I have received several requests for a tour
of my home network so here you go. I have dedicated an entire closet to be the heart
of my home network. I actually screwed a piece of plywood to the wall so that I could freely
mount any network hardware that I needed. My main connection to the internet is this
standard old cable modem, provided by Charter Cable. I actually have 2 terabytes of file
storage. The way I have this configured is with 4 hard drives, each one being 1 terabyte.
However, only two of the hard drives are used for file sharing. The other two are backup
drives and each night a script is run to automatically clone the data from the main hard drives.
These drives are all daisy chained through a single firewire connection on this old Mac
Mini G4, which works as my file server and web server, amongst other things. I also do
my voice narration recording in here. That is why I have the big microphone connected.
All of these ethernet cables go up into the attic where they’re distributed around the
house to wall jacks, like this one. I labeled each jack with a number that corresponds to
a particular port on a particular switch. That way if I ever need to troubleshoot a
connection, I know where the other end goes. I’m a strong believer in ethernet. While I
do have two wireless access points in my house, one at each end, I do not use these for anything
except mobile devices. So I have quite a few things connected to my ethernet switches.
I’ll show you some of it. I have a color laser printer. I do not believe in inkjet printers.
I think they are a big waste of money since the ink costs more than the printer. I also
have a black and white laser, copier, and scanner on the network. This is my main office,
or computer room. This is how things look day to day, I didn’t clean anything up for
you. This is my main computer, which is a Mac Mini. This is where I edit all of my videos.
Here is a workbench I use for everything from repairing computers to shooting videos of
things. These two Mac Mini setups are for my two kids. I even have a computer in my
garage. I have a cheap monitor on the wall and this old Mac Mini G4. I use it mostly
for displaying PDF images or searching the web while I’m working on projects in the garage.
This is my wife’s desk, and yes it stays that messy most of the time. This is my living
room TV. Besides the Nintendo Wii, you’ll also little black Western Digital box. This
thing is wired into my network and allows me to watch Netflix, Hulu, or files stored
on my local main file server. I have one of these on every TV in the house. This is essentially
our only source of television content. We have no cable or satellite. Well, I hope you
enjoyed the tour. I would just like to point out that a lot of people think I have this
extravogent, expensive computer network. And really, I don’t. Most of the equipment I’ve
bought used off of eBay for nearly nothing. So I don’t have a lot of money invested in
my network. But what I do have a lot invested is time. Particularly when it comes to running
all of the ethernet cables. I’ve typically done it over a period of years on an as-needed
basis. I started off with one switch, then two, and now three. And it more or less works
like this. We re-arrange a room and we’re like “Oh well, now we need an ethernet jack
over here” so I run a new jack. And just over a period of several years I’ve ended up with
nearly 48 network jacks in the house, so I have a live ethernet jack on every wall. I’m
really, really a proponent of ethernet. I mean, I know everybody loves wireless because
it’s so convenient. And nearly every device I have in the house is capable of wireless
but I just don’t like it because it’s not fast enough, its not reliable enough, it’s
too complicated. You’ve got to deal with SSID’s, encryption, interference problems, and range
issues and you know, so I just do not use wireless unless it’s a mobile device like
an iPad, or laptop, or iPhone, or iPod, or something like that. Everything else, I just
much prefer to plug the wire in. It works, and it always works, and it keeps on working,
and I don’t have to worry about any of the complicated mess of wireless. So that’s just
the way I do things. Anyway, leave some comments. Tell me what you think. Till next time!