tentoes1962
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 6:30 pm

Home Network configuration question

Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:36 pm

Hello:
I intend to wire up a home network to include :
1) a NAS for storing files, multimedia and Networked camera files and
2) some security cameras (here I intend to use some Raspberry Pi Zeros with attached cameras).

I would like to connect the pi zeros via a WIRED TCP/IP connection to the network. I understand that this is possible via the USB connector, or am I wrong?

Also what would you recommend for the kind of NAS that I should use!? Again I want to be able to store images and video from the cameras (<=4) and also to be able to use it as a media server. I have not decided on the computer I will use to administer the NAS, but I have seen some cool Windows applications for controlling networked cameras, and I don’t have much experience with MotionEye OS, but I certainly wouldn’t mind using a pi 4 to act as the server if there are enough recommendations for it.

Thank you so much for any thoughts/ideas.

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superchomp
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 4:53 am

Re: Home Network configuration question

Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:26 pm

Hi tentoes1962. Yes, you can use a micro USB hub and USB Ethernet adapter just fine on the Pi Zero. Disabling the Zero W's onboard wireless once you have the wired adapter enabled cuts down on CPU usage. I'm using this configuration as an OctoPi for remotely viewing 3D prints using Anywhere and it works fabulously.
For the NAS you could also use Pis; you could install a Samba server and configure your connected drives in smb.conf.

However, I have alternate suggestions for you: A box of 4 Yi cams that work flawlessly out of the box as wifi cameras, all with cables, power adapters, and microSD card slots pre-configured as DVRs would give you far less headaches. Kind of a turnkey solution. I bought a batch on Amazon.

As well, If you have a decent router with a USB 3 port (like the TP-Link AC4000) drive sharing is easier and cuts out some middlemen. A pi server will introduce some latency. The AC4000 It has a multi-core CPU and ample RAM. Supports faster R/W than the Pi 4 does out of the box at the moment since a lot of USB 3 drives are blacklisted / need "quirks" enabled for fast writes.

Good luck, post your results, take care.

epoch1970
Posts: 5892
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 9:33 am
Location: Paris, France

Re: Home Network configuration question

Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:40 pm

Get at least one decent, manageable, switch. That will allow to segregate the physical network in various segments e.g. cams, audio/video, guests...
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

tentoes1962
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 6:30 pm

Re: Home Network configuration question

Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:44 am

So thank you for the recommendations! Part of this exercise is for me to learn more about home networking/automation. It is just a quirk of mine to want to do everything via wired connections as much as possible even though wireless might be simpler/faster to get up and running.

My plans at the moment are to use 4 ip cameras, with all of the connections going to a 4-port gigabit switch, with the multiplexed I/O going to my router. I intend to upgrade my router to one with USB 3.0 for the NAS storage. Further additions I envision include a pi media server and perhaps some MQTT stuff.

I was hoping to begin this project on-the-cheap, using pi zeros with USB to Ethernet adapters for the cameras. A part of this is for me to learn more about the TCP/IP world (I have an FCC General Radiotelephone Operator’s License but NO Cisco certification) and to get a working fundamental network operating that I can upgrade in the future to include more home automation stuff.

For what I have described, can anyone tell me if there are any glaring, impending problems with such plans?

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default_user8
Posts: 680
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:11 am

Re: Home Network configuration question

Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:45 am

As for your NAS check out nextcloudpi(https://ownyourbits.com/nextcloudpi/). You may find that a zero with an ethernet adapter may be a bit slow. I was running pivpn with the same hardware and was only getting 10Mbps.
Two heads are better than one, unless one's a goat head.

epoch1970
Posts: 5892
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 9:33 am
Location: Paris, France

Re: Home Network configuration question

Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:18 am

I was think more like 1 24-port giga switch per floor, hub-and-spokes style :)
If you interconnect them (you'd have to), you lose 1, 2 ... 4 (?) ports just for the interconnect "highway". Then you configure a bunch of ports according to planned usage at each floor, e.g. VOIP=priority access, and so would want to set aside a couple free ports for future expansion only for phones. Or maybe you want POE on some ports. You'll end up with 100% of the ports assigned, and 20% actually connected on day 1.
Up to 8 ports is useless in this respect. 16 is the same price as 24. 48 is targeted at IT premises, volumes drop, specs and prices jump.
Also, at 24 you can still find fanless and relatively power-thrifty designs. Bigger machines all have built-in, noisy, fans.

You'll always find the use for a small switch (or someone who needs one), so check the price is right and go with it.
At the same time, check out the user manual for one of those bigger beasts standing in the prosumer/pro section of the store. You'll get a better feel for the difference and probably learn a few things about ethernet and network protocols.

(Wireless is black magic.)
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

tentoes1962
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 6:30 pm

Re: Home Network configuration question

Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:05 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone.....so to follow-up:
1) I only intend to use pi zeros for the actual camera connections (I.e. connect a camera module to the zero, then usb-to-Ethernet adapter, then Ethernet back to a switch), not as a NAS. I also hope to use the pi zero’s GPIO pins as well (to maybe turn lights on/off etc).

I appreciate the advice on the switch (no sense in getting just a four-port switch).

2) Concerning the pi zeros being connected to the network via usb-to-Ethernet adapters, do you think this will be a bottleneck for the data, and therefore should upgrade to pi’s that have built-in Ethernet?

I appreciate the feedback everyone!

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default_user8
Posts: 680
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:11 am

Re: Home Network configuration question

Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:54 pm

tentoes1962 wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:05 pm
Thanks for the feedback everyone.....so to follow-up:
1) I only intend to use pi zeros for the actual camera connections (I.e. connect a camera module to the zero, then usb-to-Ethernet adapter, then Ethernet back to a switch), not as a NAS. I also hope to use the pi zero’s GPIO pins as well (to maybe turn lights on/off etc).

I appreciate the advice on the switch (no sense in getting just a four-port switch).

2) Concerning the pi zeros being connected to the network via usb-to-Ethernet adapters, do you think this will be a bottleneck for the data, and therefore should upgrade to pi’s that have built-in Ethernet?

I appreciate the feedback everyone!
Concerning the usb to ethernet adapters, I would try it out and see how it works first. When i was using my pizero w with a usb to ethernet adapter to run my pivpn server i never had connection issues, i just found it to be a bit slow. My smart switch reported my maximum speed as 10Mbps. Since my internet connection is 150Mbps I switched to a 3b it's reporting 100Mbps.
Two heads are better than one, unless one's a goat head.

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