Network Update

Time to finally put this to bed for a while.

I finished switching things around on the home network this week and I thought it would be good to just state where our home is sitting now.

I decided to go ahead and go “all-in” with Apple hardware because, really, everything else here is Apple-only, so it made sense from an administration standpoint. I had been toying with the idea of going more “homebrew” with the networking setup, but looking at the price to get where I wanted, it just seemed better to go with the less painful route and stick with Apple-branded networking gear for this reconfiguration of the home network.

The first layer is the Motorola SB6120 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem that I own (I’m not going to pay the rental fee) and Comcast supplying the internet behind that. From there it feeds directly into the central 2 TB Apple Time Capsule that serves two main purposes: Time Machine backups for my wife’s MacBook and main router for the home.

Of course, this is where I keep all of my rules for routing and IP address assignments, but it now sits all of three feet away from the cable modem which means it is in the basement and sitting against the outer wall of the back of the basement. Not central … and it doesn’t supply consistent wireless to the whole home.

So I purchased a refurb Apple Airport Express (refurb) to throw into my home office (which is in the basement … on the front of the house) to serve three purposes: AirPlay to the speakers in my office, extend the wireless network so that the upstairs is covered, and provide a 10/100 Ethernet wire for my bench network so that I can have internet there. The little white box provides all three in spades.

That was terrible.

So everything is working wonderfully. We have removed almost all wired connections in our home (including to the Apple TV) and have much better wireless coverage and I plan on adding more AirPlay speakers and Airport Express extenders to the house to add speakers in all of the major areas. My wife’s 2009 MacBook is also being backed up to the Time Capsule, which is great, and since it is the newer version, I can get a decent wireless signal all the way to the alley.

So this is where we are going to sit for the time being. I’m hoping that I will not need to make any more changes to the network setup, and I’m “all-in” with a wireless-only setup so that I don’t need to break open any walls to add proper cabling (and then replace all of the plaster with drywall).

As I posted before, we also removed much of our AV setup and replaced it with out Apple TV, which is nice as well. Less cables, less mess, less fuss.

That was the whole idea.