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Powerline networking good enough for domain?


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patseguin

I have a server which is a domain controller and several workstations at work. We plan on moving this all to a home-based business setup and are trying to figure out the best way to do the networking. The cable modem and router are upstairs while the equipment, server, and workstations will be in the basement. 1 computer will be used upstairs as well so a cable would have to be run back up. I was originally trying to research the best way to wire it when I came across power line networking which I totally forgot about. From my research, it will eliminate the headache of trying to figure out all the wiring back and forth from the cable modem to the server. The server in the basement just needs the internet connection and will connect to everything down there using cat6 network cables. Will this be sufficient to get internet to the server and then I can just use my switch to wire to the computers? The only catch is the 1 computer upstairs that will need access to the server. Will I have to run a wire for that or can I connect it to the powerline adapter to get network access? I am guessing that power line is sufficient for internet but I won't get anywhere near gigabit ethernet speeds like I do with cabling, right?

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JaredFrost

Question, do you have a gigabit internet connection?

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Roger H.

Yeah Powerline should be sufficient as long as you can get a good connection. I have a machine in a closet connected to a TP-Link TP6010 and I can copy files at 150-180Mbps speeds. Not gigabit but 12-15MB/s is plenty fast for local stuff.

For just a domain controller and DNS then the requests are so smallnit won't matter much. For internet, even if you had a 100Mbps plan you should still be good enough.

There are issues that happen when the devices can't get a good link between sockets so you won't get good speeds but in general 30-50Mbps should be minimum between them on a "OK" link rate.

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patseguin

No, the internet there is relatively slow. I have 50MBps at my home and I know for a fact that at this home the speed is slower. I'm thinking now that maybe using powerline to get internet to the domain server is good enough because it can handle the internet bandwidth fine. It's just going from the switch to the computer in the upstairs that will require a long cable I guess. Does that sound right?

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JaredFrost

Correct, unless the 300/500Mps the powerline adaptor would provide is enough, but proper cat6 cabling would be ideal.

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Roger H.

Well do some teats, there is no way for us to know how the house is wired and what interferences you might have there.

Cell phone charging pucks I hear cause interference so you will need to use the software and just look at link rates to see what socket gets the best speeds.

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+BudMan

"1 computer will be used upstairs as well so a cable would have to be run back up"

 

Huh??

 

CableModem -- upstairs switch ----------- downstairs switch

 

can plug in to either, why would you need 2 runs from between?

 

Here is the thing, while power line would work - AD doesn't require much, and your internet speed is nothing all that.  Why would you not run a wire?  Hire someone to do it - what most 200$ and your good to go.  Write it off as business expense.

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patseguin

I was hoping you would chime in Budman. Cable modem and wireless router is upstairs as will be 1 workstation and the remaining equipment and server domain controller will be in the downstairs. I figured on the powerline to connect to the router and then plug the other one in the basement to the switch which would obviously also have the server running AD and other computers down there. My problem has been trying to figure out how to get the upstairs computer connected to the domain without having to run wire. It sounds like I would have to run wire though from the switch to the computer upstairs though right? I know hiring someone to run wiring is the proper way to do it but my partner insists on doing everything cheap and he "doesn't care about wires all over", his rationale being that operating our of his home is only temporary. Well, I'm the one stuck then trying to find a 100 foot ethernet cable to run from the switch to his computer. He couldn't just connect his computer to the wireless router could he? I don't think he would be on the domain unless connected to the switch.

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DemonicHawk

...but my partner insists on doing everything cheap and he "doesn't care about wires all over", his rationale being that operating our of his home is only temporary. Well, I'm the one stuck then trying to find a 100 foot ethernet cable to run from the switch to his computer...

 

Well... a 100 foot Ethernet cable would probably be the cheapest option, and it's not exactly that hard to find one.

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+BudMan

100 ft cable is easy just deepsurplus or monoprice

 

here you go 10$

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10208&cs_id=1020814&p_id=11221&seq=1&format=2

 

So you have wifi router connected to your modem, then sure those normally have 4 ports - so connect one to the machine upstairs and then another run to switch downstairs - there you go done.  If you can not run the cable yourself, its not that difficult to be honest.  Then sure from the wifi router upstairs one of the lan ports connect to powerline, then powerline downstairs run a cable to your switch all done.

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Gotenks98

It should work fine, I have a crap ton of devices running to mine. Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, Mac Mini, 2 Self Built PCs, MacBook Pro, Smart TV, Apple TV and a Magic Jack. In most cases at least 1 half those devices are in use at the same time. Device to device for file transfers is fast but my internet is slow because its crappy dsl connection.

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patseguin

100 ft cable is easy just deepsurplus or monoprice

 

here you go 10$

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10208&cs_id=1020814&p_id=11221&seq=1&format=2

 

So you have wifi router connected to your modem, then sure those normally have 4 ports - so connect one to the machine upstairs and then another run to switch downstairs - there you go done.  If you can not run the cable yourself, its not that difficult to be honest.  Then sure from the wifi router upstairs one of the lan ports connect to powerline, then powerline downstairs run a cable to your switch all done.

Are you saying that connecting power line to the switch and just having the domain controller on the network will make the upstairs computer to access the lan via the router? Or do I still need a hard line from the switch to the upstairs computer?

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+BudMan

What is so complicated about this??

 

 

post-14624-0-19527700-1414296863.png

 

Everything here is on the same network and can talk to each other and the router as there gateway to the internet.  This all you have to do - but it would be better vs the powerline adapters to just run a hard wire between your router upstairs and the switch downstairs.  You do understand powerline is going to cost you prob not much less than to have someone install it.  I would really call a few places to see how much to run a wire for you.

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Joe User

What is so complicated about this??

 

 

attachicon.gifpowerline.png

 

Everything here is on the same network and can talk to each other and the router as there gateway to the internet.  This all you have to do - but it would be better vs the powerline adapters to just run a hard wire between your router upstairs and the switch downstairs.  You do understand powerline is going to cost you prob not much less than to have someone install it.  I would really call a few places to see how much to run a wire for you.

 

That's almost my exact home network topography. It works great and I regularly transfer multi-gigabyte files across it. Normally I would have run a line, but I'm renting.

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patseguin

What is so complicated about this??

 

 

attachicon.gifpowerline.png

 

Everything here is on the same network and can talk to each other and the router as there gateway to the internet.  This all you have to do - but it would be better vs the powerline adapters to just run a hard wire between your router upstairs and the switch downstairs.  You do understand powerline is going to cost you prob not much less than to have someone install it.  I would really call a few places to see how much to run a wire for you.

I guess what I wasn't understanding that connecting the router to the switch makes the AD server active on the router. I thought that running the router to the switch only would bring Internet to the domain controller. I didn't think it would make the domain active back on the router. So basically I only need to run a wire from the router downstairs to the switch and connect all the computers to the switch but the upstairs computer can connect to the router and access the server still?

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+BudMan

Yes!!!  So clearly you don't understand what a switch even is then if you are asking these questions ;)

 

"connecting the router to the switch makes the AD server active on the router"

 

We are not talking vlans or multiple segments, this is one simple broadcast domain with dumb switches.  If you connect a device to a switch it can see any other device on that switch, or if switch is connected to another switch all devices on that switch.  Even if that switch connected to another switch - all devices connected to any of the switches can see each other.

 

Your router lan ports are just a switch, nothing more..  The wifi router part just bridges the wifi to the switch..  If you turn off wireless and its dhcp server its just a dumb switch if you just use the lan ports.

 

Now if you were using smart or managed switches and you wanted to use vlans, then ok it could get a bit more complicated - but in this sort of setup.. Daisy chain some switches together where ever you need ports - connect your devices and your done.  If need be sure you could use powerline to connect switches together.

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+John Teacake
powerline adpters are just that, They are essentially an Ethernet extension cable. It uses the copper wire in your walls normally to carry power well to carry data. Nothing More nothing less.

 

All the other stuff well you don't need to worry about that from your Original question that's a whole other topic. 

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patseguin

Yes!!!  So clearly you don't understand what a switch even is then if you are asking these questions ;)

 

"connecting the router to the switch makes the AD server active on the router"

 

We are not talking vlans or multiple segments, this is one simple broadcast domain with dumb switches.  If you connect a device to a switch it can see any other device on that switch, or if switch is connected to another switch all devices on that switch.  Even if that switch connected to another switch - all devices connected to any of the switches can see each other.

 

Your router lan ports are just a switch, nothing more..  The wifi router part just bridges the wifi to the switch..  If you turn off wireless and its dhcp server its just a dumb switch if you just use the lan ports.

 

Now if you were using smart or managed switches and you wanted to use vlans, then ok it could get a bit more complicated - but in this sort of setup.. Daisy chain some switches together where ever you need ports - connect your devices and your done.  If need be sure you could use powerline to connect switches together.

Yeah I guess I don't clearly understand how a switch works. I didn't realize that connecting the cable modem to a wireless router and then to a switch would make the router a device I could connect to to access the lan. I thought it was a 1 way connection to bring Internet to the server. So the switch sends a signal back to the wireless router that allows devices connected to it to access AD?

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+BudMan

"I thought it was a 1 way connection"

 

So how would that work exactly??  You have to request something, say you want to view www.neowin.net..  For starters how do you know what IP that is?  You have to ASK dns server - so that would be traffic you SEND from your client.  Now you have to ask neowin for their page - how would you SEND that request if it was a 1 way connection?

 

You don't understand how tcp/ip works at all do you?  More than happy to explain it to you - but that could be a different thread.  For the sake of this discussion.  Any switches connected with a ethernet cable, or ethernet to powerline adapter and then other powerline adapter ethernet to different switch.  All these devices can then talk to each other with tcp/ip in both directions.

 

As in my picture I posted above - all these devices can talk to each other.  Be it talking to the router to get to the internet, or each other be it file sharing, AD communications, etc. etc..

 

edit:  Ok just because I like to be complete, and like to explain stuff ;)

 

Think of ethernet cables as roads, yes bidirectional roads - two lane lets call them.  You can go either direction on them.  We can get into half or full duplex at a latter time.  And switches are just intersections of these roads.  Which send the traffic to the port the device with the mac address you want to talk to is on.

 

What is a mac address you ask?

Computer do not actually talk to IP, they talk via mac address.  So lets say device with IP address 192.168.1.100 wants to talk to 192.168.1.8, first thing it does is arp - ask hey what device out their has the IP address 192.168.1.8 please let me know.

 

So you see here the device at 192.168.1.100 is asking hey who has IP address .8, let .100 know.  It sends this info out to broadcast, notice the all FFs - this lets the switch know hey send this to all ports!

post-14624-0-94746100-1414333484.png

 

Now once it knows the mac address it can send whatever traffic it wants to that mac address.. Lets call it some as simple as a ping

 

post-14624-0-11741700-1414334358.png

 

So you will see at the top .100 is asking for mac of .8 via arp.  .8 sends back to that source mac says hey my mac address is.  Now .100 can send a ping to that mac address.  Then you will also notice now .8 is asking hey who has .100.  You would think it would know that from the ping request source.  But this is the way it works both sides need to know the mac address of the IPs that are talking to each other in a local network.  It gets a bit more complex when talking layer 3 (different networks) and routing happens.  Happy to go over that as well if you want.

 

So now that .8 knows the mac of .100 it can send the echo reply.

 

Where the switch comes in, this is a gif so the lights should be flashing and connections being drawn.  If you don't see that let me know.

 

post-14624-0-06788800-1414334599.gif

 

We have 5 computers all connected to same switch, or could be switches connected together with a cable doesn't matter the switch remembers what ports have what mac addresses on them and knows what port to send the traffic on based upon mac address.

 

So in the above gif you can see different computers 1 to 5 wanting to talk to different computers.  In the first 1 wants to talk to 3, and 5 wants to talk to 2.  So they would be sending traffic to specific macs.  The switch looking at the macs says OH that mac is on port X and sends connects those ports together.

 

In the next sequence 2 wants to talk to 1, and 4 wants to talk to 3.  So the switch based upon mac address that it knows about - it sends the traffic where it wants to go.  If it all FFs like in the arp request, the switch sends that traffic to ALL ports so a device with that IP can answer and it learns what macs are on what ports.  This is called arp table or arp cache.

 

So for example you can view this on your computer with the command arp -a

 

post-14624-0-28466300-1414335083.png

 

Switches have the same sort of table/cache to know what macs are on what ports.

 

post-14624-0-66349600-1414335377.png

 

So that is one of my switches, you will notice the mac addresses and the ports where it has seen those mac address - so it knows where to send traffic based upon the mac.  You will notice that some ports have more than 1 mac listed.  This normally means there is another switch connected to that port, and that is all the macs that are on that switch.

 

post-14624-0-87870600-1414335575.png

 

So so you can see that ports 2,3,4 and 9 all have multiple macs listed.  This is because 2 and 3 connect to virtual switches in my esxi host and have multiple virtual machines connected to them. 4 is an uplink to switch in my living room with other devices connected to it.  And port 9 goes to my Access Point, which is really just a wireless switch connects wireless devices to wired network.  So the switch knows that the macs for all those wireless devices need to go down the port connected to the AP.

 

Does that clear it up any?  Clear as MUD? ;)  More than happy to explain this stuff at whatever level is needed to make sense of it..

 

 

 

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patseguin

I am researching going the route of hard wiring, but I have yet to find out if my partner wants to do that. To simplify things, if he wants to go "cheap and fast", I could use the router that is plugged into the cable modem to an AC adapter and then run a line from the 2nd AC adapter to the switch and also connect the server and other devices down there to the switch. Rather than need to run some line from the switch back to the computer he wants to use upstairs, he can just connect to the router that is connected to the cable modem and he will have access and be able to log onto the domain. Is that correct?

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+BudMan

Yes it is correct how many times do we have to say the same thing??

 

And why would you run a hard wire to his computer in the first place?  He can always just connect to the switch on the router, be it you us ac adapters to connect the router to your switch downstairs or a hard line.

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patseguin

Thanks Bud. I set it up today and everything works fine. I noticed that the activity light alternates among green, amber, and red. Red according to the manual means move the adapters closer. However, I tested it for some time and the connection seems stable. Thanks for your help sir.

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+BudMan

So which ones did you get, and have you done some speed testing across them.. Either say a file copy with robocopy, or iperf or netio, etc. etc..

Can provide links to tools if need be.

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patseguin

This one:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpage.jsp?_dyncharset=UTF-8&_dynSessConf=&keys=keys&id=pcat17071&type=page&sc=Global&cp=1&nrp=15&sp=&qp=&list=n&iht=y&usc=All+Categories&ks=960&st=XAVB5201100PAS

All I did was a speed test and the internet is faster than my business class one. I didn't do any major file copies yet. Give me the links and I'll show you some results.

P.S. I was connecting stuff on the back of the server and it was dark so I put my iPhone in flashlight mode and placed it on the table where it could shine. It fell off the table and fell face down on the server's metal case. Not a single mark on the screen, I got so lucky lol.

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+BudMan

on sale ;) A whole 1$ heheehehe


$68.99
On Sale
Regular Price: $69.99
You Save: $1.00

Well if want to test what the wire can do without any issues of disk speed, etc.. grab iperf.

You can grab a copy of 2 here https://iperf.fr/

Any question on use just ask.

 

edit:  So couldn't find any current iperf3 for windows, so compiled a copy - will attach..  Adds some nice features

 

post-14624-0-62381700-1414471209.png

 

Here is windows version 3.0.9 of the source I got from here https://github.com/esnet/iperf/releases

iperf3_09.zip

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patseguin

Well, I was out of the office today but my partner texted me and told me his Filemaker database kept disconnecting. I fear that maybe the powerline network may not be stable.

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