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setting up a small LAN

Discussion in 'Networks' started by keegan, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. keegan

    keegan Bit Poster

    Hi guys, i know a bit of networking but havent really set up something more than 4 computers together. I was going to set up a network of ...

    8 computers ( 4 old, 4 new )
    All have USB ports, and the 4 new pc's have built in NIC cards
    Will try to put on all 8 of them ( Windows XP pro )
    It will be WIRED network .

    My question is...for very low price what parts are out there for me that i can get this network up and running with no problems ?

    1. RJ45 cables 8x
    2. 4 NIC cards for the old computers
    3. Router ( we will want to connect all computers to the internet ) I guess a 4 port router/switch
    4. Have a 12 port HUB so maybe i can connect that hub to the switch/router for the other computers to be connected. Hopefully this hub has a UPLINK SWITCH

    Please let me know what else to look for....Thank you
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    Some thoughts:

    USB isn't relevant here!

    The cables will cost about £1 per meter

    The NICs will cost about £5 each.

    A 4 port router switch will cost about £20, or a bit more if it is for ADSL rather than cable.

    Hubs are rare these days. A 8 way switch will set you back about £20. And all it's ports will be auto-switching - so you don't need to worry about uplinks.

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    1 - RJ45 Cables - about 3-8 quid each, depending on how far they are from the switch. might be cheaper to buy a reel of CAT5e and some RJ-45s and crimp them yourself - probably not though for something this small, and definitely not if you need to buy a crimper as well.
    2 - NICs - Zheeesh - how old are these PCs? I can't think of a single PC that I've seen that was made any time in the last ten years that won't have an onboard NIC on the mobo. If you're sure you need to buy NICs for them then I seriously doubt they'll be up to the spec needed to run a modern OS, but in any case, 10/100 NICs are about a fiver each - cheaper if you get them on Ebay
    3 - Router - You can get routers with built-in switches, but if you have eight PCs and you want them all to connect to that T'InterNet you'd be best off buying a SoHo router. For those familiar with past posts, no prizes for guessing which one I'd recommend - yeps, you got it, Linksys WRT54G :) A brand new one will set you back about thirty quid on EBay
    4 - Don't bother with hubs. Although I suspect that its actually a 10/100 hub, so more like a switch than a 'real' hub. performance will still be pants. Buy yourself a cheap 8-12 port workgroup switch (10/100 ones are about 20 quid nowadays). You'll need a cable to connect this to one of the router's LAN ports - this *may* need to be a crossover cable, but shouldn't be - check first when you buy the switch & router by browsing the manuals for your prospective purchases on the vendor's website
    5 - Make sure the router you get has a built-in firewall (I would imagine it does - and the WRT54G definitely does) and, when you fire it up, change the default username & password and make sure the router is NOT manageable from the outside world.
    6 - If you don't need it (and you shouldn't, since the clients are all PCs), disable the wireless on the WRT54G. You can always re-enable it if you need to later and, until you are familiar with what you're doing vis WLAN security, its a massive hole waiting to be exploited.
    7 - NEVER connect ANY of the machines directly to the internet - ALWAYS go through the firewall. Not doing so will rinse your machines dry within 20 seconds.
    8 - If you're looking at eight machines in your network you are right about the time I would consider setting up a domain. You can theoretically run much more than this in the same workgroup, but performance will be ****-poor, its a nightmare to administer and you'll encounter problems when you enable one of the machines as a 'server' with file shares and have more than ten users need to connect to it (believe me, with mapped drives and access to multiple shares this limit will very quickly be reached)
    Certifications: A few
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  4. keegan

    keegan Bit Poster

    Thanks for the help guys ! I will start this mission very soon .

    zebulebu, i understood everything u have mentioned but do you think starting this network as a workgroup for now then adding a server later will give me some problems. Im not confident with servers and creating domains , and making them a file server etc....

    Another question, if i did go with teh Linksys WRT54G SOHO ROUTER ... Can that work with the ISP PROVIDER that we will go with like COX ? I mean to say, will that router work to get on the internet instead of getting a CABLE MODEM from ISP PROVIDER?

    Or will i still need a cable modem from the ISP provider and this router to get on the internet.
  5. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    Er - Cox? Which country are you in? This makes quite a difference to the ISP side of things, as things are done somewhat differently in N America compared to the UK. I assumed you were in the UK to start with, as this is a UK based forum.

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  6. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster


    It would be this company:


    Based in the US.
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  7. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    Yes - I know. Which is why I posted what I did.

    I had assumed that the OP was in the UK - but the mention of Cox made me realize that this may not be the case. Hence wanting clarification.

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  8. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    You can patch the cable modem into something like this....


    And you will also need a switch as well, this is patched into one of the LAN ports on the router. 8)
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
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