'Pimp' my network!

Associate
Joined
7 Jun 2007
Posts
87
I am looking to 'pimp' my current network setup, but my knowledge of network services and configurations is limited, so i am asking for some suggestions on how to improve my network experience.

I am a self-employed web designer, my current office setup consists of my work station and my web server that i use for development only at the moment. I recently purchased a new computer, which is a massive improvement over my last PC, and i used some of the old parts to upgrade my web server. However with this new PC i cant help but feel its not performing as well as it could do, due to zone alarm security suite using valuable resources, i am also convinced zone alarm is responsible for corrupting my mirrored raid array randomly. So id like a new solution to protect myself from viruses and hackers, so i am thinking maybe a hardware firewall and setup my web server as a proxy, but my knowledge on proxy configurations is limited, is this possible?

before i start rambling, ill summarize. i am looking to 'pimp' my network, to make my work environment a more productive and secure one, also looking to make better use of my web server, which wouldn't bother me if it turned into being more that just a web server, running more services and functions, my knowledge in this area is limited so id be reliant on suggestions. I have an extensive music and video collection, so any setup that would enhance this would also be greatly appreciated.

iv drawn a diagram outlining my current network setup throughout the house with as much detail as i can see relevant. my office is upstairs, directly above my step-dads workstation, my network cable from the router runs up the outside of the house and then through a hole in the wall.

network.gif


many thanks :)
 
Associate
OP
Joined
7 Jun 2007
Posts
87
Duke said:
OT: Did you draw that yourself or use a network diagram program as it looks a lot cleaner than others I've used.

i drew it myself using photoshop, font used is myriad pro
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
18,299
so whats actually wrong with the network?

If you want to make your setup more productive then get a dual mon setup, invaluable for dev work imo, the bigger the better.

What software is currently on the server?
 
Associate
OP
Joined
7 Jun 2007
Posts
87
there is nothing wrong with it, everything works perfectly, im just looking for suggestions on how to make it better, by incorporating features and services that i may have overlooked, or don't even know exist, as mentioned above, my knowledge of network functionality is limited. was hoping someone could tell me some of the tricks/features that they have implemented in their home network.

iv been looking at some monitors recently, but my bank balance is low after the new PC, so ill keep doing some research for the time being. I was going to get a 20"/22" wide screen TFT, with native res of 1680x1050 meaning gaming wouldn't be totally out of the question for the future, any higher resolution and id not get the performance id want, i suppose a dual monitor setup, even though each display would be smaller, would solve that problem.

my web server at the moment runs apache, php, mysql and ruby, i also use it to download larger file overnight (using flashget) as it is a lot quieter than my work station.

i would really love it if i could find a way to remove the need to run any anti-virus or firewall on my workstation, through using a hardware firewall and my idea was to use my server as a proxy and direct all internet traffic through it. is that even possible tho? and if so i guess it would increase latency when gaming online?
 
Permabanned
Joined
29 Mar 2006
Posts
1,148
Location
Manchester, UK
It would be cheaper to get an old pc and run linux and use it as a firewall as it would be cheaper than a hardware firewall.

Doesnt the router connected to the internet have a firewall though?
 
Associate
Joined
10 May 2007
Posts
716
Your network looks fine m8, which part do you think seems slow? Its probably not to do with the netw.. If you xfer large files to you dev machine a lot then you could look at putting a better link between that and your workstation, but your current setup will bottleneck at your dev machines HDD before the network link.
If you dont, the responsiveness will be instantaneous anyway. If you have a router then you're going to be running NAT and probably a firewall too. Remove your software firewall, check all your PCs are upto date with patches etc and check your visibility to the outside world with ShieldsUp. Check Dlinks site for new firmwares, you probably wont need them (web interface fixes/mods etc) but it may have a security fix for a known vulnerability

EDIT: as mentioned above you could spend money else where to improve productivity. Get a dual monitor and link the 2nd one with a KVM between Workstation Screen2/Dev Screen 1.

Also check that access point is secured with WPA
 
Last edited:
Caporegime
Joined
16 May 2003
Posts
25,368
Location
::1
Forget ShieldsUp - half of it's messages of impending doom are utter rubbish and will cause more problems than they solve.
 
Associate
OP
Joined
7 Jun 2007
Posts
87
It would be cheaper to get an old pc and run linux and use it as a firewall as it would be cheaper than a hardware firewall.

could that idea be implemented on a windows system? iv not had any exp with linux, i could always learn, would come in handy, but at what cost to my mental health? also would it be feasible to instead of getting another pc, use my current web server box and thus turn it into a firewall slash web server?

Doesnt the router connected to the internet have a firewall though?

it has NAT, but both my step-dad and his colleague, who is head of network support at the local college, have both tried to set it up, with no success. the router is a D-Link DSL-504, has anyone successfully set NAT up on this router? if so, how? :)

i did some research today on hardware firewalls, and i see that this route is out of the question, all i found were way out of budget, with the cheapest being a firebox X10e starting at around £200. however i did find THIS which looks promising, and ranges from £90 - £110, which is more within my budget, but there is a lot of acronyms used in the tech spec which i am unfamiliar with, if anyone could check that over for suitability it would be greatly appreciated.

Also have my eyes on this.

For the time being i might just switch to NOD32, which i have heard good things about, and give the zone alarm free firewall a try, obviously it will be a lot less bloated than security suite, but hopefully wont **** up as much.

thanks for the help so far peeps, greatly appreciated :)
 
Permabanned
Joined
29 Mar 2006
Posts
1,148
Location
Manchester, UK
Boov said:
could that idea be implemented on a windows system? iv not had any exp with linux, i could always learn, would come in handy, but at what cost to my mental health? also would it be feasible to instead of getting another pc, use my current web server box and thus turn it into a firewall slash web server?

Yep.. there are lots of windows firewalls that are very good :p ill try find the one i used to have later i never had a problem with it
 

J.B

J.B

Soldato
Joined
16 Aug 2006
Posts
5,924
tolien said:
Unless your ISP gave you a block of public IPs, you're almost certainly running NAT already.

I agree, I find it very hard to believe your not running NAT!
 
Back
Top Bottom