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CREATING LAN WITH 20 PORT SWITCH vs Wireless Router

Discussion in 'Networking' started by SargeDFS, Oct 30, 2007.

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  1. SargeDFS

    SargeDFS Thread Starter

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    Ok let me clarify what I am up against.

    I have 20 XPS 1710 Laptops. I am setting up a LAN event at a hotel conference room that has no access to the internet. The server management program I am using has a standard Intenet set up as well as LAN set up (I can set the server up on the internet or through a LAN. The set up part is not the issue. The issue is the connection

    I have a 20 port switch available. I was told that I can use the switch to connect the 20 laptops to create the LAN. So here is the layout]

    No Internet capability
    20 Laptops
    20 port switch
    20 25 foot CAT5 cables

    Someone please describe the process for setting this up. I would really appreciate your time. I do have access to a LINKSYS wireless router. I was also told that I could just plug in the Wireless Router and use it to run the LAN. Each XPS has WiFi and I was told I should be able to pick up the Wireless router. HELP
     
  2. skinnywhiteboy

    skinnywhiteboy

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    If the hotel conference room is wired for ethernet, just uplink the switch using a standard patch cable into the wall. This would take a lot less configuration than setting up the wireless access on each machine because you would have to secure it using something like WPA2 (unless you want other people in the hotel trying to connect to it).
     
  3. SargeDFS

    SargeDFS Thread Starter

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    My point is that there is no access point for the internet in the conference room they use. I know (quite outdated hotel if you ask me). My intent is to use the 20 port router to run a wired LAN if I cannot use the wireless router. I have used a Linksys Wireless-G before just powering it up and using Odyssey Client on each of the Laptops to find the Linksys default IP address it emits. Does this make sense. However, I only have the 20 port switch at this time and need to know how to wire the laptops to the switch to run a wired LAN
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    You can use a wireless router to connect them without an Internet link, though 20 wireless connections would have the performance of paint drying using a single wireless access point.

    Exactly what will be transferred over this network? If there's any volume of data, I'd be leaning to the wired solution, since it'll be MUCH faster.

    The router will supply a DHCP server, which will make the setup easier, but it can be done with just a switch and manual configuration. I'm going to guess that would be somewhat of a PITA if the users aren't computer savvy.
     
  5. SoulsOfTheSlain

    SoulsOfTheSlain

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    Fail. A switch connecting to a switch requires a crossover.
     
  6. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Wrong. (n)

    Some Ethernet switches have a physical switch by one port that allows the user to convert the port to an uplink port that uses a standard patch cable to connect to another switch or router. Some switches may also auto detect the type of cable being used on the uplink port.
     
  7. jmwills

    jmwills

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    Most switches use a regular cable for connecting one switch to another.
     
  8. Soundy

    Soundy

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    cw and jm are correct, Souls is wrong. There are practically no switches or hubs ever made that require a crossover cable to chain devices - almost all will have either a separate "uplink" port, an "uplink" switch that toggles the function of one port, or they will have auto-MDI/MDI-X detection on one or more ports (many switches now have this on all ports).

    As John said, the switch is the way to go if you need to move any real amount of data between laptops. If you want, you can throw the router in simply to provide DHCP services, so the laptops don't need to all be manually configured.
     
  9. SargeDFS

    SargeDFS Thread Starter

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    Ok Soundy-sounds like the way I want to go. When you say throw in the router do you mean the wireless Linksys I have. Let me see if I get this right. Take the 20 laptops and cable them directly to the switch. Now-one of the PCs will be used as a Server (Contains the Server management program right on the desktop of the computer)( I know-duh!!) On the switch-I assume there will be a uplink port (one of the 20) and thats where I would plug in the Laptop with the server. The rest would feed into the server from the remaining 19 ports. Is this Correct Soundy. Where soes the wireless router come in so that I would not have to manually configure each of the Laptops with its own IP Config ie 192.168.1.x with subnet mask 255.255.255.0 to 192.168.1.x
    (x being any number between 1 and 254. 0 and 255 are not used). Am I in the right ballpark here?
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I can't imagine why you'd dedicate a laptop to be the DHCP server when a $20 router would do the job just as well.

    You just want the router to be the DHCP server, and you can configure it to leave the Default Gateway and DNS addresses blank, since you don't have Internet access.
     
  11. Soundy

    Soundy

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    I don't think he's talking about dedicating a laptop as a DHCP server... I get the idea that one laptop will be a server (with management software) for the purposes of whatever they're doing here. You COULD use that as a DHCP server as well, if you're familiar with configuring a DHCP server in Windoze, but the router will do the job just as well, probably with no additional configuration, just plug it in and set all the laptops to "Obtain an IP address automatically". And no, you wouldn't use the switch's uplink port, you'd just plug the switch into one of the LAN ports on the router.

    Now the one other concern, is that if this is a 20-port switch and you have 20 laptops, you're going to be one port short for the router. That leaves three options: use a larger (24-port) switch, use the server laptop as a DHCP server as well, or hard-code the IP addresses on all the laptops. Personally, I'd go for the first option...
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Since only the server versions of Windows have a DHCP server capability, I'm not so sure this is a good solution. How many people have Windows server running on their laptops?

    I'll say again, use the router. :)
     
  13. SargeDFS

    SargeDFS Thread Starter

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    JohnWill-

    All Laptops are running Windows XP but I think that is irrelevant. I think. :)
    One of the Laptops is being used as the server as it holds the server management program for the Americas Army Game. Maps, protocol for the tourney, etc. When I run the management program it scripts and configures the laptop as a server for the game. Each of the other computers will be tapping into that server. Hence the need for the 20 port router.

    The good news is this will be a 8 v 8 so technically I am only networking 16 laptops. I am keeping 4 as back ups if something goes down.

    I will go with the plan as Soundy has described. Sure would be nice to have verbal contact on the day of the event. LOL Set up is on the 16th of November so I have time once I compile the equip to test.
     
  14. Soundy

    Soundy

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    Wouldn't that be 17 laptops then - 16 for the players, one for the server? In any case, that still leaves you three ports available - just plug one of them into one of the LAN ports on the router. Even out-of-the-box, the router should have its DHCP server active and should "just work" - set the laptops for DHCP, as noted, and you should be good to go. The "backup" machines don't have to be hooked up to begin with - you could have two wired and ready to go, and if another goes down, just move that user to a backup, and plug another of the spare backups in where the dead machine is.
     
  15. Soundy

    Soundy

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    I dunno, you could always run a Win32 binary of BIND...?

    But yeah, the router is definitely the preferable option.
     
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