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RE: Comp: Networking the Intelligent Home

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> A) Can the DSL connection be accessed by more than one
> computer in the home
> at a time? In other words, can I check and send email,
while my grand
> daughter plays around the Disney sites and my wife tries
to hold a
> Netmeeting audio and video private conversation with our
daughter in
> Chicago.
It depends on the provider. DSL can support as many ip
addresses as you are assigned. Each of my offices has six ip
addresses with COncentric DSL. But that is a commercial
account. If you only have one ip address you can use ip
sharing in WIN 98 2nd Ed to hookup as many computers as you
want. No matter how many users you have, with a single DSL
line you will have a maximum aggregate throughput of
probably 128-144 kB or whatever your home office limit is.

> B) If both parties have DSL connections at each end, will
> conferencing with
> a program like Netmeeting (latest version) offer clear
audio and video
> transmission superior to our current 56Kb modem? (Remember
> all computers are
> at least Pentium II or III at 266Mhz or higher). Are
> using DSL for
> video and audio conferencing or simply to reduce the cost
> long distant
> phone calls?
It should be much better than telephone modem.

> C) At what speed will each of the laptops be able to
> the Internet
> through the network card and through the DSL modem in the
Whatever the minimu baud is with your provider. It is a
guaranteed minimum, though, as opposed to cable modem that
is limited to the aggregate bandwidth of the neighborhood.
Sometimes I am slow at home when everyone in the hood is
online. But when I come home for lunch or whatever I get
much better speeds. With DSL the line is direct to the
switch station and is always the same speed. You will see at
least 4 times the speed of a 56k modem and maybe as much as
ten times. With cable we get upto 800kB sometimes. Once in a
while we are slower than 28k.

> D) What is required to complete the network for two
> and the tower
> system assuming all will be centered on the Tower for
> storage, some program
> use and the DSL connection?
Get network cards, a hub, and class 5 cables. You don't
really need more than a 10Mbit hub and cards. The DSL modem
plugs into the hub like a fourth computer.
> E) Do all of the computers need to be on the same phone
> or, if the
> home has two or more lines, will they connect without
> disturbing normal
> phone calls, on different lines? I think I know the answer
> this one.
It is possible to share phone and data on the same DSL line
with a reduction in data throughput. It is probably better
just to leave it as a separate line. As I said above, the
modem connects to the hub, not to a particualar computer.

> F) Is running a program using Laplink through this network
> from the office
> to the laptop's as slow as through a Parallel port
> or is it fast
> enough so as not to get frustrating (will I want to
> analysis from
> the office machine while sitting in the den or bedroom)?
No. It will be much faster. But, in reality, you can run
programs from any of the computers and work on data on any
of the others if you share the data.

> G) Is the DSL service really worth it or will there be
> slowdowns expected
> like with modems when many people start to use the
Not at your end. If AOL gets overwhelmed than there is
nothing you can do. But unlike cable modem, DSL guarantees a
minimum throughput. The slowdown would only occur beyond the
first connection at the telephone company and they should
have a pretty good backbone ot hook into.
> H) Can I still access AOL from the new DSL service the
> as I do through
> my Earthlink Connection (I maintain AOL at a reduced rate
and use the
> Earthlink ISP to check mail because of the difficulty
> accessing AOL in my
> area and the need to maintain it for some clients)?

> I) Final Question (for now): What is the approximate cost
> steps needed
> to set up the appropriate phone line networking between
> laptops and one
> office machine?

DSL = $70 / month
Ethernet cards for PC = $40
Ethernet cards for Laptops = $100 (PCMCIA or, maybe USB)
Cables = $20-$60 depending on length.
Hub = $150 max
> I hope many of you find this an interesting topic as much
> I do. I don't
> think I ever thought I would have more than one computer
> my home and am
> concerned about synchronizing each of the machines and
> their features
> to automate many of the processes in our home.
> Regards,
> Dennis S. Wish, PE
> Structural Engineering Consultant
> (208) 361-5447 E-Fax