Networking over mains - ethernet

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Postby bigjohn » Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:44 pm

telboy wrote:Have you considered the Devolo MicroLink dLan adaptors featured in this months magazine? (quoted at the wrong price I'm afraid - appear to have left a 1 off the front of the amount)
{snip}

TVM for that "pearl", it means that for me, I'll probably go for 2 of the Solwise devices, as at £86 the pair (actually I'll need 3 so it'll be £129) it looks cheaper than the Devolo Microlink option.

The only downside being that I'll have to complete the 3 year electrical installation course (with full NICEIC accreditation) to get rid of the snakes wedding for all the various devices I've got plugged into just 2 mains sockets at the moment :x :wink:

regards

John

p.s. Oh and for those who seem to think that wireless is more secure - having worked in "communications" in a previous life, I can confirm that it's easier to pick up a wireless signal, than it is to pick up a signal thats being passed down a copper wire.

Notwithstanding that ALL wire connections emit a signal. If you've got the right kit, you can pick it up.

Hence, it's more about the use of the correct cryptographic protocols and softwares. The main issue for me is that the freq ranges used for wireless devices are so high, that they are effectively "line of site", and as someone else already mentioned, it's quite feasible to stuggle to get a decent signal even in the next room.

I suspect that I'll stick to my wired connections - I have no desire to sit out in the garden with a laptop - irrespective of what the bloody adverts say!
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Postby shifty_ben » Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:15 pm

Sitting out in the garden is great ;) until you realise that everything you normally use is inside, SANE may let you do network scanning, but theres no way for you to change to the next document from out in the garden!

Having said that, sitting in the garden, with a beer and the laptop playing a DVD or streaming audio/video from a TV card in another computer is quite nice. My wireless AP only gets switched on when I need it, it takes less than 5 seconds to boot up, so theres no point in risking the security of the rest of the network.

Notwithstanding that ALL wire connections emit a signal. If you've got the right kit, you can pick it up.


Interesting you say that, because it occurred to me earlier that because of that these devices may be more secure than an ordinary wired connection a) some of them offer encryption - though what ive read seems to suggest it is actually just software encryption so the device is more or less irrelevant. but more importantly b) because of the background noise generated by the mains current, not to mention anything generated by "high-noise" appliances it should be a little harder to pick up the signals you need to listen in. Not impossible mind you.

Incidentally depending on the size of your house and wallett and the layout even with thick walls it is possible to get good wireless coverage, by placing repeaters in choice locations. You can build a repeater quite easily, especially if you have an old wireless router (or several) lying around. Problem is a) power consumption b) setup costs and c) finding the right place to put the things.
Far easier just to spend out on one of these things for each room you want it in I think.

[edit]

I'm in no way suggesting wireless is as/more secure as using cables. It isn't. With wireless you are in effect placing no physical limit on the distance of your network. In fact if someone was that determined they could build 'repeaters' as described above, and with correct placement and careful planning access your network from the comfort of their home a mile away. Its a pretty unlikely event though, far easier to sit in the car ;)
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Postby spottedcat » Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:15 pm

Hi. I've now bought a pair of Devolo MicroLinks. The box says "one minute installation" and they're not joking. Configuring my own encryption password took only a little longer.

Before buying, I looked at the adslguide reviews (Solwise here and dLAN MicroLink here) but went with the more expensive. Whatever, I'm impressed. My setup is now modem-router > MicroLink > mains > MicroLink > Belkin ethernet switch > various PCs. The two MicroLinks are one upstairs and one downstairs, on two different mains rings. Even so, the devolo configuration software tells me I am getting 82-83 Mbps.

BTW, the review in LXF79 says that Linux software is available for download. Actually, <cough> <cough> it's on the CD that comes with the kit. In /software/linux to be precise - <cough> <cough>. :wink: Nice to see a tar.gz filename there. There's even a readme file with instructions for installing in SuSE and Debian. Got it working nicely in SuSE, thankyou. :)
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Postby shifty_ben » Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:10 pm

Good to hear they are worth getting, I may well invest in a pair then, have been wondering about sticking a PC in the loft for Media, but as I rent I can't run Network cables up there. Excellent :D
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Postby jhooks » Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:39 am

nelz wrote:Yes you can connect more than one device to a single port on a router, by running them through a hub or switch. The Devolo devices must contain the necessary to enable each to act as a hub for the others.


In a star topology network e.g. twisted pair ethernet (10/100BaseT), you require a hub or switch (switching hub). The Devolo devices may use either a bus topology (like 10Base2), or more likely a ring topology (most homes have a ring main).
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Postby spottedcat » Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:53 am

jhooks wrote:In a star topology network e.g. twisted pair ethernet (10/100BaseT), you require a hub or switch (switching hub). The Devolo devices may use either a bus topology (like 10Base2), or more likely a ring topology (most homes have a ring main).


Thanks, I'll bear that in mind if I have to extend my network. With my present setup I managed to save a bit of money by buying an ethernet switch (£25 from PCWorld) instead of having to get more than the starter pack's two MicroLinks (at about £60-70 for each single one!).
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