Setting up Linksys Router and Win2k DHCP/DNS Server

By tom.monter ·
We're running a win2k server at our engineering office and I wasn't the original IT guy, but I have solved a lot of major issues with the server over the past year.

However because of the unstable nature of our internet sometimes, I'd like to set up a linksys router (BEFSR41) as our primary internet gateway so that when we reboot the gateway and cable modem we don't knock users off the file/DHCP/DNS server.

What's the best way to approach this?

I want to leave the IP's as dynamically configured as we get a lot of visitors who end up using our wireless system (with a WEP key of course).

We do have most of the printers and office machines set as dynamically configured but I have a reservation mapped to most of the NIC MAC addresses.

The win2k server is set at the primary DNS/DHCP server as well as the primary gateway with the NAT translation mapping the internet gateway to the server.

Currently the Win2k server is also the internet router (Has 2 NIC's).

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All Answers

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by CG IT In reply to Setting up Linksys Router ...

basic suggestion,

get a switch. If you can afford it, get 2 Cisco 2900 [2950/24] [2950/24 with uplink ports is even better but more cost].

All servers and printers get static addresses and are reserved in DHCP.

Get rid of routing functions on any of the servers [and 2 NIC configurations]

I'd dump the linksys router and get a SonicWall TZ 170 or a Cisco 800 series [f you know Cisco IOS. If you don't,get a SonicWall and then get a Wireless AP]

Once you have everything on a switch, if you ever reboot the router, the only thing that happens is no internet connectivity until the router comes up.

special note: Linksys is consumer level stuff. Unless the business says to only buy that stuff, cost aside, I wouldn't put it on a business network.

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How to configure DNS?

by tom.monter In reply to hummm........

As far as the hardware goes, I'll likely buy a sonicwall when we get the chance to upgrade, however in the meantime the Linksys is what I have. We are a small engineering firm with less than 20 employees.

How do I go about configuring DNS so that when someone tries to access the internet and the router is working they are able?

I'm just learning the DNS/DHCP side of things and could use some pointers on configuration.

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Type of internet

by zerosportal In reply to How to configure DNS?

What type of internet connection does your business
currently have?

If you have a dynamic based internet setup, you would
want to just simply set up your linksys to dynamically
update. The DNS would be passed on to all of the DHCP
clients, and for the static ones (excluding printers) you
could always check the status page of your BEFSR41 and it
will show you the DNS addresses.

If you have a static setup, you will have to obtain those
specific settings from your ISP. What is nice though is if
your running a Win2k Server, under the "Configure your
server" section, you could always check the current
settings for DNS and such and just copy them down.

Hope this helps!

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DNS Config - Linksys Router

by tom.monter In reply to Type of internet

Our current configuration is the Windows 200 server (Active Directory) is the primary DNS host on the network.

I'm using NAT translation to a dynamically configured host through Time-Warner broadband. (And it's often a pain)

What do I need to change in the DNS server to enable computers to forward DNS resolution requests for internet to the linksys router? I still want the Win2k to be the primary DNS for several reasons not the least of which is speedy logins for our workstations.

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list the ISPs DNS after the local DNS

by CG IT In reply to DNS Config - Linksys Rout ...

matter of listing order for TCP/IP properties the NIC.

If you have less than 20 workstations [including the server] I'd dump DHCP and use statically assigned addressing [not much admin effort for 20 devices].

So for TCP/IP properties of the NIC, you'll have 1 listing for your DNS LAN server first, the second will be your ISP DNS server [they usually have 2] then in the Advanced setting properties page, DNS tab, you'll list the second ISP DNS server. Clients will process in the order listed and when your local DNS server can't resolve, the query will go to the ISPs DNS servers.

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I don't want to give workstations Static IP's

by tom.monter In reply to list the ISPs DNS after t ...

Because of the nature of our engineering office with clients coming in with laptops that need internet access quite often I don't want to dump DHCP.

I want to leave the DHCP server intact but still be able to use the linksys router for internet access.

I know this can be done I just need to get it all figured out before I attempt it.

Would I set up the linksys as the IP forwarder in DNS? I can't imagine I'm the first person to want to do this.

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set options in DHCP

by CG IT In reply to I don't want to give work ...

option 6 in DHCP options is for DNS servers the client is to use. list in order of preference the DNS servers. in your case, your AD server first, then the ISPs DNS servers.

option 3 is for the default router which is you linksys router. That is the default gateway.

option 15 is for domain name which you use for client host name resolution.

Note: your all in one box server needs a static address and any other servers on the network also should have static addresses. They should not be assigned DHCP addresses as these can change which would cause problems with the DHCP options you set. These static addresses are listed in the DHCP reserved address [or are from that pool DHCP reserves].

If it was me, I'd think, do these people with wireless laptops need to be on the corporate network? if all they want is internet access, I'd get a wireless router to segment them from the corporate network. They can still have internet access, but not be on the same network as the corporate network. just hook up the wireless router on an open wired switch port on the linksys,

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Linksys Router Setup

by tom.monter In reply to Setting up Linksys Router ...

So basically the server would be responsible for DNS forwarding as usual.

As I understand the IP address of the linksys router would become the gateway IP for internet, with name server resolution still handled by the windows 2000 server?

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the Linksys is your perimeter router and gateway

by CG IT In reply to Linksys Router Setup

Don't have the linksys router be anything other than your perimeter router/gateway/firewall. The only thing it should do is provide NAT and be a firewall between your network and the internet [ISPs network].

Your server should be the point that provides clients with what it needs [in this case question, providing addressing, gateway and DNS info]. Your W2003 Server is an AD server which means client computers must log on and authenticate with it to gain network resources. W2003 server DNS has conditional forwarding already enabled on it [meaning that it's authoritative for the domain zone of your AD network] and will forward requests that it's not authoritative for instead of just dropping requests it can't resolve. you still need to list the ISPs DNS server on client computers to get to the internet. DNS is just resolving names to addressing or in a recursive lookup, address to names. When it can't resolve it'll forward but it needs to know where to forward. Typically root hint servers but in your case, you don't need to get so complicated. Just add your ISPs DNS server below!!! your DNS server in the DNS listing in options in DHCP. clients will try your DNS first and then your ISPs second.

try it out. take a computer and load in a static address subnet mask, gateway and your DNS server first and your ISPs second and see if you get to the internet.

using a Class C 192.168.1/24 range you'll have 253 host addresses available. With only 20 clients only 20 of those 253 will be used and if you setup your DHCP to lease beginning with - 254, it'll lease in sequence so the most used would be so you could safely use for the trial comp and not worry about a duplicate address.

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This worked for me...

by info In reply to the Linksys is your perim ...

Coming into this a wee bit late...I have a home LAN with a single (I know...redundancy; but only have 1 server!) AD/PDC running W2K Server. My BEFSR41 is DHCP/gateway to Internet (; Server is On the BASIC SETUP screen, I have entered as STATIC DNS1. I no longer have to manually configure my XP-Pro clients with a DNS IP address to point to my PDC (which was needed for the clients to properly find the PDC). The Linksys gets the Internet DNS servers automatically when it gets its Public IP Address from my DSL provider's DHCP Server. All is now good and simple.

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