Saturday, November 21, 2015

The bits are flying in Paradise!

The bits are flying in Paradise!  At about 4:30 this morning, I braved the cold (22°F) and walked out to the shed with my arms full of networking gear.  Except for the Ethernet isolator, this was all stuff I bought and configured last January, and then just stored until I got the cabling all done.  This morning I plugged it all in with the router, switch, and wireless router all sitting on top of my jointer, and ... it all worked, immediately.  My initial test was to connect my phone to the shed's (new) wireless network, and that worked perfectly.  Then I came back in the house and logged into each piece of equipment's administration page and checked it out.  All working correctly!

The only anomaly I noticed was that the Ethernet link between the house router and the shed router took an unusually long time to come up – around 45 seconds.  Usually an Ethernet link will establish in under 10 seconds.  I think what's going on there is that the Ethernet isolator is powering up.  It draws what little power it needs from the data lines, and I'm guessing that it takes a little while to charge its storage capacitors (you could think of them as tiny rechargeable batteries).

Given that this is a residence, we have quite the network installed here.  In the house, there's a cable router which feeds the main house router, which in turn feeds a 20 port switch, the shed's router, and two wireless routers.  In the shed there's the main shed router, which feeds another 20 port switch and a wireless router.  When I finish moving my office from the house to the shed, we'll have a fairly even split of networked gear between the two buildings, most likely using 8 to 10 of those switch ports in each place.  That leaves us plenty of room for expansion!

Comcast may have notoriously bad service, and they clearly do inject content into insecure web pages (HTTP vs. HTTPS), but ... they are delivering some nice, fast Internet to us: 180 mbps down, 24 mbps up, quite consistently.  That's way faster than we used to have in Jamul, so for us this is a huge step up.  Partly this is just plain luck: we live on the highway that the main Comcast feed for the southern part of Cache Valley runs alongside.  The cabin we've purchased for my brother isn't quite so lucky – Comcast doesn't even service that area.  Instead we're connecting him through a wireless ISP (Rise), at 50 mbps down and 5 mbps up.  Even that is way better than what he's used to, so I'm expecting a big smile from him when he connects for the first time...

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