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Can DSL be used as a WAN

By Warco ·
Here is the situation. I live in a small town that has just recently aquired DSL. I setup the City Hall and Police Department with DSL and installed a Linksys 8 port router for firewall protection. City Hall would now like to be able to communicateto the Police Department over the network. Their physical locations are 2 blocks apart. Would DSL be a viable solution to connecting the 2 of them? If so, How? We do not have ISDN and they don't want to incur the expence of frame relay or a dedicated line.

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Can DSL be used as a WAN

by Stillatit In reply to Can DSL be used as a WAN

DSL is viable, but a lot depends on how much connection you really need and what your ISP can provide.

1. If both systems are on the internet, clearly you can send mail between them. I suggest encrypting the mail.

2. Instant messaging (AOL, MSN, Yahoo, etc.) will work with DSL.

3. If you need to directly connect the networks so that users at each site can attach to the server or another computer at the other site, things get more complex. There are multiple things you can do, but they depend on what you can get from your ISP:

a) If your ISP can provide you with static IP addresses, and you are using the routers for filtering, not for NAT, you can add RRAS to a server at each site and create an encrypted tunnel across the internet between your sites. (You will need an NT server or W2K server at each end.)

b) An alternate, but much less secure solution if you have static IP addresses is to open a hole in the firewall on each side for all addresses on the other side. The danger of this is that the traffic between the sites is not encrypted, and thus subject to interception, and someone who can "spoof" an address can get in. This does not require servers.

c) If you can NOT get static IP addresses, you will be using Network Address Translation on your routers. Since the Linksys router can redirect ports, you can set up a VPN between servers by redirecting port 1723 to a server at each end, but every time one of the IP addresses on the DSL changes, you will have to change the VPN setup (and you will not be connected until you do). Depending on your ISP, your IP address could change anywhere from daily to whenever they reconfigure their network, which could be monthly.

By the way, for two blocks, if you have line-of-sight between the roofs of the buildings, have you considered a microwave link?

Good luck.

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Can DSL be used as a WAN

by Warco In reply to Can DSL be used as a WAN

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Can DSL be used as a WAN

by Warco In reply to Can DSL be used as a WAN

I probably should have mentioned that both the PD and City Hall have static IP's from the ISP. The City Hall has a Windows 2000 server as well as 5 clients (Win 2000) The PD does not have a server only 4 PC's. They are currently Win 98, but are being replaced with Windows 2000 desktops next month. I had not considered the microwave link. I am not sure if I would have a good line of site for that.

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Can DSL be used as a WAN

by True_Texan In reply to Can DSL be used as a WAN

This is just a suggestion, but have you considered running fiber between the two buildings? Then you could use only one DSL connection, set everyone to authenticate off a server, share files, etc. And, the cost of putting in the fiber would (eventually) be offset by dropping 1 DSL line. If the wire distance between the two buildings is less than 100 meters, you might even be able to run Cat 5 at 100Mb.

Hope this helps!

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Can DSL be used as a WAN

by Warco In reply to Can DSL be used as a WAN

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Can DSL be used as a WAN

by eBob In reply to Can DSL be used as a WAN

In general your PTT provisions DSL as a connection to the Internet, not for point-to-pint use. Therefore to use DSL as a "WAN" you would be best off to try to implement this as a VPN. The LinkSYS routers "support" some commercial VPNs, but not between each other (I believe). The focus is for corporate users at home with their LinkSYS accessing corporate networks with Cisco and Checkpoint Firewalls.

In any case, talk with your ISP and PTT about VPNs. Most PTTs will have a service they can help you with.

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Can DSL be used as a WAN

by Warco In reply to Can DSL be used as a WAN

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Can DSL be used as a WAN

by Warco In reply to Can DSL be used as a WAN

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