Office WLAN

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Mike Thompson, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Mike Thompson

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    I'm setting up my wife's dental office, and installing Cat5 to all the rooms for a peer-to-peer network. I'll be connected to cable for the network. What would I have to do to have a WLAN available to the waiting room patients, like an "internet cafe"? Obviously the wireless can't have access to the rest of the network, only the 'net. Is this feasible, and which pieces might work the best?
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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    Yes it is possible to do, the easiest and most secure way is to put the wireless access point on a seperate network use a second router to forward all the internet traffic to your main router. I am not sure if a linksys or similar wap with a router built in will do that, but you could use a linux box running ip tables and NAT or a higher end router with a connection to your isp and two ethernet interfaces with the router configured to forward all requests outside of the network the pc is on to go out to the internet, but not route to the other network the wireless is plugged into or vice versa. Here is a quick diagram. Or you could also see if your isp will allow you to plug your modem into a hub and give you multiple ip addresses and use two routers that way each with their own public IP and a private ips for the clients. Either way you would need two seperate dhcp servers ad NAT and also to make sure that the router doesn't route traffic between the networks. Your best off keeping the networks seperate, especially with the wireless being public, chances are people outside of your office will be able to get on the wireless from outside of your office and you don't want anyone getting into your network or even be able to see your office pcs.

    If it was me I would use a linux based PC (doesn't have to be too fast) to do all the DHCP and routing procedures for the network with 3 ethernet cards 1 for the internet side then one for your lan and one for the wireless for the waiting room. If you search around google there is info on how to do this just do a search for iptables. Or check out one of the prebuilt applications like smoothwall, and see if that can do it for you.
     
  3. Mike Thompson

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    Thanks for the reply, Mike. It may be a little more than I want to bite off, especially Linux as I am using specific dental software that is picky on its op. system. Also I probably don't know enough about this stuff to get this technical.
    Mike
     
  4. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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    You wouldn't need to run everything as Linux, just an old PC as a firewall in place of say a linksys or a higher end router. If you don't want to do a full linux box checkout ipcop at www.ipcop.com is a essentially a single cd you install on a dedicated pc and then it you configure and manage it similar to a linksys router. Look at the documentation I am sure ipcop does what you need I just read the documentation, if you look through you would want the green interface on your private network and orange for the public wap. The software is open source and it will run even on a minimum 486 with 32 megs of ram and 500 meg harddrive. So it is cheap to try so if you wanted to try go dig that old pc out of the attic or you can find one for cheap at a yard sale thrift shop ect. I also believe smoothwall at smoothwall.org does the same thing.
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    If you want a simple solution just buy a second router. Here's how it'd work:


    ROUTER1:
    Port 1: Office computers
    Port 2: Router2 WAN port

    ROUTER2:
    Run this to waiting room and/or wireless


    Let me know if this isn't clear enough.
     

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