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Thread: Using house wiring as network cables

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
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    12

    Using house wiring as network cables

    Hi all,

    I read a short article on networking PC's by installing a card in each of the PC's which then plug into a wall outlet allowing the house wiring to be the network cabling. An apparent drawback to this is that hydro supply from one street transformer to a number of homes on the street would allow a nieghbour access to my PC if he happened to use the same networking method.

    Has anyone ever used this method of networking or know of any other disadvantages as to it's use?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Wyncote, PA, USA
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    10,224
    There are standards and it is no more likely a neighbor can read your files as they can read your files with cable or DSL. Set up the standard protections and you will fine. That being said, this type of networking is slower than regular ethernet. What are your options and what are the costs.
    No two moments are alike and a person who thinks that any two moments are alike has never lived.

    A.J. Heschel

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
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    12
    classicsoftware,

    I want to avoid running cables from the second floor all the way down to the basement so I think my only other option would be wireless. Knowing that I would have to set up the safeguards against intrusion with this as well, the only concern I have would be signal transmission which was swaying me towards the house wiring option. You mentioned speed, and the article did mention signal degradation and "noise" depending what appliances were being used. Cost is'nt factoring in as I believe both methods are pretty close in dollar amount.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Land of 10,000 Lakes and Minnesota nice!!
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    11,070
    Sometimes going with the general concensus is not necessarily a bad thing to do...

    The house wiring scenario has been around for a while, but you don't hear much about it...

    As you point out, with proper security a wireless setup could supply your needs...
    Lighten up! --- A merry heart does good like a medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    Wireless vs house power circuits as a local network?
    I would choose wireless because:
    1) More technical support is available for the solution.
    2) The solution can be protected easier from transient power events (lightning) that can affect house power wiring.

    Just an opinion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    To The Right Of The Left Coast
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    Concern about wireles security really has to be considered in the context of your situation and, in my opinion there are safeguards that are more than adequate for most circumstances. You can encrypt the hell out of your signal--128 bit and greater is available. Anything can be cracked but once you get to 128 bit and above, realistically speaking, only someone who knew what they were doing would have a chance. Unless you're really stupid with your encryption keys.

    Where you live, along with the associated signal degradational, so imposes challenges to a signal squatter. Do you live in an apartment or townhouse or similar type environment where others are at close proximity? Since you talk about running stuff from a second floor to a basement, it doesn't sound like it.

    Here's an example of what happens to the signal strength of a typical wireles setup. Keep in mind the basic physics--the signal from the router, or repeater if you have one, degrades according to the square of the distance from the source--that's allot and doesn't even take into account loss and scatter due to walls, floors, trees and such. I have a home wireless net with no repeaters or high gain antennas. I lve in a big 5 bedroom, two story on a corner lot in a residential blue collar neighborhood. My router is in my home office in a corner room on the second floor. I can barely--just barely get the signal on my deck at the far end of the house, outside on the first floor. I use 128 bit encryption. Anyone on the street, or even next door, might at best capture an indication of the existence of my network intermittently. I doubt they would have it long enough or strong enough to crack my security. It would just be too much work for too little gain--if they were even successful. Even if they did, once in, my router is set to allow only certain local IPs access to and from the internet. All my shares on my nodes are further limited, requiring validation via another password.

    Could it be done? Sure. I doubt it could be done by a drive by kid with a laptop. The government guys could do it--those guys in black helicopters and Chevy Suburbans with all around tint on the windows and bullet proofing. But I've been an open book to them and interviewed by them multiple times for over thirty years. They wouldn't learn anything about me they don't already know including my bank account numbers. And they don't need free internet access.

    Wireless is the way to go and it is safe if you make it so. Just like so many things in this area of technology. Sure, there are risks and threats--and they're evolving. You just have be very cautious, up-to-date, and be better than them.
    Pop Pop
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    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
    Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I personally think wired is the way to go. I live in a 120 year old victorian home. I hired an electrician to run the wires. It was about $150.00. It was well worth it. I don't have to encrypt anything. If I can do it, you can do it. If you want wireless, you can secure it. But remember the cost of the router will be more and the cost of wireless card will be more as most PC's come with wired ethernet ports. And wired is still faster than wireless.

    Just my opinion. I know I'm in the minority. I use wireless at my vacation home as anyone close enough to use my connection would be visible and there is no on street parking. I just think wired is the best solution unless the cost of running the wire is prohibitive.
    No two moments are alike and a person who thinks that any two moments are alike has never lived.

    A.J. Heschel

  8. #8
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    For the best and easiest security, yeah wired. I just didn't feel like tearing out sections of walls and drilling through floors. Basically, I' lazy AND a security freak. I would still want wireless in the house for my laptop. When I had a contractor in doing other work and it was convenient, I did have ethernet run through the walls from my office to my wife's--at no extra charge, and I didn't have to do it. So, I have both. Five PCs--three wireless and two wired.
    Pop Pop
    ===========
    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
    Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Northern California
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    Wired (Ethernet) and wireless both using a router is best.

    You get the added benefit of a hardware firewall between your PCs and the Internet, which is a very good thing.

    You also get the option of DHCP for LAN IP addresses, which makes life easier.

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