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Firewire Networks?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Desmo, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. Desmo

    Desmo
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    I've just upgraded my HTPC mobo to an Epox 8RDA+ which has Firewire ports. My other machine (this one) also has a firewire port. How easy is it to network them? Just the same as TCP/IP over ethernet?

    Also, what is the maximum cable run and would a firwire hub act the same as an ethernet hub?
     
  2. 777php

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    If you have Windows XP firewire networking is just like TCP/IP, it appears in your network connections alongside with your other connections. I haven't tried networking with a hub so I cannot comment on how it may act.
     
  3. feet14

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    You set up TCP/IP in Windows in the same way as for an Ethernet card, provided you have XP or Me. If so, a "1394 Network Adaptor" should appear when you look at the networking devices page.

    The cabling is similar to Ethernet, but you simply connect a Firewire cable between the two pc's - no need for a special cable. You can also daisy-chain pc's together if you have more than one Firewire port on the same Firewire adaptor (mobos often have a break out bracket for a second part) as there is one IP address for each controller, not for each port.

    You can also use a Firewire hub like an Ethernet hub, though daisy-chaining would be my choice unless you had more than 4-5 on a network.

    The only downside is the cabling restrictions - each Firewire cable used in the network must be no more than 4.5m long so if you've got pc's a long way from each other then it's not practical (you can extend a cable by using hubs but for my home network it'd cost at least £200 because I need a 25m cable length).

    Most of this I found out a few months ago in PC Magazine which no longer exists.
     
  4. Desmo

    Desmo
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    Cheers fellas. I knew that the firewire ports show up under the network connections but wasn't sure if it was a case of just connecting them up and how they'd work with a hub. Daisychaining them might be an option. It just depends on where I put the machines in my new house.
     
  5. Rob.Screene

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    Summary: WinXP and Sony SmartConnect iLink software seem great, but it's no go with Win 2000 without Sony SmartConnect. Also a 10/100 network seems faster.

    I have a SB audigy in my WinXP desktop and that connected to a Sony VAIO Laptop (Win2000 Pro) iLink firewire fine. Auto IP assignment and file sharing was fine.

    It seemed poinytless though, as it did not better the 8MB/sec transfer speeds I was getting using bus mastering 10/100Mbps networking though, even though I was pulling off a share on a WD 120GB JB hard disk/1900+ Athlon CPU pc.

    I was hoping to also use this for a 400Mbps network between a desktop and development server:-

    I tried to connect the SB audigy in my WinXP desktop to the Win2000 Server with 2-port firewire card and no joy. They detected each other, but no IP addresses were assigned.

    In reading-up on this, Win2000 does not support "IP over 1394" networking which WinXP and the Sony SmartConnect iLink software were working together with.

    I found a third-party alternative network over firewire, but it is not compatible with IP over 1394 that WinXP and Sony SmartConnect iLink use.

    cheers,
    Rob.
     
  6. MAW

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    You've run into the sony vaio brick wall mate, I hate the b****ards. No matter what you want to do, they find a way of doing it slower...
     
  7. Rob.Screene

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    Oh, Maw, are you saying WinXP to WinXP network over firewire is faster?

    What sort of Megabytes per second?

    There was me being impressed that it even worked as SmartConnect wasn't something I even cared about when I bought the laptop!

    cheers,
    Rob.
     
  8. MAW

    MAW
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    I've got both network flavours, firewire is stupendous, but I only use it rarely, as all my PC's are normally more than 4.5m apart. The Vaio is the exception, it's better on ethernet. My Tiny laptop is noticeably faster on firewire, connected to my son's PC at close range. We have so much trouble with the Vaio, my wife's work laptop, running W2K. She has come close to inserting it into the IT man's anatomy at the point where the sun don't shine. But then it is the NHS, and their IT policy stinks anyway.
     
  9. Rob.Screene

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    Funny, the VAIO has been great to me. It's not got any corporate apps or domain connection on it, that always seems to slow them down, also anything other than Norton Anti-Virus seems to make laptops cranky!

    So how do I upgrade my Win2000 Server to get IP over 1394 compatibility at little cost then? Gost, what a wonderful HTPC media server that would make, he said, trying to keep on-track for this forum!

    cheers,
    Rob.
     
  10. MAW

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    Well, a twin firewire port PCI card is cheap enough these days, not much more than 2 ethernet cards. But if you need to do it with a hub, then you'll still have to pay a bit extra, but it's got lots of techie 1-upmanship points. How many people here even have a real firewire network? Only trouble is, it might be swallowed up in the rush to USB2 networking. Isn't that faster still? Though I find USB has major stability problems with my 98/ME/W2K pc's, must invest in some XP I think.
     
  11. Desmo

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    I'm going to give this a go later tonight or tomorrow. Both machines are running XP so shouldn't be a problem. 4.5M does sound a bit short, has anyone tried it over a longer distance? Maybe you just lose out on some speed rather than it not working at all.
     
  12. feet14

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    It might work over longer distances, but as that is outside the official specifications you may not be able to easily obtain a cable longer than 4.5m.

    (edited for error in quoted text)
     
  13. MAW

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    You've got it there, the only way to extend distance is with a hub at 1/2 way, =9m total. Gets pricey. The ports will simply not detect each other further away even if you could get a cable.
     
  14. iputerfixer

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    Why would you mess with firewire networks when ethernet works so good? You can make your cables any length you want, it's cheap, fast and reliable. You can network any computer you want, and if you use a switching hub, no collisions or data slowdown.
    I luv my ethernet!
    And by the way, for home networking, the cheap cards work just as good. Got mine for $7.
    Sorry if you don't know what $ is.
    I'm from the other side of the ocean!
    We do things bass ackwards
     
  15. Desmo

    Desmo
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    I've have an ethernet network already setup, but 4 times the speed is tempting :)
     
  16. MAW

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    Speed is the name of the game, certainly. I think USB2 is probably limited to 5m like USB1, unless anyone knows different, so no way out there. Cabled ethernet is the easiest and most widely supoorted, and works up to 300m, but still can't manage 400mbit/sec. I tried USB1 networking a couple of years ago, worked fine for gaming, but no good for large file transfer or DVD.
     
  17. iputerfixer

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    OK, here is my opinion again.
    If you are smart, don't have far to network and don't mind the headaches, go ahead with firewire.
    But really, who is always transferring such large files that 100mbps isn't enough. Come on! I bet most of you don't move more than 50MB around per day. What would 400mbps save you?
    5 seconds?
    10/100 is cheap! Reliable!
    Nuff said!:cool:
     
  18. Desmo

    Desmo
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    I rip lots of DVD's to HD and use them on various machines for stripping, encoding etc. I'm shifting Gigs around each day.
     
  19. iputerfixer

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    So get the gigabit ethernet.
    It's out there and supposedly runs over cat 5 wire.
    and isn't a gigabit better that 400mbps?
    http://www.shentech.com/aopaog1000ba.html is a US shop to buy gigabit cards. Says it supports full duplex mode so theoretically you could get 2 gigabit if you got traffic going both directions.
    Anyone tried this at all?
    Here is a gigabit hub to support it all!
    I couldn't use all this speed, but what the heck, if you can, why not?
     
  20. Desmo

    Desmo
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    The point is I don't really need or want to improve my network to the extent of going out and buying equipment. This all started as I had the firewire ports on two machines and was just curious.
     
  21. Rob.Screene

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    It was a nice tip though. I looked around and scan.co.uk do 10/100/1000 network cards for 32+VAT each. Using existing cat5 (e?) cable.

    It obviously won't do 1000 over existing 100 hubs, switches or routers, but I could put second network cards in a couple of machines and network them directly. It also looked like some of these cards are smart enough to not need a crossover network cable for a peer-to-peer pair.

    I wonder if it'll be cpu efficient enough to carry the 40MB/sec that the fast Western Digital BB drives look to be able to sustain?

    Hmm, I'm going to be doing some BIG database work after Christmas so I think I'll need to get some!

    cheers,
    Rob.
     
  22. MAW

    MAW
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    Like Desmo says, the appeal of firewire is that we've almost all got the kit. USB2 may be another alternative? Not so widespread yet, there's a USB1 connector from Belkin that works great, but of course it's slow. Why everyone ended up with USB rather than firewire must be only apple/PC politics, firewire was designed before USB, to be hi speed hot swappable etc.
     
  23. iputerfixer

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    The reason not everyone got firewire is because you had to pay Apple to use it.
    Nobody likes to pay, me included!
     

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