcast in dual-band 802.11b/g and 802.11n simultaneously (as there are a range of systems that need different bands). We then use 2 Apple AirPort Express access points around the house to extend and amplify the signal - although these can sometimes be temperamental. None of this equipment is particularly reliable.


Our new network situation will be: We are soon changing from O2 Broadband to BT Infinity with an estimated speed boost to 30/40meg. We will receive a BT infinity modem and BT home hub.

This will be a large change to our existing home network, and so I think its time for a refresh.

What I want to setup: A reliable and fast wireless home network which allows access for all computers around the house, and incorporates a 'soon-to-be-growing' NAS storage solution.

More on the NAS requirements: I would like a system where I can store NAS drives (wireless or ethernet) somewhere else around the house. I am looking for a setup which uses a 2TB (2 x 1TB drives) station with RAID support (which, if my understanding is correct, with RAID 1, would give me 1TB of protected storage). I would like the option to add to this system as time goes on and storage needs increase. Currently I would look to setup the system with 2 separate, 2TB stations connected to the network. These NAS stations need to be compatible with iTunes Server and Time Machine for Macs. Any other features are a bonus.

Some Limitations

1) My BT home hub and modem system needs to be left alone. We need full support from BT which means I can't change that setup. It must use the BT equipment and stay by the BT master socket.

2) The NAS drives need to be connected to the wireless network from a separate location to the BT equipment. They will be stored in another room where there is sufficient space. I therefore assume they need a method of accessing the network, my knowledge here is hazy.

3) We don't have ethernet networking support around out house. Using ethernet isn't an option for connecting devices apart from connecting systems to separate access points located near the machines.

I would welcome anyone with a view or suggestion on the equipment to be used, improvements to the new system or feedback on anything mentioned here. ready to hear anything that may help me setup this system.

Thanks Happy

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Have you tried NAS on WiFi before?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 19, 2012 2:37 AM PDT

The lesson I learned is to never do that. Tell more. And yes, some folk think this has improved but you may have explained why folk continue to try it.
Bob

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I would think about security of the NAS
by TWB404 / May 19, 2012 2:47 AM PDT

Do a search and use the term crack wpa2. I am not sure what you are going to be storing on the NAS but if you want it to be secure I would connect with a ethernet cable. I have never trusted the security of WLAN even if they are protected with WPA2.

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I don't see WPA2 being cracked often.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 19, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

Yes you can get it cracked for about 12 to 25 bucks with a cloud cracker. WPA and less is a DIY system which the common HAK5 REAVER is probably one of the easiest I've seen.

Usually folk won't be sharing the files without a password and most folk I've seen do this are just after free internet service.

That doesn't mean there are folk with more nefarious motives.
Bob

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To quote John Wayne
by TWB404 / May 19, 2012 3:12 AM PDT

It is the one you do not see that gets you. lol

Your right that most cracks are for the free internet. It is the one you do not see that ruins your life. To many times a neighbor has got upset and broke into someones WiFi network and made life miserable for them. With how we are centralizing our data, NAS, it is now easier for those with bad intentions to reek havoc on us.

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we are centralizing our data
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 19, 2012 3:21 AM PDT
In reply to: To quote John Wayne

Funny you should write that. I've lost count of folk that centralized their data (files!) and then a small glitch wipes out the NAS.

When you ask where the backup copy is, they point at the NAS.
Bob

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LMOMBO
by TWB404 / May 19, 2012 3:28 AM PDT
Laugh
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How do I make it more secure?
by WilliamHand / May 19, 2012 6:06 AM PDT

I have to have a wireless router somewhere on the network, so surely its just a 'known risk'. We won't be storing anything valuable on the NAS, just media collections. And as mentioned, they will be RAID 1 protected, so hopefully I shouldn't loose it all. I'm looking at D-Link and Netgear NAS systems which look very reliable and seem high quality.

Will

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Aside form the point
by WilliamHand / May 19, 2012 6:11 AM PDT

I know about the potential security risks, but I am more interested in the setup. WPA is easy to crack I have gathered, so then why crack my NAS system, woop, they get access to some iTunes songs and movies. :s

Anyways, I see your point. I know its risky, but I'm willing to take the risk. Do you have any ideas on the setup I could use.

I'm thinking duel-band central router, with two other duel band wireless extenders around the house, with one of the extenders attached to the NAS. If I add more, I can expand from the wireless extender until I run out of ethernet. Then I will need to use an unmanaged switch... i think :/

Will.

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You are about to repeat what others have learned.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 19, 2012 6:20 AM PDT

The speed of the files over WiFi to/from a NAS usually mean the first thing they do is get it off the WiFi. Then you will learn that RAID 1 while a good idea is not going to protect the content from the usual issues.

I had hoped you would not repeat the lessons but it appears you must learn it first hand.

With that out of the way I see nothing wrong with anything you wrote so far. Time to move on it and try it.
Bob

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Boosting speeds
by WilliamHand / May 19, 2012 8:05 AM PDT

As I said earlier, ethernet is not available, it is one of my limitations. Even with 5Ghz 802.11n, you don't think the speeds will be fast enough?

Fast enough to do what? Cope with what?

Will.

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You've made your specs, etc. Clear.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 19, 2012 8:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Boosting speeds

My only advice is to buy from places that will take it back. Some folk are patient enough to wait for the files, others will say "enough" and go get the drive off the WiFi network, plug it in the USB port and get the copy done while they still have hair.

I'm not writing this stuff does not work or is not useful but that folk often expected faster than this.

At least you've read this and will know it will be pretty slow compared to your USB speeds.
Bob

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I can't count on fingers and toes...
by Pepe7 / May 20, 2012 12:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Boosting speeds

...the number of times I have had to remove wireless solutions from clients home networks since they often performed slower than expected. Ditto for streaming movies (a la Netflix) to new HDTVs. Wired is best(!)

Just make certain you have a couple of reliable and well indexed backups of your media collection if you still want to go this route.

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