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3/4 Small Business Network...

By cyberghost_1 ·
3 to 4 network design for small business, future expansion to 6 is planned. All running WinXP Pro OS. NOTE: There is no Internet service yet, please keep that in mind on the connection configs...
1:) One PC is acting as a server, it has the Programs that are going to be used by the other 2 PC's.
2:) I am using a NetGear 4-Port Router, pending the internet service, which will be 512kbps Cable.
3:) Since there is no Internet yet, would I use the following design for the network...

SERVER-->ROUTER(WAN PORT)?
OR ROUTER(PORT 1)?
USER PC#1-->ROUTER(PORT 2)
USER PC#2-->ROUTER(PORT 3)
POSSIBLE USER PC#3-->ROUTER(PORT 4)

Should I leave the Router's WAN PORT open for now...to connect to the Cable Modem when it is added? Is there any manual adjustments that I need to make in TCP/IP Protocol Properties Tab?
Should I set IP Address to detect automatically? As well as DNS Server to be detected automatically? Also, I would check all 4 options in the Properties page for connection...I think that about covers it for now. All comments and suggestion are welcome and would really help.....ASAP !!!!! Thanks ...

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by house In reply to 3/4 Small Business Networ ...

For ease of administration, you should leave everything "dynamic". In very few cases, I've had to add the DNS numbers. The router itself will contain all the options that you need.

You can use DHCP in the router.
You can assign static IP addresses to MACs.
You can manually enter the DNS numbers.

The PCs themselves will only ever need the automatic settings. They will query the router to obtain the IP, DNS, and subnet mask.

What sort of function(s) is the server going to perform? This might change things.

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by CG IT In reply to 3/4 Small Business Networ ...

Here's what I would do in this case.
Purchase a 4 port switch. have all the PCs connect to the switch then switch to router. Manually assign IP addressing [leave DHCP off on the router]. Make sure netbios over tcp/ip is enabled on all the XP boxes. Make sure the Windows SP2 Firewall is enabled and each computer on the LAN is in the trusted zone of the firewall [or use whatever firewall]. File and print sharing on Windows is an inherent security risk because the everyone group is assigned full access when file and print sharing is enabled.

To answer your specific questions, your consumer level router's default setting is to automatically obtain IP and DNS info on the WAN port. leave that alone unless you get a static IP address from the ISP.

I recommend this setup with a switch because routers are not infailible. Though its unlikely that the consumer router will ever fail, it might and since this is a business, if the router does fail, the entire network is offline. With a switch in the mix, your network is still able to function should the router ever fail. Keeping that in mind, you can see why I recommend static IP addressing. Further, should you ever decide to add a web server, or other servers that require internet service, you have a couple of options available to you. 1) use the dmz port on the router or 2) plug the web server and other servers into ports on the router and use port fowarding. Inbound traffic over those ports are directed to those computers only via port fowarding. Should there be a security breach on those computers offering web services, you can just unplug the switch from the router and your LAN is still up. Seems trivial, but security should be of upmost concern whenever a computer has public access. The more levels of security between public access and sensitive data the better.

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by cyberghost_1 In reply to

Got it thanks...I am going to post a Q about how I should setup this office network when an ISP is added. No Internet yet...keep a look out.

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by cyberghost_1 In reply to 3/4 Small Business Networ ...

Regarding the program function of the Server PC:
NOTE: Desktop PC, Celeron D 2.26 GHz or 2.40 GHz (don't remember :)), BioStar Board, 512MB DDR RAM, 80.0 GB 5200 RPM HDD, 56x CD-ROM, LG CD-R/RW.
Server contains 4 Accounting Software programs, hence...storing the database for these programs. The programs are DOS and Fox Pro based. As well as being Licenced, 2 of the programs can only be installed into 1 computer...(Server) The user PC's have the software installed, but only so the programs will function when the user PC's connect to the Database on the Server.
This decision was made because the Programs and database were stored on only one of the user PC's. Since the programs are licenced, the company bought new PC's and upgraded to WinXP Pro form Win98SE, the HDD's weren't cloned so the Licences were lost and the programs and database couldn't be accessed. To avoid that from happening again, the info is on the Server and no one has access to it but me.

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by cyberghost_1 In reply to 3/4 Small Business Networ ...

One Final Note...how can I set the Network so that when the PC's are turned on they are already connected to the Server? i.e...right after loging on to the Server or user PC, going to My PC on the bottom of the window the icon for the Active Network Connection is shown?

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by cyberghost_1 In reply to 3/4 Small Business Networ ...

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