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GenericConfusion GenericConfusion is offline
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09-Sep-2009, 09:55 AM #1
Post Solved: Networking Questions
I have been searching the internet for the last couple hours, and as with most issues, when it proves too difficult I turn to the good people of the Tech Support Guy forums.

I am looking to set up a network in an office with 4 rooms. there is 1 computer in office room 1, 1 computer in office room 2, 1 computer in office room 3 containing the database the others need to connect to and two computers in the large office room 4.
The rooms are all approximately 4-5m wide and long and there is a central room connecting the 4.
I have summised that to network these computers I will need to place a switch in the cental room. Then ensure the computers have network cards with necessary software, I then simply connect all these computers to the switch. (there is no issue with security) Any suggestions on how to improve this would be greatly appreciated. I was originally planning on placing 'bridges' in these rooms but then deemed this unecessary due to there only being 5 computers.

I then also need to design a wireless solution to this problem to present so that the best option can be decided. If anyone could help me with this particular aspect I would greatly appreciate it. I am currently undeer the impression I need to add WNIC's to all the computers and some sort of central transmitter. I am completely clueless with wireless. WiFi?

Assume that all the computers are running peer to peer and OS XP.
If I wish to connect these computers to the internet can I simply add a firewall to the switch and then run a router connected to the internet? I wish to prevent access from all persons. Perhaps run a computer connected to the internet and hosting a password protected site?

Any links to informative sites would be appreciated, I am only a beginner.

I realise this is a bit to ask but any small contributions would be appreciated.
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09-Sep-2009, 11:10 AM #2
I would think that a router with 5 wired ethernet ports would fill all of these scenarios pretty well, unless you have more stringent demands for security etc. Many routers come with built-in firewalls and wireless capability. Just make sure you look closely at the product description. The router will connect to the Internet, and then you can connect your desktop PCs via Ethernet, and then have wireless available if you want it.
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09-Sep-2009, 12:01 PM #3
I would first address your physical cable plant. From the sounds of it, you don't have an existing cable infrastructure but can install one if you so choose. I would always go wired over wireless in a business situation. Not only would wired provide the greatest amount of flexibility, but it provides the best security with the best reliability.

What I would do is to run a minimum of two cable drops with Cat5e or better cable to each desk location. The other end of the cable would be pulled to a central wiring/LAN closet where you can keep all your network gear centralized and possibly have a server installed. Keep in mind to take into account provider access (Telco, ISP, etc), power, cooling, and the often overlooked.....sprinkler system. You don't want any of those sprinkler heads accidentally going off on your equipment. The ends of the cable would ideally be terminated into a patch panel.

Doing it this way will provide you with the ability to have secure, fast, and reliable network connections to each desk along with the ability to run a standard POTS/PSTN service or a PBX/VoIP setup.

If you want to have wireless this can be added as a separate part of your network to provide guest access for example. There are ways to provide this type of connectivity while maintaining corporate security.

As far as a switch goes, I would buy a GigE switch with more than the number of currently required ports. This will allow for some growth without having to replace the switch or to cascade switches which does have its limitations. If you have a requirement for 5 ports, I would at a minimum get an 8 port switch....but ideally I would look for a 12 or even 16 port switch. When you calculate the cost per port, it's not that bad. Also consider a switch with PoE capability which will allow you to run VoIP phones directly powered from this switch.

As far as providing centralized internet access, yes, all you would need is a firewall router.
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GenericConfusion GenericConfusion is offline
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10-Sep-2009, 05:21 AM #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
I would first address your physical cable plant. From the sounds of it, you don't have an existing cable infrastructure but can install one if you so choose. I would always go wired over wireless in a business situation. Not only would wired provide the greatest amount of flexibility, but it provides the best security with the best reliability.

What I would do is to run a minimum of two cable drops with Cat5e or better cable to each desk location. The other end of the cable would be pulled to a central wiring/LAN closet where you can keep all your network gear centralized and possibly have a server installed. Keep in mind to take into account provider access (Telco, ISP, etc), power, cooling, and the often overlooked.....sprinkler system. You don't want any of those sprinkler heads accidentally going off on your equipment. The ends of the cable would ideally be terminated into a patch panel.

Doing it this way will provide you with the ability to have secure, fast, and reliable network connections to each desk along with the ability to run a standard POTS/PSTN service or a PBX/VoIP setup.

If you want to have wireless this can be added as a separate part of your network to provide guest access for example. There are ways to provide this type of connectivity while maintaining corporate security.

As far as a switch goes, I would buy a GigE switch with more than the number of currently required ports. This will allow for some growth without having to replace the switch or to cascade switches which does have its limitations. If you have a requirement for 5 ports, I would at a minimum get an 8 port switch....but ideally I would look for a 12 or even 16 port switch. When you calculate the cost per port, it's not that bad. Also consider a switch with PoE capability which will allow you to run VoIP phones directly powered from this switch.

As far as providing centralized internet access, yes, all you would need is a firewall router.
thanks for all the help. I was wondering how exactly I set up a wireless network. Can I simply buy a wireless switch of sorts?
jmwills's Avatar
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10-Sep-2009, 12:49 PM #5
You can use a wireless router, disable the DHCP fucntion and it will act as an access point and will be considerably cheaper.
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