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Solved: Energy Efficient Home Network Advice

Discussion in 'Networking' started by dannyko, Jul 2, 2007.

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  1. dannyko

    dannyko Thread Starter

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    I am looking for advice on creating a home network that is extremely energy efficient. This is not for cost purposes, but rahter because I don't like to waste electricity. I hate leaving devices on that I am not using. I will have a wired network with computers scattered around the house. I would love to be able to have a server so that I can sign on at any computer in the house and work.
    Do you have any suggestions on ways to hook up the router, switch and PC's (?NAS) that will minimize devices being on when not in use. Is there a home server that can awake on LAN?
    I am also looking at setting up a music server that can be accessed from around the house. This is off forum but I am thinking I will have to have some device on all the time and would rather maximize its utility.
    Thank you,
    Dan
     
  2. invalidusername

    invalidusername

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    I know with some computer you can do it. I know for sure you can turn it off. With some comuter you can do both. This is what of read about it (I am not sure exactly how you send those packets): wakeonlan is used for remotely powering on computer, it is done by sending packets that are called "magic network packets" in order to switch the computer on. To use this feature: The network card must have WakeOnLan capability. It is sometimes a jumper which connects to the computer's motherboard in the same manner the front on/off switch is connected to the mother board. Also an on-board network interface which supports this functionality is needed. Many new systems with on-board NICs can do wakeonlan, but it should be enabled in the computer BIOS. This option should be in the "power management" of the BIOS, it may also be called other names such as wake on ring events or reboot.
     
  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Well, if you connect an NAS as a "server", it uses far less power than a computer would doing the same task. I have a bunch of NAS units as backup in my network, they all have the disk power down feature, so they're only using around 5 watts when they're not in use. Depending on the "smarts" in the home music server, it may be able to use the NAS and not require a host computer. That would probably be one of the selection criteria you should apply to it's selection. :)
     
  4. redcivic

    redcivic

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    If you wanted to get fancy you could also setup thin clients around the house to connect to the server. They use far less power than a PC and have a power saving feature as well. I would also suggest wireless so you can avoid the use of switches which have to be on all the time unless you want to power them up and down all the time.
     
  5. dannyko

    dannyko Thread Starter

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    Thank you for your advice. If possible, could you dumb down your suggestions or refer me to a source where I can educate myself. I have only set up one home network before and, although I am familiar with these devices, I am not clear on how to use them together in different combinations in order to find the one that uses the least electricity. There are too many options and the information on exactly how much electricity they use has been nearly impossible for me to find.
    Thank you,
    Dan
     
  6. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    Nearly every electronic device consumes power even when it's off. The more equipment you add, the more electricity you'll use, unless you unplug everything all the time when it's not in use.

    One of the reasons you're probably not finding much on electricity usage for networking and multimedia sharing components is that people who spend that much time and money setting it up intend to enjoy it to its fullest and are not concerned about the relatively small increase in electricity usage.

    If you're going to invest the time and money into this setup, you want it to be easy for you and your family to use. Having components in "sleep" or "standby" mode adds another step in the process that could fail or frustrate everyone.

    I like to hear people wanting to conserve electricity. My point here is not to discourage you, but to perhaps put this in perspective. Keep things simple. There are a lot of great, simple ways to conserve energy.
     
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    You can probably conserve more energy than all your computers consume by other energy conservation measures. Clock thermostats, automatic light switches, florescent replacement lamps, insulate your water heater, etc. Unless you have a pretty large multi-computer configuration, your computer energy use is a drop in the bucket.
     
  8. invalidusername

    invalidusername

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    This is exactly what I was going to say. It does not do any good to save pennies there only to waste the dollars somewhere else.
     
  9. dannyko

    dannyko Thread Starter

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    I appreciate all of the good advice. I should explain that we are already maxing out all of the other electrical efficiencies. Solar hot water, 21 SEER heat pump, SIP construction, etc. I have found ways to virtually eliminate phantom electrical loads everywhere in the house (doorbell, Home Theater) except for the damn microwave. My biggest phantom load issue will probably be with the computer network. Hence the question. It sounds like it is not possible with todays devices and I can accept that. Thank you all for your assistance.
    Dan
     
  10. invalidusername

    invalidusername

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    Do forget water. Many people do not know when water is wasted, electricity is wasted (washing cars, taking long shower, watering landscaping too much, etc). Probably much more than the energy used by a small router or switch.
     
  11. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Other than minimizing your network, and turning off your computers, you probably have reached maximum efficiency. :D

    You can mark your own threads solved using the thread tools at the top of the page in the upper right corner.© :)
     
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