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central computer

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have 3 comp and i want to make my old Dell (P3 1g 512 ram 160 WD, linksys nic). This will all connect to a linksys router and cable modem. a central computer kinda like where i dump all my personal files and so on..... attach my printers and have my other box's got through in to the web. will in work??
post #2 of 10
The slowest part of your LAN will always form a bottle neck--that's why servers are generally built to be so fast. Is your NIC gigabyte LAN? That could be issue otherwise--depending on what you are streaming from the Dell.

Basically you are setting up a server with your Dell--a standard practice--using a good firewall like Zone Alarm on the server will free up your other PCs--obviously a good antivirus like Sophos or AVG 7.1 is mandatory--I would also make the drives you share out encrypted (assuming XP pro). Should work great and offer the best security for Web DLs--look for bottlenecks and keep them out at the periphery of the LAN--the hub needs lots of bandwidth and security--the periphery less so...
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
So pretty much your saying is I need the fastest box i have for this setup and run the other through it right? No the Dell's nic isnt a GB card but my other comps do have a faster card(on board)
post #4 of 10
If you are a home user im pretty sure 100mb is fine. Just make sure the hard drive on your older machine is in good condition so you dont lose your files if you back things up to that. Unless that Dell will act as a NAT, i dont see how he would not need antivirus on the other machines. You are basically setting up a file server. File server does not need to be a fast. As long as you have a good connection 100mb\\1000mb, and a good hard drive and a decent processor like you have, you will be fine. That will be more then enough to act as a file server.
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post #5 of 10
the processing power wont matter much for a home file server since it wont be handling lots of file transfers at once but like the others have said, the thing that will limit it the most is the connection speed.
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post #6 of 10
I am trying understand your setup... are going:

Internet <---> Dell <----> Router <-----> other computers

or

Internet <---> Router <----> dell
_______________^
_______________|
_______________V
_________Other computers?

Let me know how you are setting this up so I can better try to answer your questions.
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post #7 of 10
I would go ahead and just hook to the internet normally. Your router will have a firewall in it any way. You could spread your devices arround a bit though.

Like take my set up...

I have an old P3 1.0 Ghz that runs my 3 printers (laser, color, photo) and an old K6 that is hooked up to a 300 gig IDE hard drive that I use to store large files, music, movies, whole DVD's. I have a P3 833 that the olny thing that is done on it banking and bill paying and is full of security options...only way my wife would let me do it on-line. I have a few others aswell, but they only fold...and of corse all but my money comp fold aswell...I'll get in that top 100 one of these days.

If I didn't do that, I really wouldn't even need a LAN...well besides my two guest gaming rigs. I don't think a "Central Computer" is a very good game plan.

What ever you decide...be sure to put them all folding for overclock.net
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post #8 of 10
100mb is plenty for almost everyone - if you can read a videofile faster than you play it, thats usually enough. If you use huge amounts of data - multi-gigabyte files - then you could consider gigabit ethernet. Its not expensive anymore. But for most, that would be overkill.

I suggest you first make a list of all the things you might want to put on your server - file shares, routeing, printers, other servers, p2p software. And then plan its hardware. And consider putting linux on it too - its popular for servers. Much more stable, it can run for years without needing a reboot.
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post #9 of 10
I'd also go with linux. Very good for servers. Samba is a little tricky to setup, though.
post #10 of 10
So what are the pros/cons of having a central computer as a server? I had my network set up like that for a while, before I got a NAT router. The biggest issue I see is security. If you've got your storage computer hooked directly to the internet without going through a firewalled router, it's more at risk. I was considering the same thing, and when mine was like that, I couldn't get things like Azureus to work, Steam couldn't connect, and I was constantly worried about someone hacking my server. Now I've got a firewalled NAT router connected directly to the internet and all of my computers hooked to that. I've still got a file server, it's hooked up just like the rest of my computers. It's got a software firewall running, PeerGardian2, and some other security measures have been taken. The share folder is mapped as a network drive on my main comp. The only main problem I see is I have to have both computers on to see my files. It's not that much of an issue, but my gf complains about the electric bill (since I finally talked her into helping out with it).
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