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Network Overhaul

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ExodusJKD

Registered
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
I've always dabbled with computers. Last year, I finally built my first rig (meaning, the first one I bought all of the pieces for at a store). Lately, not having any real computer problems has gotten... boring. It's not really choking on any video games I've tried, I've had no hardware defects (well, I'll save what looks like a RAM problem for another thread in a more appropriate sub-forum), it just does what it's supposed to.

I'm used to a lot of problem solving and fixing and upgrades and testing. I took quite a while researching this build and apparently, spent too much. It just works.

Now, in order to sate the noisy demons inside me, I've tried to switch gears and begin exploring more of the web\networking\security slice of the tech-pie. It's no news that more of us in the community (even regular people) have a growing concern for security, privacy and anonymity. Researching this stuff is pretty heavy and dry (and I DO heavy and dry, that's me) and without occasionally stopping to ask questions and fish for ideas, I may go crazy. I don't have any education in IT, just what I've learned on my own (and through a person or two in real life), so bare with me.

I have a rig that I don't even know what to do with now besides play games and use the web. Next to me, I've set up my old PC hoping to begin some projects with it. It's currently running Ubuntu 12.10 32bit (installed to the hard drive). My main rig (this one) is running 7 Ultimate x64, with Ubuntu 12.10 64 available to load during boot (and a Solus 1.2 VM inside of the 7's VirtualBox installation). I've also got a laptop running all the same as my main rig.

I've been interested in making an OpenVPN server on the old box for my main box and laptop to connect to the web through. From what I've read, I'll likely want a proxy, if not also a second VPN, as well as a firewall. I've been trying to envision a good setup for all of this stuff, but as mentioned, no real education outside of experience and some decent tech websites and blogs. I know I'm in over my head, but this seems like a good place to start asking for advice and ideas.

Before I click submit, I should probably add a couple of things to head off questions I can see coming. I'll post the two rig's specs at the end of this post as well.

- We use AT&T's Uverse\2WIRE service at my house
- Have access to a "managed switch" I believe it was called.. (not in use yet, I'll get a brand and model for you guys)
- Have a RasPi here, ordering another soon (for myself). Hoping to use to great affect!
- Have an Xbox1 with EvoX I'd like to be part of the network (I realize that's a bit of a niche subject, so I realize I'm probably not going to get many replies on integrating it)
- Have a Tenda router available (we've been trying to connect it to the set-top box to create an additional hot-spot on the other end of the house. Our 2WIRE gateway is at the complete opposite end and only broadcasts B/G, poorly) The nightmares of configuring this router could warrant a separate thread.
- Maaaay have an older model Drobo laying around... (may also leave it laying and find a completely different product or just newer model for network storage)
- We have like 750 or so feet of media twist on a spool and can possibly fish-tape it through a wall here and there (for any suggestions regarding running wire) and naturally the crimper and connectors needed use it.
- We have at least 3-5 semi regular smart phones that access the network, a tablet and a laptop that rarely leaves the house (not mine)
- May potentially add a client pc or two to the network (for guests, etc..)
- Lastly, I want my desk to look like this :comp: (I couldn't find another way to squeeze that damn smiley into this post).

Now, the rigs:

My Main Rig

CoolerMaster HAF 922
AMD FX 8120 BE
ASUS Sabertooth 990FX
XFX Radeon HD 6850
4x4GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600
OCZ ModXStream 700W Modular PSU
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB SATA2 HDD
2xToshiba Deskstar 1TB SATA2 HDDs
Seagate 3TB GoFlex External (USB 3.0)
Samsung 23" LED head
(other misc periphs\accessories)

My Old Rig
Black, plain Enermax case whose model name\number escape me
Intel Pentium 4 3.0GHz HT (single core, 32 bit)
Intel D875PBZ Mobo
2GB PC3200 DDR400 RAM (4x512MB, only one matched pair, had to raid for parts once, I will change out RAM when I can for those concerned)
Radeon X1650 Pro Graphics card (not sure of manufacturer\rebrander)
WD 80GB IDE HDD (this will be replaced)
Not sure of PSU off-hand


I won't shy away from any hardware upgrades, but, I'd prefer to do VMs where possible to avoid adding any more rigs to the network (clients are fine, just want to limit the number of workhorse boxes).

Based on everything in this huge original post, are there are ideas stirring?
 
OP
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ExodusJKD

Registered
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
70 views and no ideas?

I'll rephrase the question:

What would YOU do with what has been posted? Everything here is setup and configured in a mostly only "functional" manner. There are options here and I'm not fully realizing all of them. How would you guys do it?
 
OP
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ExodusJKD

Registered
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Figured it was just rig-heads here. Any suggestions for a more network oriented forum or two, then?
 

gangaskan

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2003
Location
Lorain, ohio
not really sure this is network related.


keep that in mind :p



this stuff would be more suited for perhaps the alt os and or windows os threads.


i personally wouldn't use any of that, but its because i'm a cisco junkie ^_^


i just picked up a 4503 on the cheap so thats my overkill core switch at the moment.
 

fall

Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2010
Location
Arlington
At work but will help more when at home.

1. Firewall: I would suggest making the P4 machine a pfsense firewall (you will need at least 2 NIC's). I will look at mine when I get home but I am fairly sure there is a package you can download for it to use it as an OpenVPN connection. Then once setup, install the client on Laptop/phone and connect. What this will do is route internet traffic through the VPN exiting your 2wire router.

2. Anonymity: Setup the raspberry pi as a TOR client.

3. Once pfsense is setup, take the Inet uplink from AT&T and plug into your 2wire. Disable all services on the 2wire like DHCP, DNS, Wifi, Firewall etc as pfsense will take care of all that now. Plug the pfsense firewall into the 2wire that is now acting as a Internet facing switch (only because you need it there in order to have internet). Next, plug pfsense into the Switch for your internal network then your devices. Lastly plug the Tenda router into the switch and setup the Wifi for it.

This will be good for now to get you started, Like I said I will post more later when I am at home
 
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ExodusJKD

Registered
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
That's a hell of a start, thanks. Have been meaning to look into pfsense for a while now.

The idea with the tenda router is to connect it to the network via set top box which is across the house from the gateway. I had it running a few times with different configurations and couldn't get it completely reliable, Netflix on the wii would get sketchy but the hotspot worked well and the tv service wasn't affected in any obvious way.