Home networking question

  • Thread starter Charlie Ungashick
  • Start date

C

Charlie Ungashick

My wife and I both have laptops running WinXP Pro connecting to a Netgear WiFi router, which provisions 192.168.0.x addresses. Occasionally, we use our laptops outside the home to connect to other wifi and Ethernet networks. We have two printers at home we'd like to share easily, and we need a place to backup files. So we bought a home PC (it came with WinXP Home). With our current configuration, all machines find one another on the network to share files, they can all use the Internet.

But I'd like to use the new home PC to host a Web site (I already have the domain name, and IP forwarding is easy to setup). I'd also like to gain access to files on my PC from the internet. I don't want to use my new PC as an ICS host because of the layout of my house - the cable modem and WiFi router are in my living room, the PC is in the office, etc. I think Microsoft calls my setup a "residental gateway." So I'm not sure how best to setup my home network for security.

Any ideas you have are greatly appreciated.

Charlie
 
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purplehaz

To host a website you first need some server software. XP home cannot run
IIS which is windows server software and other stuff like ftp, smtp.etc..,
so you either need XP Pro, windows server 2000 or 2003, or a third party
server app like apache. XP pro can only accept 10 connections at a time.
Also xp home doesn't have remote desktop, so you'd need pro or 2003 server
or a third party app like vnc or similar. Also I'd check with your ISP first
before hosting your own site. I assume you have broadband(dialup won't work)
and most broadband companies do not allow you to host your own website
without paying extra for it, if they allow it at all. If they don't and they
catch you, they could cancel your account and possibly for life.(I've seen
it done). If you do host your own site all you need to do is set up the
server software and open the correct ports in the router.



My wife and I both have laptops running WinXP Pro connecting to a Netgear
WiFi router, which provisions 192.168.0.x addresses. Occasionally, we use
our laptops outside the home to connect to other wifi and Ethernet networks.
We have two printers at home we'd like to share easily, and we need a place
to backup files. So we bought a home PC (it came with WinXP Home). With our
current configuration, all machines find one another on the network to share
files, they can all use the Internet.

But I'd like to use the new home PC to host a Web site (I already have the
domain name, and IP forwarding is easy to setup). I'd also like to gain
access to files on my PC from the internet. I don't want to use my new PC as
an ICS host because of the layout of my house - the cable modem and WiFi
router are in my living room, the PC is in the office, etc. I think
Microsoft calls my setup a "residental gateway." So I'm not sure how best
to setup my home network for security.

Any ideas you have are greatly appreciated.

Charlie
 
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M

Miguel De Anda

My wife and I both have laptops running WinXP Pro connecting to a Netgear
WiFi router, which provisions 192.168.0.x addresses. Occasionally, we use
our laptops outside the home to connect to other wifi and Ethernet networks.
We have two printers at home we'd like to share easily, and we need a place
to backup files. So we bought a home PC (it came with WinXP Home). With our
current configuration, all machines find one another on the network to share
files, they can all use the Internet.

But I'd like to use the new home PC to host a Web site (I already have the
domain name, and IP forwarding is easy to setup). I'd also like to gain
access to files on my PC from the internet. I don't want to use my new PC as
an ICS host because of the layout of my house - the cable modem and WiFi
router are in my living room, the PC is in the office, etc. I think
Microsoft calls my setup a "residental gateway." So I'm not sure how best
to setup my home network for security.

Any ideas you have are greatly appreciated.

Charlie


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As for sharing your printer, you should consider you a small printer server.
I've used one from HawkingTech before and it works fine.
http://www.hawkingtech.com/prodList.php?FamID=51


You can probably install some firewall software on you pc and use it as a
firewall and have it connected directly to the Internet for the server. Just
add a second network card to that computer and connect that to you router.
This setup may require some reading. If you only plan on using that computer
as a server, you should definately consider using linux for it. You can get
a smaller distro that fits in under 500mb and includes firewall, webserver,
samba (for windows shares). Some distros are harder to install than others,
but there are plenty of people at alt.os.linux that are willing to help.
There have been thousands of people before you who have a extra computer
just for storing files and as a firewall. It might not be hard to install a
distro that is ready to go right out of the box (actually you probably
download it)

For the web server, you can probably just run apache (from
http://www.apache.org/ ). It installs on either windows or linux and is
actually the most popular web server around.

As for gaining access to files from the internet, you can simply run an ftp
server on the pc. Again, if you had linux it would probably be running an
ftp daemon by default. If you plan on sticking with windows, do a search on
google or something. There are plenty of free ftp programs. However, you may
want to consider using a more secure form of ftp (do a search for "secure
ftp").

Another way would be to set up a vpn server on the home pc. Then you can log
into that "network" and access the files just as if you were at home. I
don't know how setting up the server goes. I've only used it from a clients
point of view.

I'm not sure about XP Home, but XP Pro has a built in firewall software that
allows you to allow incoming requests to whatever port. Simply enable 80 for
web (when you get the webserver running) and 21 for ftp (I think ftp uses 2
ports, maybe 23?)


Anyways, hope this helps get you started. If you deside to go linux, I would
recommend Slackware if you have either experience with linux, or have lots
of time to perfect your setup. Another option would be Red Hat. RH is
starting to be considered bloat-ware but its fairly stable. It comes with
all of the software you need and has lots of gui front ends to server apps.
This makes administration a lot easier. With a complete setup of either
software, most of the configuration would be complete.
 

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