Gigabit Ethernet - Need Some Help

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Legacy, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. Legacy

    Legacy
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    Ok, so I want to build a file server so that I can store and access my large volume of ripped DVD's with my MacBook. My extensive trawling of the net has lead me to understand that I need a gigabit ethernet network to do this effectively. Prior to a few days ago I had precisely zero knowledge of gigabit ethernet, and my own research has still left me with a few questions.

    From what I understand to get an ethernet network in my house I need to do the following:
    Build a file server that includes a gigabit ethernet network card in it,
    Attach this card via cat6 cable to a gigabit ethernet switch,

    And then I get stuck, in fact for all I know the above could be wrong too. So if someone could answer these questions for me, that would be great!

    Do I attach my MacBook via cable to the switch as well, or will it work wirelessly through airport (which is what I assume)?
    Does the switch need to be attached to a wireless router? If so does the router need a specific port in it to accept this connection, and will the router effect the speed of file transmission?
    Finally, is there anything specific my file servers motherboard would need to accept the network card?

    Thanks, I've found you guys to be very informative recently, I hope you aren't getting too sick of my probably stupid questions!
     
  2. marauder6666

    marauder6666
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    I do something similar with a PS3, Macbook and a NAS device.

    All three of these are connected using wires to a gigabit switch, and a single cable going to a wireless (only guests laptops connect using wireless) ADSL router, for when the devices need to connect to the outside world.

    If your Macbook is connecting by wireless then there's no benefit having gigabit, as 100 mbit networking is faster than wireless, never mind 1000 mbit. Also unless the wireless router is gigabit then the connection between the switch and router is 100 mbit.

    If its possible to wire your Macbook permanently then do so, and enjoy the benefit of a gigabit network. Gigabit may be 10x faster than 100 mbit, but in real world applications is probably 2-3x the speed.
     
  3. Legacy

    Legacy
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    Hi,
    Thanks for the speedy reply, that's cleared quite a lot up!

    Just a couple more queries:

    By 'wire your laptop permanently' what do you mean?

    And does that mean a gigabit switch can be connected to a non-gigabit modem? What wire / connection do you use to connect the two together?

    Thanks again!
     
  4. marauder6666

    marauder6666
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    Connect the laptop by cable to the switch, try to avoid using the slow wireless connection. Connect file server to switch. Connect the switch to the modem/router, its not a problem to connect a 100 mbit device to the switch.

    This way, if the server needs to communicate with the macbook, then all data is transferred at 1000 mbit as it doesnt need to go via the router.
     
  5. nonads69

    nonads69
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    Hi

    Firstly, if you want to use wireless then then it will be much slower than 1Gb ethernet network.
    If you buy a 1Gb switch (or HUB) most should be auto sensing these days and bedownward compatable with a 10/100 router just make sure that any device you want to copy large files to and from will be better served by 1gb ethernet than 100mb. You will need RJ45 network cables to link it all together. they can be brought from Pcworld etc but you may want to check out online stores for cheaper prices. They can often be called patch cables, network cables, LAN cables.
    Also, instead of a server, take a look at the QNAP TS209II, you can put 2 disks in it, it can stream to most media devices, has usb for printers, and more feature than you can shake a stick at. I run one at home and host my own photo server from it for my family also.


    Nick
     
  6. Legacy

    Legacy
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    Marauder,
    That would definitely be possible with the set-up I am hoping to achieve, thanks a lot for your help, you've been very very useful!

    Nick,
    Ah great, I've had a look on Amazon and found the ones you are talking about. I checked out the server too, it looks good but I still think I would rather go for my own server. Partially because I would like as much expansion possibility as I can get and partly just because I like the DIY aspect of the project. If I do however screw it up then I will however definitely keep the QNAP in mind! Thanks for your help :)
     
  7. nonads69

    nonads69
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    Thats cool, I did the whole server bit a long time ago now and enjoy the ease of the QNAP, checkout the community forums @ qnap.com to see what else the box gives you and runs @ 60w which is pretty low power usage compared to a PC (I don't work for them just like their products :) )
    Then again, build a good machine was always fun, think I might be getting old, I can remember rushing out to get a the first cd player for a PC which cost £140, and could read at a whopping 2x speed, got it home to find it was a card bus device and needed a £70 sound card to make it work.....those were the days!!!

    Enjoy building it

    Nick
     

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