I'm clueless about networking, and I'm tired of it
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Thread: I'm clueless about networking, and I'm tired of it

  1. #1
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    I'm clueless about networking, and I'm tired of it

    I've built my own PC's and installed Windows, etc, since my first win95 machine. I, with the help of Google and the occasional Q to my friends, can handle most things I want to do on computers - but I'm largely clueless when it comes to networking and the internet.

    You can skip to the TL: DR now if you want the Cliff's Notes version.

    A decade ago, I stumbled through forwarding ports so my games could work, but since then, things have become more complicated. The settings screens for my Nighthawk 6700 router look like a flight computer for the space shuttle. Earlier this week I rebooted my computer, and my wireless printer is really slow, the Logitech ARX app on my phone can't connect to my computer, and my tablet can't play movies over Plex now.

    I would like to gain a firm grasp on these things. I want to understand what my modem settings do, to understand why I need a static IP. I want to know what network gateways are. I'd like to know if the VPN settings in my router setup has anything to do with the VPN I signed up for, or if that's something else entirely. I can't even forward ports anymore, because the setting screen has changed so much. I want to make sure my tablet and phone and wireless printer are connecting properly.


    TL: DR
    Basically, I'd like to thoroughly understand what I need to set up and securely maintain a Win10 home computer and its internet connection with assorted wireless devices thrown into the mix, understand the settings in my router setup, and maybe even get my VPN working right.

    I've been checking out videos and some websites. Some tell me how to plug the router in, and others spend a half-hour explaining TCP/IP from a design standpoint. Either way too simple, or way too complex. It would be great to find an organized tutorial/video series where every lesson builds on the previous ones, instead of jumping around random videos made by different people.

    Usually, when I get to this point with a problem and I haven't found the answer, it's because what I'm looking for doesn't exist. . .but I've had great luck here in the past, so I thought I'd try my luck again. I'm just tired of having such a tenuous grasp on what I'm doing that I can't be sure, when things go wrong, what is to blame and how to fix it.

  2. #2
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    Some links to start with (if you haven't seen them already):

    https://web.stanford.edu/dept/its/su...work-72409.pdf

    https://www.cnet.com/how-to/home-net...e-url-for-you/

    https://www.lifewire.com/building-a-...network-816562

    https://www.lifewire.com/home-comput...-basics-816351

    https://www.pcworld.com/article/1960...etworking.html

    http://www.steves-internet-guide.com/networking/

    https://www.google.com/search?q=home...hrome&ie=UTF-8


    A fixed/static IP address is generally used for something that you need to be able to connect to every time without searching, like for a network-connected printer or scanner, or a file or web server.

    If you have any specific questions on something, post back with those.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply. One of the problems I've had is, not being confident in my knowledge, when things went wrong, I didn't know if it was something I did, or something beyond my control. One of the problems I've had turns out to be related to. . . well, I'm not quite sure how to put this. . .

    Normally, you have a cable running from the wall to a modem, then to your computer or a router. In my case, I can plug the wire directly from the wall into my computer and it will work. They tell me I'm, "behind a NAS". That puts some things out of my control, and is why I was having some of my problems, but I thought it was my fault and I spent days trying to fix it.

    More recently, and for other reasons, things started going haywire with my wireless printer and tablets. Still haven't figured that out. Thanks for the links. I've seen at least some of them before, but I'll go through them and see if I can learn something new.

  4. #4
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    They tell me I'm, "behind a NAS".
    That would be good. Who is "They" - who is your internet service provider? What type of cable goes from the wall to your computer?

    NAS - Network Address Translation:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Networ...ss_translation

    This is used to allow a device (your computer) that has a non-internet-routable IP address to access the internet, and it also keeps your computer from being able to be directly connected to by someone on the internet.

  5. #5
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    "They" would be various ppl I've spoken to about my issues, including a clan friend that I spoke to in teamspeak about it. There's an ethernet cable running from the wall to my router, and if I were to plug it directly into my computer, I can access the internet without it or a modem.

    I don't think being behind the ISP's "NAS" is good. I'm told that this is very bad for certain applications, as it means there is an additional wall between me and what I want to do, one that I cannot modify or control in any manner. That NAS is under the control of my ISP and not me.

    I'm giving some thought to switching providers, even though I otherwise love this service, and have had nothing but problems every time I order Charter at a new place. Takes me months to iron out problems like poor pings, low signal strength, etc. I even had a situation I'd never heard of before or since. There was at least one place on the internet that I could not reach. I could not, "get there from here." Some switch was bad down the line or something, took them months to iron out.

  6. #6
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    There's an ethernet cable running from the wall to my router, and if I were to plug it directly into my computer, I can access the internet without it or a modem.
    If this is the case, there must be a modem of some type at the other end of that Ethernet cable somewhere. Where does the cable in the wall that connects to the wall jack go to?

    The NAT should be done by YOUR modem/router, although technically, the modem may be the ISP's modem, but it is generally located on your premises.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdc2000 View Post
    If this is the case, there must be a modem of some type at the other end of that Ethernet cable somewhere. Where does the cable in the wall that connects to the wall jack go to?

    The NAT should be done by YOUR modem/router, although technically, the modem may be the ISP's modem, but it is generally located on your premises.
    Well, I think it's a safe bet that there's modem-like hardware somewhere on the premises, but I'm unclear as to how finding it will help me at all. There's a ISP-owned modem somewhere on the property (likely in a locked-box situation) and I don't have access to it.

    It may seem strange that I don't know about the modem, but I'm not well and I don't leave the house except for doctors appointments. I can tell you it's not located WITHIN my house.

  8. #8
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    If we knew what modem make and model you had, that would enable us to see what capabilities it has and what you might need to do to access the settings.

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