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Complex Wireless Network Set-up (for beginner!)


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#1
jezper

jezper

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*1) Ultimate Goal is to achieve a good wireless internet signal across my entire property for both my motel guests and myself to use.
*2) It is OF UPMOST IMPORTANCE to have my computers (2 PC's that can't be connected to one another by hardwire) to be secured seperate from any other network sharing an internet connection.

*Hardware Already Aquired*
(2) PC's both running Windows XP (both newer with plenty of RAM, Processor Speed, etc.)
DSL Modem
(1) Belkin N1 Wireless Router (to be connected to modem at Host Computer)
(2) Pre-N routers (to be used as access points along the front of motel for guests' usage)
(1) PC USB Wireless Adapter (to be connected to 2nd computer)

**QUESTION**
Is there a way to connect these components in a way that allows me to create one wireless signal for my computers to connect to behind a password for securing sensitive financial files and another wireless signal (secured or not) for my guests to only connect to the internet?
(thinking out loud) The modem has 4 ports so maybe I can actually set-up 3 networks independently. If the host computer with the 4 port modem is located centrally then I can use the N1 Router (connected to one of the ports) to broadcast my secured network (because my 2 PC's are seperated by a greater distance) and then hook up each of the other routers to a different port in the modem and place strategically along the building front for WIFI coverage.
Is this the right or wrong way? - PLEASE HELP!
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#2
Neil Jones

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1) Wireless LAN Access Points and plenty of cable.

2) May I ask why?

The modem has four ports. Each computer plugged into the modem/router becomes part of the same network. They are not independent, even if you daisy-chain four routers together they'll still be part of the same big network at the end of the day. This also applies wirelessly as well. The only way to basically have two computers separated is to set them up on a separate network, but then you'll need another internet connection if you want them to go online.

You can get rackmount switches which are painfully expensive but you can use them to feed Wireless LAN Access Points - all you'd do is feed a network cable between switch and access point, at its simplest, and security is usually available on them as well. You may well find you can get away with just one to cover the front area on its own. For a cheaper solution depending on the number of ports used you can get standard network switches which work in the same way and will also feed the access points.

This does of course mean you'll be able to feed the entire motel off one router alone and some strategically placed access points, possibly even as few as two or three depending on the materials the signal has to travel through.
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#3
lavagolemking

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First option, which I'm not sure if it is valid (or reasonably secure): Set the Belkin one up with WPA and file sharing, then stick the rest of the routers on it with file sharing disabled. Diagram below (excuse my poor indenting; I don't have access to an image editor from here, and I'm trying to display this in plain text with indent tags in BBC):

/---> Guest router 1

Internet -----> Private network -----> |

\---> Guest router 2

It sounds like you have 3 routers, correct? Use the first one to connect guests to the network, along with the second one (connected to the first one). Use the third for the private LAN. Diagram right below:

/---> Private network

Internet ------> Guest router 1 ------> |

\---> Guest router 2

This makes your private LAN secure, but you have guests at the source of the internet (Guest router 1), between you and the world wide web, which would also make me a little nervous. If something happened to that router, your internet connection would either go away (some guest got the password, messed around, and screwed it up) or be controlled by a guest (a guest hijacks your internet connections from the router [Guest router 1], between you and the internet), which poses another type of security breach.

If I were you, I'd get a non-wireless router (or, if your modem has multiple ports use that) and use that to divide you and the guests' network. Then you are all on private LANs, inaccessible from eachother, but all administrated (one at a time) by you. It would look like this:

/----> Private network

|

Internet ----> Main router/modem --->|-----> Guest router 1

|

\-----> Guest router 2

Everyone is at the same level, and if something happens to one router, as you can imagine, only the people on that router will be affected, the other guest router stays intact, and (despite complaints from guests), you still have internet on your LAN and your files remain equally secure as before. In this configuration, you have a password needed to lift the firewall from the guest level, then another different one for the modem. Nobody but you gets to control the main router/modem. Since the main router/modem cannot be accessed over wireless, guests will need to break through 2 seperate firewalls to modify it. Of course, if possible, you could also MAC authenticate the administrative router so nobody else can change its settings, if that's an option... The guests would need to do twice as much to hijack your connection, and because you are on a separate local NAT LAN, any unsolicited attempts (malicious guests) to connect to your local network will get dropped, firewall or not.
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