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Adding Internet to Network...

By cyberghost_1 ·
I manage a network with up to 5 User PC's on it. There is no ISP yet, but it should be added next week.
NOTE: All boxes are WinXP PRO, Server and 3 User PC's are Celeron 2.40GHz, 512MB RAM. One PC is AMD 1000+, 256MB RAM.

Hardware: NetGear WebSafe 4-Port Router RP614v2
1 Switch (4 or 8 Port)
Current Setup: File Server-->Router LAN port 1
Supervisor's PC-->Router LAN 2
User PC-->Router LAN 3
*2 PC are still pending.
When Internet is added it will be from 512Kbps to 1024Kbps Cable Modem.

Which is the most recommended setup?
Modem-->Router(WAN Port)
Router(LAN port 1)-->Switch
Switch(3 LAN ports)-->Server and User
Or adding another Ethernet Card to the File Server so the Users connect through it?

Modem-->Router(WAN Port)
Modem-->Server OnBoard LAN
Server PCI Ethernet Card-->Router(WAN)
Router(2 LAN ports)-->2 User PC's
I might be just confusing myself on this, I would like to set this up in the best possible way. I have to impress my Boss, since this is for his Wife's office. So I have to make it look awsome and provide a reliable network.
The Server file contains 3 Accounting programs that are used by 2 other PC's, hence storing the Database and Primary Licence for these programs. Also, adding an ISP might change things a bit. I have my office there too and I will be adding my PC to the network for Admin purposes. Mostly for IE access, I will have my own little network setup inside my office for building PC's and fixing clients' PC aswell.
Any ideas? Am I missing something or am I on the right track? Now, when I add my box I will have another Router and a switch, to create my own IP's for my network aswell as having access to the office network. Although, the rest of the office won't have access to my box or network...

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by razz2 In reply to Adding Internet to Networ ...

I would go towards the first way. I would reccomend 8 ports for growth either as an 8 port router alone, or as a router with an 8 port switch.

Internet-->modem-->router/firewall WAN Port-->

router Uplink to-->switch port 1
switch port 2--> server
switch ports 3+-->workstations.

If you did the second one then the server with all of you info would be outside the firewall. Don't let anyone tell you "You can use the built-in firewall, or install a 3rd party one". If someone wanted to steal the car in my garage, I would rather they were not allowed to try working on the car directly. I would have the garage door closed. Don't expose your server to a direct attack.

For yours are you using their internet access through their router? You could use a router and hook the WAN port to their LAN.

Also, if you want to look good MAKE SURE THEY CONSIDER A BACKUP SOLUTION. No network is reliable after a physical disaster. If they want reliable, they want a backup/disaster recovery solution. Not a single CD or tape that melts with the building.

Good Luck,


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by cyberghost_1 In reply to
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by wbaltas In reply to Adding Internet to Networ ...

Something very similar to your first design is best.


Have all end devices plug into your switch. Be sure to run NAT on the Firewall/Router. Also, I don't know much about the NetGear router that you are using, but you might need a crossover cable when connecting this to your internal switch. You will know this if you don't get a link light on your ports when you plug in your cable.

When configuring the firewall be careful about what ports you allow in, and try to limit where this incoming traffic is allowed.

For example: Allow TCP port 25 (SMTP) only to your e-mail server. You might also have to allow TCP port 110 (POP3 mail) to your e-mail server if you use this protocol. Domain name services (DNS) uses TCP port 53 and UDP port 53. If you don't have an internal DNS server you don't need to open TCP port 53, however, you probably will need UDP port 53.

I agree with the previous comment. Invest in a good back up technology, and think really hard about the backup strategy you will use. Some accounting laws may require up to seven years of data to be restored in the event of an audit.

Finally, anti-virus software on desktops is now required. If you don't have this, buy one before you get on the Internet!

Good Luck
Bill Baltas

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by cyberghost_1 In reply to

Thanks, would a Flash Drive be a good idea for backup...lets say 1GB stick to store the database for the programs. One 1GB stick per program database....

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by wroming In reply to Adding Internet to Networ ...

I agree also with "most" of what the other two individuals have said. But, ideal config for maximum speed is this.

Modem to Router/Firewall to Switch

Now on the router/firewall if you do not have any services on the inside of your network physically such as DNS, Email, Web Server, any kind of SSL then you do not need to allow any ports to come into your network.

Now if your end users connect to the cable modem company for your e-mail then you still do not have to open up any ports for e-mail.

With the network being as small as it is I would just use static addresses but, if that is something you do not want to manage just make your file server your dhcp server as well. Microsoft Server provides all the features for all services except the exchange part. That is a seperate software. Now if your file server is like a lot of small companies just another pc on the network then you have two options allow dhcp from your small router/firewall or turn on ICS (internet connection sharing) on your file "Server" PC this is included in Windows XP Pro at no charge.

Also if any of the PC's have XP Pro with SP 1 and especially 2 you want to make sure if you want the built in Firewall on, on the machines that you allow the traffic to be allowed between each work station on the network. If you want a REALLY secure network just leave the firewall on and allow the traffic through between each workstation and server but, if you do not want to have to do that much management just turn that feature off. How you do this action is right click on the network icon and go to properties left click. Then click on the advanced tab and uncheck the firewall option.

But, this is a really simple setup but if you have any more questions you can feel free to e-mail me at Thanks again hope this helps out.

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by cyberghost_1 In reply to

got it, thamks I will EMail you for some follow up stuff...

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by cyberghost_1 In reply to Adding Internet to Networ ...

One other note: This is the connection setup I might use. Would it make a difference?

Modem-->Router/Firewall-->Switch port 8
Server-->Switch port 7
User PC's-->ports 1+

I agree with connecting the server to the Switch, does port selection matter much? And yes I did use a crossover cable that I made...

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by cyberghost_1 In reply to Adding Internet to Networ ...

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