How to set up a network and or Internet connection

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Canuk Offline
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Post: #1
Hello All:

I am building a HTPC and would ask for input regarding how I might add networking and connection to the Internet to the new HTPC system.

I have at present a stand alone work station, with an ADSL connection to the internet.
I am building a HTPC system that will play movies and music.
I will not use this system for watching TV or to play games.

What I need help with:
As mentioned I have an ADSL connection to my desktop computer and would like to know how I might utilize this connection to the Internet on my HTPC.

In addition I would like to set up a small local area network consisting of the HTPC and the stand alone computer. My stand alone computer is using Windows XP with SP3.
The HTPC system will be XBMC a Linux based system, as these two systems do no share a common operating system can one use a peer to peer networking system?
What options do I have to allow for a network to exist between these two different operating systems?

Thank you in advance.
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vikjon0 Offline
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Post: #2
1) Buy a router.
2) Connect the adsl modem/whateveritis to the WAN port on router
3) Reset the modem
4) Connect all other computers/whatever to the LAN ports.

That is pretty much it.

If you by "network" mean "share" it is very easy to share a folder on xp and access it from xbmc.
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Xaiks Offline
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Post: #3
As vikjon0 has said, a router is all you would need to be able to connect your new computer to the network. It can be wireless, though setting up wireless on a Linux system will often be a bit more involved than novice admins are usually prepared for (you'll usually need to break out the terminal and sometimes have to mess with modules). Just make sure that both the router and the HTPC have wireless (and that the wireless hardware on the HTPC has Linux support). Otherwise make sure you have enough CAT5e or CAT6 cable to run from the router to the HTPC for a wired connection.

Network wise, XBMC has built-in SMB support (the protocol windows machines use to share files over the network) so you should have no problems pulling files from your XP machine. However, Linux uses NFS as it's built-in network protocol, so your windows machine would not be able to pull files from the HTPC without some extra work. If you would like to do this, look into SAMBA. SAMBA is the SMB protocol implemented under Linux. Again, if you aren't used to Linux, this will probably be a bit involved.

Peer-to-peer wise, in case I misunderstood you, every protocol you can think of has some application under Linux that supports it. Bittorrent, newsbin, whatever crazy file sharing protocol the kids are using these days, etc. all have one or more applications supported under Linux. And with Ubuntu (the operating system xbmc-live is based on) many of these can be found right in the built-in apt sources. look into the apt-cache and apt-get commands for more info.
(This post was last modified: 2012-01-07 01:57 by Xaiks.)
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Canuk Offline
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Post: #4
Hello All;

Maybe I need to clarify a couple of things, the mentioning of “Peer to Peer” is a basic network term as apposed to the term “Client Server” used in local area networks.

Thank you vikjon0 and Xaiks for the reply, Xaiks you hit it on the head when you mentioned the ability of a Linux machine to be connected through an internal network to a XP machine. The ability to access and move files from the XP machine is all that is needed, as I need a way of moving my video files to the HTPC box.

I am still confused a bit on how one can configure the HTPC to utilize the ADSL router that I have on my desktop machine for Internet access on the HTPC? I want this primarily
So I can utilize “Movie Scrapers” to retrieve video information and images for the many movie files that I have.

What I believe both of you are saying is that if I install a 802.11 router to my ADSL box and then connect both machines to this router I will be able to access and share files between both machines and as well allow the HTPC machine to utilize the ADSL router to access the Internet. Is that in fact the case?

I had originally planned on making up a RG62 cable with crossed pairs thereby eliminating the need for a router as I wanted to keep things around my workstation neat and tidy. However as you have pointed (I believe) the router will also act as the means for the HTPC machine to access the ADSL connection so that is the way to go.

Am I on the right track here?

Regarding wireless access through a router I will not go this route as I have read that it can be very slow, thus I will utilize two straight through CAT5e or CAT6 cables to complete the network.

There still is one issue whizzing around in my head and that is the sharing of local files.
On the one hand one has a small local area network which should work very well on accomplishing this task however I have read that users have used FTP to transfer files to the HTPC machine, any thoughts on this?


Thank you again.
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vikjon0 Offline
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Post: #5
You are over complicating things, if you have trouble grasping what a router will do for you DO NOT try anything else. The only exception is if you do not have any budget at all but you have a lot of time to spend.
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j114 Offline
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Post: #6
There really is no point in adding the extra layer of complication with FTP when simple network shares will do the job without any problems. Particularly as you are only talking about 2 machines, I would stick with the simplest approaches possible.

As far as the router goes, if you have no interest in wireless access they also have wired only routers that are cheap. Another bonus to a router is that with your current setup, your main desktop is directly exposed to the internet which makes it much easier for your machine to be identified and attacked. If there is a router with a basic firewall between your machine and your WAN connection, it reduces your exposure to the internet. Everyone should be hiding behind a router, from a security perspective. It doesn't make you invisible, or invincible, but it's like wearing a seat belt -- it helps.
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Canuk Offline
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Post: #7
Spent a good part of yesterday reading up on switches, hubs and routers and now have a fairly good grasp on what each can do. In addition I managed to find a Linksys wireless router so that now is a non-issue. The issue with going with wired or wireless connectivity is still an open one. The motherboard that I will be buying for my HTPC only has one PCI express slot and I want to reserve that for a Radeon card that I have already. I intend on using the Radeon 6310 built into the motherboard first, however if 1080p becomes a issue then in goes the card. With that said my only option is a USB wireless stick and based on many comments these can be slow to problematic. With this in mind cable has to still be considered even though it is much more of a hassle.
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Canuk Offline
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Post: #8
Hello;
Yes, I now understand that by using a router I am able to have both a hardware and software based firewall.
When it came to wired versus wireless routers I went the wireless route as it did not close possible future possibilities. If I can be assured that a USB wireless
stick will work for me then I will try that first as I will have to do a lot of work and reconfiguration of wiring in my home to get the cable installed and hidden from view.

Thanks again!
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