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My new home network

Posted on 2/5/2009 | 3361 reads
Just finished setting up the LAN in my new apartment with a few new toys and a blazingly fast (for Thailand) internet connection. It is damn cool, even if I have to say so myself!

The gateway to my network is a WRT54GL wireless router, which has been reflashed with open source Tomato firmware. I just love this thing. It has rock-solid stability, SSH access with key-based authentication and one variant supports OpenVPN so I can access my network remotely. It was also ridiculously cheap at around $60. Thanks for the recommendation Stu!

I also recently bought a QNAP TS-439 Pro network attached storage device. It wasn't cheap, but it is cool. I fitted it with 4 x 500 GB drives for a conservative 1.3 terabytes of storage. With a bit of dicking around I managed to install rsnapshot on it, which will be used to run automated rotating daily/weekly/monthly backups to a second (much cheaper) NAS, a D-Link DNS 323. The D-Link has also been hacked to install shell access and rsnapshot using Funplug.

Connecting it all together is a Linksys SD2005 five-port gigabit switch. Gigabit LAN is cool, I can copy files to the NAS at around 40MB/s. Woohoo!!!

Now for the fun part: Remote access. The router and both NAS boxes have SSH facilties. I registered a hostname for the router with DynDNS so it's easy to find and login in vis SSH and subsequently access the NAS as well. Unfortunately, my home desktop, laptop and work machine are all Vista, so I set up a Hamachi VPN to connect them, with i) remote desktop and ii) a single folder shared on each machine for file exchange. I can just dump some files in the share before I leave work and they'll be there waiting for me when I get home, and vice versa. If I need to work on a machine directly I just login with remote desktop.

Having remote access to both home and work networks is incredibly convenient. I don't need to go the office anymore. The only reason I go is to convince the boss that I'm actually working and deserve to be paid. Practically speaking, my webserver is in the US and my home computer facilites are far better than the crap we have at work, so why waste an hour an a half travelling back and forth every day?

My remaining projects are to get OpenVPN running on the router so I can access NAS shares directly (Hamachi is strictly peer-to-peer, and it isn't available for the NAS), and to connect my new 40" Series 7 Samsung flatscreen TV to the LAN. It has a LAN port in the back and supposedly can access shared media files from the NAS. Not convinced, but we'll see.


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