Thursday, April 28, 2005

My local network - again My local network - again

I didn't mention why I was doing all of this networking stuff.

First, I am borderline obsessive/compulsive. So, it is hard to leave a job like this undone.

But more importantly, I am working at putting up a web site for my patent practice to, hopefully, attract more clients.

Sure, I could use a commercial service, but how much fun would that be? Besides, it would be nice to have the ability to run multiple sites, to upload pictures from my skiing trips (everyone seems to have digital cameras these days - so we get lots and lots of pictures), and to run my own email system.

The only real cost to me is the DSL (which I have anyway for patent searching), an old computer for the server, the cost of a static IP address (about $5 a month), and the cost of registering whatever domains I want. And this lets me expand almost for free.

So, my plan had been to put up the server behind the router firewall. But I was somewhat worried about security with my other computers also behind that firewall. So, my latest solution is to attach the server to the USB port of the DSL modem, while the rest of the computers are connected to the router. They are thus protected by the router's firewall from anyone accessing the server. Then, when I want to update the server, I can either do it through the router and modem, or, more likely, just plug it into the router. Then, when I am done updating it, I just unplug it from the router.

The major problem that I potentially see is that the USB connection is not as fast as the Ethernet connection. But this shouldn't be a major problem since the USB connection is still quite a bit faster than DSL. Also, DSL is optimized for downloads, and this would technically be uploads, so I may end up putting my work web pages up on a commercial web site after all. But I should still be able to run email and private web sites from this server.


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