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Small office network design

By bharrower ·
I have been set the task of networking 13 workstations and 1 server. I am a novice in networking, and are seeking some advice on how to put it all together.
The requirements:

All workstaions require internet connection, via an adsl.

5 computers are in one area, 5 in another and three in another. Each area is seperated by about 20m.

A laser printer is required for each area.

My thougts so far are to do something like this.

Have three workgroup hubs connected to an adsl ethernet router, via cat 5 cable. Also, have the server directly connected to the router.
each workstation would be connected to its workgroup hub.

Is this a OK topollogy?

Is there available routers that connect a Ethernet directly to a ADSL conection or is it usually done with a sperate modem an router?

What about security (NAT)?

Any advice would be appreciated.

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by wlbowers In reply to Small office network desi ...

ADSL Modem to Router. Linksys or other brand of your choice.

Linksys router to network.

Use switches instead of hubs.

If the drops are within 100 meters of the switch and are easy to run, use one switch and home run all drops to there.

If not use a Router with a 4 port switch and run drops to the remove switches.

Use network capable laser printers. Don't try to share the printer off a computer.

NAT is considered minimum security. If you run firewall on all computers this will be fine.

You might want to consider a hardware firewall on the incoming dsl. These are avaible combined with a router.



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by CG IT In reply to Small office network desi ...

well here's my advise.

DSL line in which typically is POTS to 66 PBX patch. 4 wire RJ11 to the DSL modem. 8 wire RJ45 from modem into your firewall [Sonicwall or Symantec or whatever]. Patch from the firewall appliance to the uplink fast port on a 16 or 24 port managed switch. For workstations run the line into a TC-P16C5E T568B 16 or 24 port patch panel either vertical if you don't have a rack or rackmount. Patch from the panel to the managed switch. [ we color code the cables. Green for WAN, red for LAN server, and blue for LAN workstations, ].

Don't use hubs. Though somewhat [and its debatable on cost]less expensive than switches, switches will provide better throughput because unlike hubs which are dumb, switches can learn whos who.

NAT should be done at the last stage before going public. Let the router or firewall do NAT.

Now you have a workgroup and if it's Windows, remember W2K and XP both have a 10 connection limit. With 13 workstations and a server, someone isn't going to gain access somewhere.

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by CG IT In reply to

note: the patch from the firewall to the uplink fast port on the managed switch means you've specified on the managed switch that one of those ports [Cisco switches are port A and B] is the uplink network port [requires cross over patch cable].

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by techrepublic In reply to Small office network desi ...

I generally agree with what everyone has said. However, security needs to be addressed. You need a firewall. It doesn't have to be fancy. In fact, there's a chance you can do it within your router. You do need to understand it inside and out. From your description, there's no need for any services to be made available to the outside. Keep it that way.

Make sure all machines have active (and updated) protection from viruses and malware.

Educate your users on the dangers of e-mail attachments, and unknown downloads.

You may want to consider subscription services that prevent your users from getting to potentially dangerous web sites.

If reasonable, use alternative web browsers, e-mail applications, and office suites. I'm not attacking you-know-who. It's just that the most popular applications are the biggest targets.

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