networking 2 existing networks

By FLopez3 ·
first network runs a local grocery store. there is about 5 client PCs and a back up server. this first network has a local internet provider 1mb down and 512k up DSL.

second network is running off of a different internet provider (att) 3mb down and 1.5mb up DSL. this network only has 2 clients on it at the moment. but may be adding a few more. (3-4)

my question is: where do i start to network both networks together. the owner wants to share information back and forth between the to offices. but because there are using two different ISPs. should i break both networks down and start over?
the two locations are maybe 1000ft apart.
and running cable may not be the way the owner wants to go. i was thinking of setting up to wireless APs on both sides with some long range antennas?

once both networks are merged i still have to keep them some what apart on the internal side because after all they are two different business.

any suggestions or comments. im just a local computer tech. so i may or may not make much sense to some of you guys. so please leave out any unnecessary comments.

thank you all

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What kind of info...

by ---TK--- In reply to networking 2 existing net ...

is he looking to share? Also, does he want the 5 clients and back up server to see the other network?

or does he just want the ability to see both networks, and nobody else? Plus what is the budget?

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Excel spreadsheets and Quickbooks

by FLopez3 In reply to What kind of info...

as far as i know all they are wanting to do is be able edit spreadsheets and quickbook entries. so one person will make the list of what the store needs, another will enter the prices and the last will proof it to make sure everything is done correctly.

they have not mentioned anything about bigger files that those of quickbooks.

after reading all of the replies im thinking vpn is going to be the way i go about this.

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by thokod In reply to networking 2 existing net ...

From the scenario you have described above you can either set up a wireless connection between the two sites or a simple VPN connection since they are both on the net. It all boils down to the level of sharing and the type of data transmitted between the two sites. You will need to think about a few issues actually so if you address the issue above (type of data to be shared) then you can get a solution.

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by mafergus In reply to networking 2 existing net ...

I gotta say go VPN. It will be more secure then wireless. Just be sure you have a decent firewall/vpn router set up for both sites that gives you the granularity you need. Your decision will also depend on what data and resources need to be shared.

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Firewall/vpn router??

by FLopez3 In reply to VPN

is there any you had in mind. right now both locations are using the standard dsl modems that the two isp's have assigned the locations.

one is an off brand which i was unable to access, cause the isp had it all locked down.
the other is a 2wire modem/router from att. which i think does have some vpn options.

just not sure if that is going to be secure enough.

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IT depends

by mafergus In reply to Firewall/vpn router??

Assuming that there is significant two-way transfer of data, then I would install firewalls at both locations and set up a site-to-site vpn. You will need to have different non-routable IPs for your internal networks, the firewalls would sit behind the DSL routers and handle the data encryption/decryption.

If the shared resources are only at one of the locations, then it would be easier to set up the VPN client so that company "A" would VPN into company "B". This would either require settings on each client in "A" or a web VPN portal depending on the product.

A set of products I have had good success with are the checkpoint safe@office series of firewalls. They are fairly straightforward and are reasonable as far as licensing. I have also had good success with sonicwall, and Cisco appliances.

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questions: same location or 2 different locations?

by CG IT In reply to networking 2 existing net ...

is any of the offices running Directory services?

the two internet connections doesn't really mean anything if both offices are at the same location and both networks run the same addressing scheme and both switches are connected together.

but if the offices are at different locations, and Directory services are running, then a site to site VPN tunnel would work.

Same location, all hosts are in a workgroup, seperate workgroups are ok, as long as all the computers are on the same subnet, then users from one workgroup can access shares [user is added as a user on the computer that is sharing] on another workgroup using UNC \\ip address\share and enter credentials.
This same setup will work with Directory Services provided that the user that wants to access a share has a user account in the Directory Services.

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there is no real server software running in either location

by FLopez3 In reply to questions: same location ...

the server that i mentioned before has sever 2k but there are not really using it like a file server or nothing like you would see in a normal business. all they do with it is back up what they are not currently using. and when things need to be looked up for some reason.

other than that, they really have no directory services, i may get them to go to some kind of server later when they see that the way they are doing things is not the easiest and most efficient.

but for now i think i will let them try it there way.

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as far as budget goes...

by FLopez3 In reply to there is no real server s ...

they are not looking to spend a lot of money.

they want high tech with low tech prices. that is why i was looking for the best but easiest way i could set them up.

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Buy consumer level routers that can handle site to site VPN

by CG IT In reply to questions: same location ...

provided that they have static public IP addresses. If not, then you should go the consumer level router route that has SSL remote access.

These types of routers allow a total of 5 users to access a remote network via SSL.

You configure user accounts and passwords right on the router and there is a SSL portal that the users use. This gives them access to the remote network by providing a local address.

However to connect to network resources, they will have to use the UNC \\ip address\share name to access and be given permission to access [local machine user account]. Mapped drives might work once the ssl connection is made, but that isn't always the case.

Netgear and Linksys by Cisco has some SMB / consumer level routers reasonably priced [$150.00 USD] that allow SSL remote access.

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