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I have recently decided to re-structure the home network of our flatshare here. Here's a quick outline of the situation. I envision to have the following 4 devices connected to the router via cable:

  • Xbox 360
  • IP phone
  • Printer
  • QNAP server (Web, File and Multimedia)

We are three people living here, so on top of that there will be to 5-6 computers/mobile devices connecting as wireless clients. My goal is to be able to transfer files (when needed) between the computer and the Multimedia server, which I can reach via 360 and play on the TV. I also would like to keep a high level of security; right now I have the encryption on WPA2 and MAC filtering.

I don't believe the web server will get heavy traffic, though I would like to have it responsive.Likewise, I don't have a habit of downloading via torrent etc, but I greatly appreciate my network being responsive and fast, especially when I am browsing or streaming high quality media.

Now my questions are:

  1. is this setup feasible? smart? efficient?
  2. can this be improved somehow?
  3. my current router (D-Link DI624) and the previous one (DI-524) used to have spontaneous drops in network, which I find highly irritating. I don't believe in my router, especially now that it completely crashed when I was test-running the setup by transferring a large media file to server while xbox was playing music from the server, and two computers browsing the net. Do I need to get new hardware, if so, any recommendations for a reliable and fast router?

EDIT: I realized that I haven't mentioned that I have a 100Mbit connection, and that I would need a router that is reliable in terms of fending off potential/possible attacks to the server. On a side note, has anyone experience with NetGear WNR3500L ??

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I have a similar setup. Wii, ps3, 3 netbooks, 2 laptops, multiple smart phones, android tablet, bluray, media extender and media server/torrentbox.

I recommend a gigabit router that is comptible with DD-WRT. DD-WRT basically turns a 75$ router into a super expensive one. Also set up your QOS to give priority to certain devices.

We have no problems with our setup. We even setup a script on the router that throttles the torrents whn other traffic builds. I also suggest hard wiring your heavy hitters. (Server, xbox and desktops if possible)

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thanks for your reply. I am not familiar with DD-WRT, it sounds interesting. I should check it out. Do you use encryption on the network? My network can handle traffic for merely 10-15 minutes now, and I am starting to think it might be due to WPA2. – posdef Jan 11 '11 at 11:16
    
I do use WPA2. I haven't had any problems. I definitely suggest keeping security on your network though. At the least, if you must lose security enforce MAC authorization though a persistent person could break that. I would definitely try this though (dd-wrt.com/site/index). Your WPA2 issues could be a firmware issue with your router. – Stanley Williams Jan 12 '11 at 12:39

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