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Recommendation for office router please

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Percula, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Percula

    Percula Bit Poster

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    Hi

    I need to replace the router in our office. We have a very simple ethernet network to share the BT broadband internet connection (we do most of our work on Remote Desktop connections to our Win 2003 server in LA). It's also used to share printers and one pc acts as a 'server' for our accounts software data which everyone accesses. We also use a few VoIP phones to talk to our hq in California. (the broadband gets a reasonable workout!)

    I need currently at least 16 ports with easy expansion in the future. Something easy to set up and reliable most importantly as I have a job to do!

    Any recommendations for what to buy much appreciated. The current unit (2 8-port units hooked together, I forget the brand) craps out regularly and will refuse to connect to a computer (usually the bosses as he's normally last in!) and drops connections until you powerdown/up.

    Many thanks!

    Daniel

    Edit - If its relevent, between the broadband modem and the router sits a netscreen unit supplied by our US guys for the VPN.

    Oh and I'm calling it a router but I probably mean a switch right?? :-)
     
    Certifications: None!
  2. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Ok,

    so you have...

    Modem ---> Netscreen unit ---> Switch\Router

    What type of switch do you have?
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  3. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

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    1. So what devices regularly "craps out"?..this would be usefull - as it sounds like you are using 2 x 8 port switches...?

    Something like netgear or linksys maybe, in that case you may have a cabling problem also.

    It could be also that one of the ports on the 2 x 8 port switches is faulty as this can happen.
    [Please dont tell me you are using 2 8 port hubs in that case...AARRGGHH chuck them out ;( ]

    2. The netscreen VPN box is a firewall also?

    - if yes you only need a a single 24 port layer 2 switch for example Netgear etc - ease of use and allows for expansion too...
    http://www.netgear.com/Products/Switches/Layer2ManagedSwitches.aspx

    - if no then you may need to consider a more expensive layer 3 switch at 24 ports - but this can be expensive...prob better to put in a firewall appliance and layer 2 switch. Plus you have to set it up correctly....
    http://www.netgear.com/Products/Switches/Layer3ManagedSwitches.aspx

    Note that the printers would connected to these two switches but "logically" controlled and shared out from the server box.

    HTH

    supag33k
     
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff
  4. Percula

    Percula Bit Poster

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    Correct:

    BT Modem (only a 1 Mbps service due to our location!)---> Netscreen 5xp ---> 2 x Netgear DS108 8 port hubs hooked together via the uplink port.

    From the Netgears there are:

    - 8 x Dell pcs. All Win XP Pro
    - 1 x HP 4100 TN networked printer
    - 1 x HP colour laser networked via a Linksys PSUS4 USB printserver
    - 1 x HP Designjet networked via a Linksys PSUS4 USB printserver
    - 2 x Toshiba VoIP phones
    - 1 x Linksys wireless access point WAP54G (SSID disabled, WPA set-up)
    - Finally we'll probably add a couple more pc's soon at least.

    I think it's fair to say that the network and broadband get a reasonable workout!!
     
    Certifications: None!
  5. Percula

    Percula Bit Poster

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    One or more port on the Netgear hubs will refuse to work (2 x DS108 hooked together via the uplink port - Fitted by someone else I hasten to add!! LOL). Port position seems to be random.

    There doesn't seem to be any pattern. Just normally when everyone is in the office, all the computers are on. It seems almost like the system is overloaded and says enough is enough and doesn't let the next user connect when the switch on(windows acts as if the network cable is disconected). Powerdown the hubs for 10 seconds and everything works fine again. Maybe at some point in the day one of the items like the HP printer will loose its connection. Repeat powerdown, all ok again.

    So I'm led to believe. It was supplied and configured by the US office we have. I just plugged it in in-line. It's a blue Netscreen 5xp (fairly old as I understand it...)

    Help very much appreciated.

    Daniel
     
    Certifications: None!
  6. Percula

    Percula Bit Poster

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    I should probably add that there's not much enthusiasm for spending any money to make my life easier. So if anyone can suggest a cheap, make it a bit better solution it would be great!

    I'd guess that even a simple all-in one unit rather than the two hooked up together would be more reliable! ?
     
    Certifications: None!
  7. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

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    Well tell your Boss to delete that pr0n from his PHB mates on the "held-held" PDA, sell the PDA, and then give you the go ahead to buy that unmanaged 24port switch.

    Then you give him a girlie mag to read in the toilet...its much cheaper!

    And yes you want the one unit not two smaller variants of them...

    Seriously give him the quote, stating that it is based upon professional expertise you obtained. Everytime the two switches bork you then wave the quote under his nose again...it'll take about two weeks. If he is being difficult just give him a second quote about the same price to consider also.

    Basically it is an educational process with bosses and - IMHO - the ability to infuse them with FUD [fear uncertainty and doubt] is a pre-requisite for developing an IT career, and saving your sanity!
     
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff
  8. Percula

    Percula Bit Poster

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    A 24-port unmanaged switch http://www.microwarehouse.co.uk/catalogue/item/NGJFS524 for £55 seems worth talking about.... !!

    Sincerely, thanks for the help with this!

    Daniel
     
    Certifications: None!

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