Thought I would kick off a thread to discuss networking issues. Principally as they relate to network streaming of audio of course, but also acknowledging the fact that most people’s home networks:
Support more than just one family member (i.e. the audiophile)
Support more than just audio streaming
Have become rather important to a very diverse range of activities
Have quietly grown in the number and variety of connected devices
Often provide access to some of the most precious assets we have, given that more and more of what we care about (photos, documents, correspondence, financial records, collections etc.) is becoming digitised.
In this thread I was thinking we could share thoughts on how to put together a home network (and practices related to managing it) that allows all these activities and devices to coexist safely, that protects our privacy and security, and ultimately, hopefully, that allows us to enjoy our dCS equipment in the way God intended while causing less, not more work for the good Mr.@Phil!
I am hoping that this will become a lively discussion where we can learn from each other. I am not an “expert” and I don’t claim to know everything or have all the answers. I am a network geek, I love networks, they “make sense to me” where a lot of the time people do not (yes, I am no doubt “on the spectrum” as Mrs Struts frequently reminds me). There are doubtless others here who know a lot more than me!
I am also an engineer by training, I believe in supporting theses and assertions with reasoned arguments, preferably fact-based and not dogma-based. I dislike unbacked opinions and fallacious arguments and I believe in lively but civil discourse.
For that reason (and that reason only, not because I don’t believe this is an valid category) I would ask that we not let this thread stray onto the topic of “audiophile” switches, filters/regenerators, or cables. I am sure there are other threads for that and if there aren’t we can create one.
So, just to kick things off, a few questions for you:
How many clients are connected to your home network right now? A client is anything that is connected, wired or wirelessly. Please have a guess and then log onto your router and check. How close were you?
How many of these clients are essentially personal computers (e.g. mobile phones, tablets or laptops/PCs) from which a person might want to access something else?
How many of these are devices? I will use “devices” to mean anything not in the above category. Devices include:
Computer peripherals like printers, NAS drives etc.
‘Smart home’ devices like voice assistants (e.g. Echo) lights, scales, stoves, fridges, toasters (only joking) etc.
Fitness equipment like smart watches, bike computers, and health products like smart scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors etc.
Entertainment devices like TVs, media players (incl. Blu Ray players, AppleTVs, Chromecasts etc.) and any networked audio devices (including but not limited to dCS products!)
Security equipment, such as entrance systems, doorbells, webcams, smoke alarms, etc.
Anything else I forgot that is not a personal computer!
If you know, how many of your devices make calls out to the internet i.e. outside your LAN (“call home”)?
Ditto, how many of your devices can accept calls in from the internet? How many can you reach from outside your network?
How many Raspberry Pis are connected to your network?
How many of these still have the default system password?
You don’t have to post your answer here of course (unless you want to). This is just to get the juices flowing.
82 currently - unfortunately my “guess” was within 2 devices as I knew how many were connected the other night when the kids and OH were back so I just lopped a few off from there so technically I cheated.
I am chartered engineer with decades in digital/IT. I design and sell audiophile switches which are based on facts (RFI noise in particular) not on dogma, and any arguments in to which I enter are backed and non-fallacious.
If you remove the word switches from your post, or the inverted commas from “audiophile”, I’m happy to engage in a conversation about other aspects of secure and high performance networking but not if you’re going to bring your own fallacious arguments in when setting the agenda!
I stopped using Synology Connect some time ago (I can’t remember whether it was Synology that had a vulnerability and that’s why I killed it or QNAP that had a vulnerability and I pulled it “just in case”) and I’ve never enabled Roon ARC …
…I did think I might have messed up and still had 8 Tuya Smart Plugs that logged into my Tuya account but I must have blitzed them at some point as they’re running Tasmota now and only talk to Home Assistant.
Oooooof … I can say with all honesty that THAT really doesn’t do anything for me and I’ve bought the most silly stuff for the most silly of reasons!
I hear you … however I UNDERSTAND that @struts001’s plan behind this thread (if you read our other conversation from earlier today) is to try to have a discussion about setting up a network that is simply reliable rather than flaky, trying to dispel any networking myths and at the same time excluding the audiophile side of it (which isn’t part of building a reliable network) for no other reason than it starts to make passions run high.
Apologies if I have offended you, that really wasn’t my intention. I don’t subscribe to dogma when it comes to audiophile products. I try to listen first and judge later, and sometimes, if I get really interested, I break out the scope and measure. I am not an ‘audiophile skeptic’ and I have audiophile cables and an audiophile switch in my system and I have found them to contribute positively to sound quality. So nothing I said was intended to denigrate the category or make any insinuations about the validity or performance of products within it.
While I believe this is a valid product category many others don’t, and in my experience these ideological discussions can get quite heated. Since that wasn’t what I wanted to focus on in this thread I thought it would avoid a lot of off topic discussion to try to sidestep it. I started this thread so I take the liberty to decide what I want to talk about. I don’t see any need to change my wording or my punctuation. Again, I apologise if it upsets you but I believe (hope) that was just a misunderstanding.
If I present a fallacious argument feel free to call me on it. I would do the same.
Spot on Phil. I don’t think Nigel had read the other thread and took my comments out of context, but then again I probably din’t express myself clearly enough. That happens too. I really didn’t mean to tread on anyone’s toes.
I do understand that the thread is about computer networking rather than audio specifically, and I do understand that the intention was merely to head off any diversion of the thread into audio concerns.
There is no reason on earth network switches in audio should become a topic of ideology or belief; I simply read (misread, apparently!) your opening post as setting out your own ideology so felt the need to constructively challenge it. I agree that it was a misunderstanding on my part, and I apologise in return.
I’m away from home right now but love the idea if the “connected devices” challenge and will take that on! I can almost guarantee I’ll be surprised… though at least I don’t have a “smart” (inverted commas deliberate) fridge or washing machine in the mix!
I’ll give as much detail as I can… it’s worth bearing in mind we have our home, guest, iot and work networks split out (my wife and I work a lot from home).
There are some disadvantages to doing this (one is that HomePods try to follow your iPhone’s network and uses the WiFi password from your phone to do so, so you have to ban them from the networks you don’t want them joining), but it works and it saved us from unmitigated disaster when my previous employer got hacked and the malware not only encrypted their servers, but most employees home machines and servers too.
Right now, we have about 80 connected devices, but it varies as some (such as weighing scales) only connect when needed. We have ten PC-like devices between my wife and I, plus two Kindles for the children.
We do not allow services to ‘dial-in’, such as Roon. I may enable a VPN connection in future (mostly in case there is a network issue and I need to connect to the out-of-band management interface to fix it while travelling), but this will sit on a separate 4G network connection.
A bit belt-and-braces, but there have been a few times, including this weekend, I was very grateful we planned for the most improbable scenarios