Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jdm_com_au

Need to setup a network

Recommended Posts

By the middle of next year, I will have 4 desktops and two laptops that will all need occaisional internet access. One will hog 99% of internet usage, the others will need it as required. I don't really want to setup anti-virus on all of them, rather just have it on one and have the others connect online via that desktop. I'm not sure what is possible and what the costs may be, so I'm asking here.

 

I will NOT be connecting the PC's or laptops wirelessly, as they will all be in the same room.

 

The other thing is that I want most of my stored data on a couple of external H/D's and want all 4 PC's and the two laptops to have read and write access to them.

 

With both cases, I do NOT want to be constantly swapping cables, just hook them up and leave it.

 

Quality, reliability and performance are the keys. Ease of installation would be a bonus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can either do it that way and suffer the joys of internet sharing. Or bite the bullet and setup a/v on them all.

 

You'll probably want a small switch either way you go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your 1st post is missing all the details.

 

 

How do you currently connect? What budget do you have in mind to achieve this? Do you have any equipment currently that would be of use?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To keep to a small budget.. the point about connecting "via that desktop" really only leaves internet sharing.

 

You're going to need 2 network cards in 'that' desktop, one for the modem, one for a switch.

And manually share the internet connection when needed.

 

or, build yourself a proxy machine with something like Smoothwall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just buy a cheap switch, as max suggested. Internet connection sharing can be a real pain in the arse...and if that main PC isn't on, no others can access the internet.

 

A half decent switch will give you Quality, reliability and performance...which is what you're asking for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just buy a cheap switch, as max suggested. Internet connection sharing can be a real pain in the arse...and if that main PC isn't on, no others can access the internet.

 

A half decent switch will give you Quality, reliability and performance...which is what you're asking for.

Plugging everything into a switch would effectivly give all PC's internet access 100% of the time.

And by the sounds of things, that is not what he wants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently I use my mobile phone as a USB modem to the main PC, as I live in a rural town. I will be moving soon to an area where I can have ADSL and cable.

 

I have no experience in setting up a network, so be patient.

 

So if I get ADSL or cable, the cable from the wall ( or phone socket ) goes to #1 network card on PC #1?

 

And then network card #2 on PC #1 connects to the other PC's?

 

And the other PC's can only get internet connection if PC #1 is on?

 

And I use some sort of switch from network card #2 on PC #1 to get the multiple connections?

 

Allowing all PC's to be able to connect to the internet at the same time would be handy, but is not critical.

 

Money isn't too much of an issue. I would rather get it right the first time, rather than having to upgrade equipment later. Having said that, I would like to limit the total cost to a few hundred dollars.

 

As I said, quality, reliability and performance are the keys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You buy an ADSL or Cable Modem depending on the service you can get at your house :)

 

This would be a good start for the home network.

 

Linksys WAG120N Wireless-N ADSL2+ Modem Router

 

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=14566 Most of all these come with 4 port 10/100 ports to allow a few devices to plug in and and connect simultaneously to the network/internet. All the computers in the house will connect to this not your computer.

 

The guy I linked does have wireless but we can easily turn this off. Is there any particular reason that you dont want to use wireless? do the laptops you own have this functionality? If you do require more then 4 ports we will need to purchase a switch as well but these can be had for cheap as chips.

 

Your external HDD's can be shared from your OS quiet easily and if you require assistance we can help you with that. Though you can also purchase routers these days with USB ports that allow you to share your external harddrives.

 

Really the network can be setup for less then $100 :P

Edited by mudg3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just buy a switch then. Anything like Linksys will work fine for what you want and an 8 port one will set you back bugger all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would rather get it right the first time.

Then you are doing it exactly the wrong way.

If you want to do it right connect each PC to the modem or router, set up antivirus etc on each PC and forget about Internet Connection Sharing, it is just right pain in the arse and is always falling over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just buy a cheap switch, as max suggested. Internet connection sharing can be a real pain in the arse...and if that main PC isn't on, no others can access the internet.

 

A half decent switch will give you Quality, reliability and performance...which is what you're asking for.

Plugging everything into a switch would effectivly give all PC's internet access 100% of the time.

And by the sounds of things, that is not what he wants.

 

He also wants to share files between PC's via external storage. So with ICS, he's gonna have to assign static IP addresses and fuck around with all that crap.

 

 

jdm, get your ADSL going and as has already been mentioned, you'll get a modem/router unit. Most of them have 4 ethernet ports. You can connect all your other machines to these ports, the router will push out DHCP addresses. Piece of cake.

If those ports are not enough, get an extra 4 port switch.

 

I used to use ICS, once upon a time. When I first got cable internet...in 1998. This was when routers and switches were enterprise gear only. All my ISP gave me was a modem. Infact, sharing internet was against their T's&C's! Now days it's consumer grade and mainstream to share internet via routers, you'd be silly to use ICS over a piece of hardware that does it for you.

Trust me...and everyone else in this thread telling you not to go down the ICS path.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have heard good things about HP's ProCurve switches and they don't cost a fortune.

 

If you really want all the other PCs to connect through PC #1... what operating system (e.g. Windows XP) is PC #1 running?

Edited by fajw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have heard good things about HP's ProCurve switches and they don't cost a fortune.

 

If you really want all the other PCs to connect through PC #1... what operating system (e.g. Windows XP) is PC #1 running?

 

No just no..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main reason I don't want anti-virus on all PC's is that one will probably only be connected to the internet for less than 30 mins a year. Just seems pointless to me. If they were all going top be connected for a couple of hours a day, that would be different. I will probably be moving in about a month, so it might be two months before the cable/ADSL is up and running. Being a single dad doesn't give me too much spare time.

 

PC # 1 currently use 32 bit XP, but I can easily throw 64 bit Win 7 . The others all run 64 bit Win 7 or Win 7 starter.

 

There seems to be a couple of different opinions about things I'm not 100% sure about, but it appears that I can achieve what I'm after for not much money. I'll post the details of the modem once the system is up and running.

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HP Pro Curve? WTF?

 

Man, Avast or AVG will take you 35 seconds to install. Done. And it is free.

Or what ever is the latest and greatest flavour of free AV software.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main reason I don't want anti-virus on all PC's is that one will probably only be connected to the internet for less than 30 mins a year. Just seems pointless to me. If they were all going top be connected for a couple of hours a day, that would be different. I will probably be moving in about a month, so it might be two months before the cable/ADSL is up and running. Being a single dad doesn't give me too much spare time.

 

PC # 1 currently use 32 bit XP, but I can easily throw 64 bit Win 7 . The others all run 64 bit Win 7 or Win 7 starter.

 

There seems to be a couple of different opinions about things I'm not 100% sure about, but it appears that I can achieve what I'm after for not much money. I'll post the details of the modem once the system is up and running.

 

Thanks.

Thats fine. You'll find that Microsoft security essentials is a windows update so you can just chuck that on the machines its pretty good.

 

No worries dude as stated just need a ADSL modem with a few ports and you just plug everything in. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just buy a cheap switch, as max suggested. Internet connection sharing can be a real pain in the arse...and if that main PC isn't on, no others can access the internet.

 

A half decent switch will give you Quality, reliability and performance...which is what you're asking for.

Plugging everything into a switch would effectivly give all PC's internet access 100% of the time.

And by the sounds of things, that is not what he wants.

 

He also wants to share files between PC's via external storage. So with ICS, he's gonna have to assign static IP addresses and fuck around with all that crap.

 

Of course it's a messier way to do it, but it can still be done.

Just giving an answer to suit the question.

 

I suppose you could also do what everyone else is saying and use a modem/router with multiple ports.

Set your main PC with a static address, and the other PC's you want to temporarily connect with DHCP.

And simply turn the DHCP server on and off.

Or shutdown the ports (If the router supports such a feature).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm most likely going to be reiterating some of the points already made but what you appear to be trying to do and the way you want to go about it makes my head hurt.

 

I have no experience in setting up a network, so be patient.

 

Ok, so let's go over some basic principles then.

 

First I just want to clarify your needs:

 

Time Frame for build: Middle of next year

Internet connection being shared: ADSL connection

Quantity of systems needing connection: 4 desktops and two laptops that will all need occaisional internet access

Other: Data stored on external drives accessible to the network

Key goals: Quality, reliability and performance are the keys. Ease of installation would be a bonus.

 

 

Reading the thread, it's worth considering that a modem is not a router and is also not a switch. They are three separate things. Of course you can get all in one units which is one device that combines a modem, router and a switch.

 

What is sounds like you are trying to do is plug in or hook up a modem to one of your PCs, hook in the other computers to another ethernet port in the same PC and then, using something like Internet connection Sharing (ICS), make your PC the "router". There is usually nothing but pain to be had here doing this, even if your other systems only need occasional connection.

 

I can understand why you might do this as you are currently using your USB 3G modem on the system and may want to occasionally share that connection. If it was going to be a long term setup, there are still hardware solutions that make a better and simpler setup but as your OP states, your question seems to be more in line with what is going to happen once your are ADSL equipped rather than right now. Of course if you wanted to share that connection, running ICS to share your USB modem's internet connection and plugging in one of the other devices into your LAN port (crossover cables are no longer required IIRC) that should work until you move.

 

Occasional internet access is kind of irrelevant though. There may be reasons why you don't want these connected to the internet all the time however, you seem to want them to be able to access your External Hard Drives. This would require network access which would still suggest you want them accessing at least the local network although perhaps not the internet. Is there any reason for this? Is it a question of security?

 

As has already been suggested, in the thread elsewhere, an all in one (modem/ router/ switch) is your best option. They will have a firewall in place and if you are paranoid about surfing habits of those using the systems, Microsoft Security Essentials is free and reasonably light weight. A cheap but crude way of allowing them to browse your network but stop them from accessing the internet is to play with the IP address settings (set them to manual) and remove the Gateway address. They can stay plugged in without seeing the net.

 

The all in one solution satisfies all your criteria. I am not sure about the "not wireless" option either but another way to look at the all in one solution is that if it does have wireless, you can essentially use it as another method of controlling access. Activate it only when you want the notebooks to see the internet/ network and disable it when you don't.

 

While some all in ones will also provide a USB port to directly share your USB drives over the network, the other option would be to investigate a NAS. Of course if the PC is on all the time, sharing your drives through that is pretty simple to do too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff The Tick.

As far as

A cheap but crude way of allowing them to browse your network but stop them from accessing the internet is to play with the IP address settings (set them to manual) and remove the Gateway address.

Just as easy IMO is to use the MAC filtering option that most routers offer to block net access to specific PCs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff The Tick.

As far as

A cheap but crude way of allowing them to browse your network but stop them from accessing the internet is to play with the IP address settings (set them to manual) and remove the Gateway address.

Just as easy IMO is to use the MAC filtering option that most routers offer to block net access to specific PCs.

 

There's that too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can get all in one modem/router/switch devices that support 3G and ADSL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will go over what I understand point by point from "The Tick"'s post:

 

Time frame is not next year, I will start as soon as I get my Optus cable internet at the new place. That will probably be early November 2011. I still haven't signed a lease, as repairs are still being caried out there. So there is no definite date yet.

 

PC #1 is the main internet PC, it needs internet access about 80% of the time it is switched on. The other PC's don't need constant internet access, but if it is easier to hook them all up for 100% access time, then I will go down that road.

 

Wireless is not needed as all PC's will be within a couple of metres of each other in the one room.

 

I just find that updating anti virus on one PC and then doing a 30 minute scan is time consuming enough, without having to do it on 4 PC's and 2 laptops. Which is why I'd prefer to have anti virus on one machine and have the others connect online through that one. I'm all ears for better options. Which is why I asked here before spending a cent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PC #1 is the main internet PC, it needs internet access about 80% of the time it is switched on. The other PC's don't need constant internet access, but if it is easier to hook them all up for 100% access time, then I will go down that road.

It will be much easier. Haven't used any cable+router+switch devices so can't suggest any. You will probably need another switch too, because most of those devices only have four ports, unless you get a device with wireless as well and have the laptops use it.

 

I just find that updating anti virus on one PC and then doing a 30 minute scan is time consuming enough, without having to do it on 4 PC's and 2 laptops. Which is why I'd prefer to have anti virus on one machine and have the others connect online through that one. I'm all ears for better options. Which is why I asked here before spending a cent.

Microsoft Security Essentials can automatically update and scan. Even if not, there is no simple solution I'm aware of that would replace having anti-virus on those machines. Even virus-aware firewalls aren't good enough. Only takes one to get past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will go over what I understand point by point from "The Tick"'s post:

 

Time frame is not next year, I will start as soon as I get my Optus cable internet at the new place. That will probably be early November 2011. I still haven't signed a lease, as repairs are still being caried out there. So there is no definite date yet.

 

PC #1 is the main internet PC, it needs internet access about 80% of the time it is switched on. The other PC's don't need constant internet access, but if it is easier to hook them all up for 100% access time, then I will go down that road.

 

Wireless is not needed as all PC's will be within a couple of metres of each other in the one room.

 

I just find that updating anti virus on one PC and then doing a 30 minute scan is time consuming enough, without having to do it on 4 PC's and 2 laptops. Which is why I'd prefer to have anti virus on one machine and have the others connect online through that one. I'm all ears for better options. Which is why I asked here before spending a cent.

I'll most likely be reiterating most of what sponger said here.

 

Optus will most likely supply a router/ modem/ wireless/ 4 port switch. While you don't need wireless because everything is close, utilising the wireless part of the device with your notebooks means you can save on a switch. If you decide you would really prefer to physically connect them, look for an 8 port gigabit switch as it will be the fastest option when moving files around. They can be had for less than $100.

 

As for the Antivirus side of things, like sponger suggested MSSE is kind of a no brainer and pretty much handles itself. Still, if you are going the wired route, just unplug them when they don't need network access. If you wanted to, run the cables but leave them unplugged from the Optus device and only plug them in there when you need to. Of course, if the router supports MAC filtering, you could use that to block access to the internet for those systems as well. The unit will have a web style interface so it's fairly easy to navigate and configure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×