Cheapest way to wire this lot up up?

  De Marcus™ 21:52 02 Sep 2006

I've moved from an upstairs office above a florists to a an old Barclays Bank building and I'm in the process of converting it.

At present, I have:

4 Workstations, 1 receptionist machine, 2 normal machines (i.e. one is used by myself and the other is used by a lead graphics artist), 2 wireless enabled laptops (would like to keep the wireless feature), 2 floor standing Lanier network printers, and the occasional requirement for clients to require internet access on their machines.

The building has a network built in, except nothing is connected. Each machine is next to a lan wall socket, which all seem to find their way into a small backroom, whereby Barclays have kindly left me a 4 port DSL router and what I can only describe as a 40 port (that's a guess, I didn't actually count!) network server in a grey, tinted glass box which looks a bit like click here

I'd like to hardwire each pc and keep the laptops wireless, every machine ideally having access to both printers. A quick look around tells me standard ADSL equipment isn't up to the job i.e. 4 port wireless routers.

Getting lost in the technojargon now, can anyone shed any light on this, perhaps an easy solution (read cheap)?

I'm confident with networks, just not networks on this scale (I realise it's miniscule compared to some) and as I plan on installing this myself I'd like something that doesn't take a degree to work out how to fix if it all goes wrong.

  FelixTCat 22:11 02 Sep 2006

De Marcus

First, is what they have left you a 40 (or so) port router or a server? If they have left you a router which is wired to every lan wall socket, you're in business!

You will have to connect your server (I presume you already have one) to the router and then all the pcs. Provided an adsl internet connection has sufficient bandwidth for you all, simply connect the modem router to the 40 port router. If you want wireless, and you don't have an existing adsl wireless modem router, then buy a wireless access point and plug it into any of the lan ports.

If you don't currently have a server, think hard about your data back-up policy. What would happen to your business if any of the pcs failed? If you don't want or need a server, then consider using a pc (it doesn't have to be powerful) to store all your data rather than storing it on the hard disks of the individual pcs and institute a rigorous backup policy from that storage pc.



  De Marcus™ 23:03 02 Sep 2006

I think it's a router of some kind, I'll be able to get details tommorow (after I've let the builders in and covered it up).

Are you saying that perhaps all I need is a wap? Or perhaps a wireless router on top of what I have already?

That would be great if it is, bearing in mind your now obligated in helping me set it up since you answered to this thread ;-)

  De Marcus™ 23:13 02 Sep 2006

Should I just pay for a network engineer to hook it all up (shudder) or is it worth attempting myself?

My knowledge of networking is limited to home systems.

  FelixTCat 23:23 02 Sep 2006

De Marcus™,

You know what comes after the initial "free" consultation!!!!!

If you are really lucky, yes; it sounds as though it is all there. The devil may be in the detail of making it all work! I would suggest that you start simple: the routers should work without an adsl modem, so take 1 pc and an ethernet cable and try a few of the lan sockets with the routers turned on - see if they have DHCP servers switched on.

If you can't get a network address, switch on the existing modem as well - you don't need the phone line. See if that has a DHCP server.

If you can't get a connection, plug the pc into the modem and see if you can reach its setup pages. Consider a hard reset if you get nothing - that will often turn on the DHCP server and should reset the network IP address and username and password (often admin/admin or admin/password respectively).

Take note of the make and model o every bit of equipment. If manuals aren't available, you can usually download them from the maker's support pages.

Really, really think hard about a data backup and security policy; now would be the time to implement it.



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