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My First LAN

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Hello all,

Reading through other posts here my questions may be a little simple. If anyone knows of any other forums were I could look for information I would be happy to visit them. I also apologize if I am posting this in the wrong area.

I am quite new to networking and really do not know much. What I am trying to do right now is setup up a mixed (PC & Mac) LAN. I have two PC desktops that are both running Windows 7, one Mac desktop and a Mac Laptop that are currently both running Leopard (although I may upgrade the laptop to Snow Leopard soon). For my router I am using a D-Link DIR-825. This router supports gigabit as does my cabling (it is all cat-5e or cat-6), but only the laptop actually has a network card that can make use of these speeds.

Ultimately what I want to be able to do is stream media between the machines both while I am connected to my network at home, as well as when I am elsewhere (but obviously still connected to the internet).

Of the two PC's, one of them is running as an HTPC that records television. The other PC is where I am storing all my move files. On the Mac desktop I have an external drive connected via firewire that has all my photos, music and some video files as well.

Right now when I am home and connected to the network I have somewhat figured out how to mount the drives on the Mac external drive on the PC's so that I can access the files on them. I have also been able to add the folders on the PC's to the Mac laptop (the Mac desktop is really just being used to access the external drive, printer, and scanner. I do not need to use it for anything else).

I've looked a bit at my router options to try and figure out the best way to configure it and, quite frankly, I am overwhelmed and lost. I have been doing Google searches and trying to read about this but I am really getting more and more lost.

If anyone has any suggestions to help me out I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your responses.

Cheers :)
Sorry, I don't understand what your specific problem is.
What I am trying to find out is if there is a better way to setup my home network, and to be able to access my files from outside when I am not connected to the network. :)

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