Monday, June 30, 2008

Networking

Yesterday I finally got something done I had been wanting to do for a while. I went up to Lowe's and purchased some CAT5e cable and wall jacks. I then went home, drilled some holes in the floor, and ran cables under the house. Next to my DSL modem I have two network outlets that run to my bedroom and the other to the girl's bedroom.
I had previously been connecting wirelessly. Wireless support in Linux is not stellar, and the cards in our computers have gone from supported to not supported, which is kind of odd.
With my new wired connections I have a full 100M connection between the PCs, and no wireless headaches.
For the jack in the girl's room, Aurora punched down two wire pairs into the jack.
One thing I was worried about was if I made even one mistake, then the run wouldn't work. I don't have any tools for troubleshooting problems with network cables. If any wire was out of place, or wasn't punched down properly, the only indication I would have of a problem is that my computer wouldn't connect. I would have no idea why. Testers can tell you exactly which wire is having a problem, but without that it would be up to me to make sure all wires are in the proper place and try to punch them down a little harder. If that would have failed then I would have had to just restripped everything and started over again. Fortunately everything worked the first time and I didn't have to worry about any of that.
Now I can very easily pass music and videos around from computer to computer. My next step is to get a Gig switch so I can go from 100M between computers to 1,000M between computers. Sweet!