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Is this a good idea? (Building a home server)

This is a discussion on Is this a good idea? (Building a home server) within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I'll be buying a new laptop or netbook and also upgrade my PC after a few months. So, I'm thinking ...

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    Registered User manasij7479's Avatar
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    Is this a good idea? (Building a home server)

    I'll be buying a new laptop or netbook and also upgrade my PC after a few months.
    So, I'm thinking of recycling the netbook I currently have.

    My plan is attach a few usb ethernet cards to it and have it act as a router, taking my DSL connection..and making it available through the extra ports.
    I can also remove the little hard disk present within and put a monster there for data storage.
    It also has a wifi card , so it could be set up for broadcasting the connection for all the other wifi-capable devices I have (and will have).

    I've a few questions, though..
    1. Is this a good idea or a ridiculous one ?
    2. If I plan on keeping it on for large amounts of time, would the power consumption be too high ?(It does not take much power now...and with some underclocking, I think it should be viable...(?right?).
    ..Also, how do I measure the power ..say.. with a multimeter ?
    3. If usb ethernet cards can't be found, or does not work without drivers...can generic cards be attached to the board directly ?
    4.Will a normal old PC be a better alternative for this?

    Any other suggestions.. if any of you have done something similar ?
    Manasij Mukherjee | gcc-4.9.2 @Arch Linux
    Slow and Steady wins the race... if and only if :
    1.None of the other participants are fast and steady.
    2.The fast and unsteady suddenly falls asleep while running !



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    Epy
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    There's a wall outlet multimeter called Kill-A-Watt that's very nice for such things; I don't know if you guys have different outlets in India though. My Asus EEE 1000HA uses about 11 Watts at most....whatever model yours is, it's not going to take much more than that.

    Honestly, I wouldn't use it as a router, you can get a router for cheap, but having a home server is a good idea. I have an old Dell laptop with a 2TB hard drive and have port 3389 forwarded to it for remote desktop.

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    Registered User manasij7479's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    There's a wall outlet multimeter called Kill-A-Watt that's very nice for such things; I don't know if you guys have different outlets in India though. My Asus EEE 1000HA uses about 11 Watts at most....whatever model yours is, it's not going to take much more than that.

    Honestly, I wouldn't use it as a router, you can get a router for cheap, but having a home server is a good idea. I have an old Dell laptop with a 2TB hard drive and have port 3389 forwarded to it for remote desktop.
    Asus 1005P ...so I'd assume it will be similar.(or less...because of the Atom 450 ..compared to 2xx in yours)
    I had some problems with getting my dsl connection work satisfactorily with routers available (tried with two) . Somehow all sites were not opening and most of those which opened constantly displayed a 'loading' sign on the tab icon.
    Hence my idea of trying it manually.
    Last edited by manasij7479; 12-10-2011 at 03:14 PM.
    Manasij Mukherjee | gcc-4.9.2 @Arch Linux
    Slow and Steady wins the race... if and only if :
    1.None of the other participants are fast and steady.
    2.The fast and unsteady suddenly falls asleep while running !



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    Epy
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    What brand(s) of router? I have had good luck with the older (pre-Cisco) Linksys ones as well as Netgear.

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    Registered User manasij7479's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    What brand(s) of router? I have had good luck with the older (pre-Cisco) Linksys ones as well as Netgear.
    Asus RT-N10+ ...and a friend's Linksys(..forgot the model no)
    The exact same problem makes me think that the problem is with my ISP
    ...but as a manual connection works fine...I think that setting up linux to do it would give better results.
    Manasij Mukherjee | gcc-4.9.2 @Arch Linux
    Slow and Steady wins the race... if and only if :
    1.None of the other participants are fast and steady.
    2.The fast and unsteady suddenly falls asleep while running !



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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    What brand(s) of router? I have had good luck with the older (pre-Cisco) Linksys ones as well as Netgear.
    The WRT54G was pure crap... I ended up replacing nearly 30 of them...

    RFI From Computer Networks - Linksys Router RFI!
    Yes, the Linksys WRT54G V5 Really Is a Lousy Router - SmallNetBuilder

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    Epy
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    It's funny because I set up one at my parents house which has worked fine for many years, but the similar models we've used at work die quickly. I think the Linksys are okay as long as you don't put a heavy load on them.

    Well, regardless, I've used the Netgear routers personally and they work great. They have a ton of options including built-in dyndns.org support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    It's funny because I set up one at my parents house which has worked fine for many years, but the similar models we've used at work die quickly. I think the Linksys are okay as long as you don't put a heavy load on them.

    Well, regardless, I've used the Netgear routers personally and they work great. They have a ton of options including built-in dyndns.org support.
    I use D-Link in SOHO setups and haven't had any problems to speak of (one died, but that's life)

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    Quote Originally Posted by manasij7479 View Post
    I'll be buying a new laptop or netbook and also upgrade my PC after a few months.
    So, I'm thinking of recycling the netbook I currently have.
    Netbook as server... NOOOOO... way to slow! You'll be getting crashes left right and center.

    Buy a proper router... Dlink or NetGear ...

    Get an older PC with SATA support... stuff in a couple of honkin big drives, load it up with a small linux distro or XP... run a cable to the router and share files that way.

    I do that here... We have 2 desktops, about 6 laptops (including guests) and a PC as Server using a D-Link wireless router.

    The "server" is running headless with XP on an older AMD dual core, 2xSATA for 5tb of storage, always on... and it's absolutely sweet!
    Elysia likes this.

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    Registered User manasij7479's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
    Get an older PC with SATA support... stuff in a couple of honkin big drives, load it up with a small linux distro or XP... run a cable to the router and share files that way.
    Good idea... I have an old PC collecting dust.
    But won't it need too much power ?
    Manasij Mukherjee | gcc-4.9.2 @Arch Linux
    Slow and Steady wins the race... if and only if :
    1.None of the other participants are fast and steady.
    2.The fast and unsteady suddenly falls asleep while running !



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    Quote Originally Posted by manasij7479 View Post
    Good idea... I have an old PC collecting dust.
    But won't it need too much power ?
    Let it go into standby when not in use... saves a lot.

    XP doesn't use the new Windows 7 "magic packet" so it will wake correctly on any tcp access.
    Linux I should imagine can be configured as well.

    Been running mine for a couple of years now and no noticeable impact on my electric bill.

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    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    I had a laptop with a broken screen that I was using for this. Then lighting struck the ethernet cable running between buildings, and bye-bye a computer and router
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    Well, a router in standby is not very useful .

    Instead of a bunch of ethernet cards, it's probably easier and cheaper to use a hub/switch instead, just let the netbook do the NATing.

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
    Netbook as server... NOOOOO... way to slow! You'll be getting crashes left right and center.
    I haven't done this myself, but I think you are exaggerating quite a bit, if the context is like, a normal home or apartment. What's so complicated here that a single 1.5 Ghz processor can't pull it off (sans windows perhaps, lol)? Pretty sure people still do this kind of tish with old 486's.

    Why not try it first just to see? Even if it doesn't work out, at least you'll have an experience -- I usually do something better the second time, so no harm done when I ditch version 1. And if the netbook does work fine, that's a lot cooler than an old box in the corner. For one thing, it's portable...

    WRT to the router problems, have you heard of this?

    www.dd-wrt.com | Unleash Your Router
    Last edited by MK27; 12-11-2011 at 08:03 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Epy
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    Yeah, we run a content management system on an old Windows 2000 P3 server...I'm pretty sure a netbook could handle it. It won't be as snappy as other options, but should at least be usable.

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