DSL - Broad Band Internet Connection
connection provides unprecedented flexibility and functionality for the
automated home. Prior to taking the leap, we had a single
and a 28.8kbit modem. Not only was surfing a drag, but we
that the phone line was tied up while on-line. Now, the
is really fast (20 times better than before), we do not have to worry
missing calls, and we can control and communicate with the home from
on the Internet! As a side note, cable modems are not yet
in my neighborhood.
The major features are:
- By using the Home
Computer Network, we
resources such as files and printers.
- By replacing the hub with a Netgear
RT314 Router/Switch, we can :
- share the DSL connection among the computers in the home.
- have a NAT server that provides protection against hacker
- reduce congestion in the home network.
- run the PPPoE software in the router and not in the PCs
- By registering a domain name I can use any web browser in
find my home on the Internet by name.
- The dynamic IP is automatically updated by the RT314 with
- By using VNC,
control and view the home automation PC from any computer in the home
- This allows remote control and monitoring of my Home
- I can take over control of the PC in case I need to show
to navigate the PC
- In the future, if I add a tuner card to my PC, I will be
views around the house from the Internet.
The DSL connection is via Verizon.
writing, I have the 1.5Mbits/sec downlink, and 128kbit/sec
uplink. This costs $30/month total (equipment and the
first month were free). Unfortunately, this service is
However by using the Netgear RT314 I am able to overcome both of these
with little trouble. First, the RT314 handles PPPoE on
Thus the computers in the home do not have to 'log in' to Verizon, or
any buggy PPPoE software (such as WinPoET), and it is thus an always
connection. I am also not limited to just three PCs connected
the Internet at a time. Next, I registered with DYNDNS
to register my dynamic, always changing IP, so that I can still access
the home with a URL such as: "http://cheung.????.com". The
handles this registration of new IP addresses automatically, so I do
have to run an updater client on any PCs in the home. The
of all this is that I can walk up to any browser anywhere, and type
type in a password, and then have remote control and view the desktop
my home automation PC.
The Netgear router is nice because it is not just a hub, but a
This reduces the network traffic that a connected PC sees to the
and congestion is reduced considerably. Also, since the
Network Address Translation (NAT), it serves as the firewall for my
so that I can reduce the likelihood of a hacker intrusion. I
therefore get away with not running firewall software on every PC (such
Remote control is provided by VNC.
This free and awesome software allows the same thing that 'PCAnywhere'
allows, but it is cross platform capable, very stable, and very
I can view and control the home control PC from anywhere in the home or
over the internet. In the latter case, functionality is
by the upload speed of 90kbits/second. This is still much
than dialup, but if I were to upgrade, it would be to increase this
Nevertheless, I can interactively communicate with the PC from outside
the home, and it is very useable.
Since I installed a phone
jacks, I can place a
line as it enters the home. This prevents having to
route the high frequency DSL signal around the home to every phone, and
should lead to the cleanest signal quality.
I would have liked to demonstrate the capability of remote controlling
and connecting to my home with a link on this page, but the security
is of course just too great. Instead, to investigate getting
yourself, follow these links:
Long Term Update
Home Automation Main Page
- 8/27/00 - DSL installed today. One day before the
the strike that just passed. After applying the tweaks that
on the Navas' site, I consistently get 504kbits download and 83kbits
According to the web site these are as good as can be expected.
- 9/24/00 - Over the past two weeks, connections drop after
This shows as packets no longer routing to the home. Pings
outside show 'Node unreachable' (instead of a timed out problem, which
would indicate a problem inside the home). I write and use a
that connects regularly with outside web servers and that resets the
to renew the IP connection if needed. It will be available
- 11/7/00 - Since the end of October, the connection has been
At one point, I had to end a session that lasted consecutive 240 hours
due to some reconfiguration, and most sessions are lasting several days.
- 06/04/03 - Saw a special promotion on TV, and decided to
The end result is a doubling in speed for $5 less (!). Tested
this day on www.broadbandreports.com
to have a downlink speed of 1.478 Mbps and an upload speed of 135 kbps.
- It has been years since an update and since then we have switched to
FIOS and then Comcast cable. Many more choices for high speed
home internet available now.