Now, finally I got around to buy some new equipment for my home LAN. In the end it was not so expensive and the stuff works.
Here was my wish list:
- Using Skype without any computers switched on.
- Having a reliable phone landline without being bound to the local provider (very expensive in DK).
- Streaming media for audio, pictures and video without any computers switched on.
- A network file share to put all the stuff I always need and that is always on the other computer.
- Network printer sharing.
- Full back-up of the file share.
Well, so far the back-up and video streaming is not yet implement but all the other stuff. So, here is the setup:
– FRITZ!Box 7170: I use this for WLAN, uPnP and network share on the attached USB hard disk, printer share and VOIP phone system. The only downside is that the built-in router/firewall can only be used when connected directly to DSL. So I do not do that.
– D-Link DI-524: I use this as router and firewall only. WLAN is disabled. The WLAN of the FRITZ!Box is much more reliable and powerful. The firewall and DHCP facilities in the D-Link are easy to configure.
– Terratec Noxon iRadion: This is my beloved Internet radio and streaming audio player. I can choose from about 10.000 radio stations and listen to my complete music collection from the USB harddisk that is attached to the FRITZ!Box.
– Philips VOIP 841: Stand-alone skype and landline phone. The base station is connected via one LAN cable and one phone cable to the FRITZ!Box. It uses DECT to communicate with the headset. So, it gives me wireless and computer free phone.
To match my back-up requirement I will, at some stage, look into buying a more grown-up NAS with Raid 1. It can be easily attached to any of the LAN ports on the D-Link or FRITZ!Box.
For the video streaming I will look into a streaming media player for the TV. There are several devices out there that also support WLAN. Though it was an important decision to have a separate audio and video streaming player because I do not want to switch on the TV each time I want to listen to some music…
The setup simply works at it is so cool. I wondered today how I could live without it :-). Can you?
In the meantime I have extended my setup a bit with a Squeezebox setup, Synology DS 109+ NAS, DVICO TVIX M-6500A with built-in DVB-T and 500 GB hard disk as well as a 1.5 TB external hard disk for back up from the NAS. The NAS works well, runs my Squeezebox server and is backed up with an external hard disk. Other good back-up option would be to buy some online storage. I wanted to have the data at least in two locations for improved security both in terms of device failure and break-in, water or fire damage. The Squeezebox is a great solution for the audio. It is much faster than the uPnP in terms of searching/browsing for music, it supports cover art and internet radio as well as online podcasts. Some of my friends prefer the Sonos system because it has better overall quality but is way more expensive. For the video streaming the TVIX works ok. It is not totally great because the DVICO does not seem to develop this model any more. So there are not firmware updates recently and the user interface is somewhat hard to use. Still it works fine for streaming video from the NAS, watching photos and record television shows.