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176 posts

Master Geek

# 19633 24-Feb-2008 16:29
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Hey guys,

A bit of a network newbie here, but need some help from some of the guru's around here.

Here's the setup:
I have one xp Pc in a downstairs office which is connected by ethernet to a Dlink wireless broadband modem, this machine is just used for internet/mail/invoicing.
Upstairs office has 3 xp Pc's. Each of the 3 machine needs internet access (via the modem downstairs) and each pc also has to be networked together by ethernet.
I want the newest machine upstairs to be the server that the other 2 can connect to (each machine runs the same design software)
What do I need to make this happen? A bit of googling suggests a wireless router that all 3 pc's can connect too is the way to go.
Is this possible, how hard will it be to do it, and what brand/type of router will I need?

Thanks in advance

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Uber Geek
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  # 112723 24-Feb-2008 16:43
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Hi, for a business, or infact even at home dont use Wireless as your primary connection method if you can help it. It is better to wire the connections.

I assume you D-Link is a 604T as so has 4Lan ports in addition to the WiFi interface. There are two simple options other than WiFi to connect them that will be more stable, faster and secure.

Option1. Run an ethernet cable from one of the LAN ports of the D-link to a 5 or 8port ethernet switch upstairs, connect the upstairs PC to that switch.

Option2. Move the D-link to a phone line upstairs, connect the upstairs PC to the LAN ports of the modem and run one ethernet line to the PC downstairs.

From a software point of view, depending on what you want to achieve, if its just file storage on a common server, then simply create some folders on the server for various activities, ie accounts, customer records, projects, etc. Share them out and if you want assign passwords to various folders if you want to control access to differnt PC. In a small business  excessive protection  can be pain and give little useful advantages, so simply creating the shares for all to use may be more useful.

There are many aspects to server configuration that could take a long time to explain, you can make it simple (which for a small operation is recommended) or you can go the whole hog and create a complete Domain, but thats a whole story on its own.


176 posts

Master Geek

  # 112731 24-Feb-2008 16:55
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Thanks cyril, for various reasons the dlink has to stay downstairs (telecom tech said not possible to run broadband from upstairs phone line) Unfortunately it isn't practical to run an ethernet cable from the downstairs office to upstairs. Has to be wireless. Am I on the right track with buying a 4 port router, I've got 2 days to get this up and running.




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+1 received by user: 549


  # 112733 24-Feb-2008 17:13
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Hi, I would be surprised if you cannot run a cable, I get involved in these types of things on a regular basis and the customer always says its impossible to run a cable, when I arrive within minutes you normally find several paths.

10meters of cat5e cable is less than $5, a wireless solutions is going to set you back 20x that as a minimum and will never be as reliable nor as secure. Are there no pipes for other services already running between floors, or as a last resort run the cable outside, still far more cost effective, more reliable and more secure.

Assuming you do want to go the wireless route then you dont need a router, the D-Link already has all that functionality, to add another router can cause more issues. I assume your D-Link is the 604T with 4wired LAN ports and the WiFi interface, if so you can do one two things.

Option1. Get a WiFi LAN card for each PC upstairs, and get each PC to directly connect to the D-Link wirelessly, suitable cards like this.

Option2. Get a Wireless AP that will run in client bridge mode like this, and connect all your upstairs PCs to this via ethernet cables, the Wireless AP will connect wirelessly to the 604T, this is much cheaper than fitting each of your PCs with LAN cards and all the upstair PCs will network faster by not using the Wireless path, as this will only be used to communicate with the downstairs PC and the internet.

What is the floor between floors made of, if its concrete or contains foil insulation you maynot be able to get a wireless path through it.


176 posts

Master Geek

  # 112737 24-Feb-2008 17:42
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Option 2 is looking good thanks, so with the wireless AP, I can network all 3 upstairs pc's together using ethernet cable from each of the pc's lan ports into the AP, and also have all 3 pc's connected to the internet wireless via the dlink 604T downstairs. The most important thing is that the 3 pc's can be networked, the internet connection isn't absolutely critical.

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