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Advice Needed: Turning 2 seperate offices into 1 giant lan

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Futeki, Jan 30, 2003.

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  1. Futeki

    Futeki Thread Starter

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    Each office has a network but no server. All machines go into a hub so they can see each other on the network - just a standard 100mb hub. One of the machines in each office has an internet connection, and shares that net connection through ICS. Obviously everyone on the network can get net access that way.

    My problem is though, these 2 offices want to be able to see each others networks. How do I go about that? They all want to be able to share files with each other. I guess I need to setup a VPN but I don't really know where to start. The 2 offices are too far apart to just run a cable, so all I have at my disposal is the fact that both offices have a fast DSL connection on one of the machines in each office.

    Any advice? What should I do?
     
  2. Jest8

    Jest8

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    My advice? Buy a router with vpn support such as this Follow the easy setup and enjoy!..... of course, you'll have to get one for each office but they're not too expensive.

    Unless you can use wireless?
     
  3. Futeki

    Futeki Thread Starter

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    Wireless is an option I don't mind going with, but I heard its not too easy to setup and rather expensive. I like the look of this VPN router, is it nice and easy to setup? :).

    Btw, it only has 4 ports. Both offices require more ports on the hub than 4, so would I just connect this VPN router up to the hub that is already there? I'm guessing so... just want to make sure incase I need a VPN router with more ports.

    Thanks for your advice btw. Appreciated. Cost isn't much of an issue, I'm eager to get it all up and running.
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    SMC has a router for a couple hundred bucks that has VPN build-in. I'd go for two of them and connect the networks that way. Exactly how far apart are they? If it's not an unreasonable distance, I think some of the higher end wireless would be a faster solution. Remember, DSL is going to be as slow as the uplink speed of the DSL connection. Also, significant network traffic will really impact the Internet connections.
     
  5. Jest8

    Jest8

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    SMC is definately a good brand and worth considering, as is 3COM . Setting up a VPN is not too difficut and if you run in to problems, you can always come back here for help!

    Wireless is not really too difficult to set up either, but it does depend on distance and wall thickness unless you want to start spending money on boosters.

    As for the connection slowdown... if you're dealing with ICS now, it shouldn't be as bad as that.
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I wouldn't be so sure. Since the LAN traffic between the two offices will obviously be bi-directional, the uplink DSL speeds will be the limiting factor. In a typical 256/768 business DSL connection, that means you are sharing the 256k-bit pipe for all the users in the other office. That's going to make things pretty slow for any significant data transfers.

    If wireless is an option, and you use some of the directional antennas that are available, you can go for several miles line-of-sight, and have much faster throughput.
     
  7. Jest8

    Jest8

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    I still think there won't be a significant bandwidth issue running a wired VPN, but I'll bow to Johnwill on this :D
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    VPN has nothing to do with the bandwidth limitation. The limitation is simply the size of the hose between the two locations if they're using DSL. In each direction, they'll have one instance of the slow upstream link, so the maximum bandwidth between the two locations, assuming no external Internet traffic, will be no faster than the upstream DSL speed. If that's 128/256k, it's going to be pretty painful for large files, and forget stuff like a database access between the sites! :)

    If by wired, you're referring to a hardwired link, there also isn't really a need for VPN at all, just a wire!

    If you'd mention how far apart the offices are, we could make more intelligent suggestions. I have a client that has locations over a mile apart, and we got them running on wireless for around $2000 total, they're very happy with the result.
     
  9. Rikku

    Rikku

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    I totally agree. Relying on DSL for an office to office VPN wouldn't be pretty. Point to point wireless would probably be the best solution if the distance wasn't too bad.
     
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