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Turning one internet connection into two "networks".


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#1
FortySixandTwo

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I'm probably not using the right term, but here is what I want to do and I'm hoping you can point me in the right direction...

I have a friend with a small business that would like to have a wi-fi setup on his network, but given that customer transactions are processed on the network, that just is not feasible for security purposes...(and corporate says NO).

They currently have DSL fed into a 4-port Cisco router, which sends off to the 3 computers in the business (one office PC and two point of sale systems) via ethernet cables.

I would like to leave that as is. In addition, I would like to be able to add a wireless router to the Cisco router, but have it be totally separated from the rest of the network so that if my friend wants to bring his laptop in to his business, he can use it to surf the internet without fear of spreading a virus to the hardwired portion of his network, or that if somebody hacks the wi-fi, the point of sale systems would not even be visible to them, and the other way around too (anybody on the ethernet cable connected computers would not be able to see the wi-fi network)

Does this make sense to anyone? I hope so as I need some help. Thanks!
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#2
Dan

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The short answer is "that's not possible". You could connect the wireless router to the Cisco router and configure it to basically just be a switch, which would allow him to connect his laptop to the network via wireless, however it would still be part of the network. You can't really "separate" the network in the way you want to.
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#3
FortySixandTwo

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Hmm.. I appreciate the quick response, but I definitely know it's possible as the company I used to work for did this all the time for their clients. The company I worked for set up point of sale systems for independent grocery stores, and our network admin there was a genius to say the least. We would set up the grocery stores so that all of their point of sale machines, and credit card processing machines were using one "segment" of the network, all wired with ethernet cable. Then they would hook up a small switch to the router, which the client could either hook a wireless router to, or the client could plug their personal laptop directly to the switch, but be separated from the "other" network so that they did not have to worry about virus' going over to the credit card processing machines. I wasn't involved in the setup of this, so that's why I do not know how it's done, but believe me.. I've seen it done 100 times.
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#4
Dan

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Howdy FortySixandTwo,

I'm glad you responded. I guess it was just "one of those days" for me yesterday. Segmenting a network is very easy; all you need to do is split it up into different subnets. :) I'm not sure where my head was at yesterday, so I apologize.

Machines on different subnets do not communicate with each other -- by default.

Edited by Dan, 10 April 2009 - 07:27 PM.

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#5
FortySixandTwo

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Ah, yes, subnetting!!

Anyone have any suggestions on a favorite how-to article that will describe how to separate an internet connection into two separate subnets?
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#6
dsenette

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you would want to go beyond subnetting and get into VLANS.....if you just put in two subnets into the router's interfaces...then the router is going to do it's job and route between the subnets.....HOWEVER if you've got the networks segregated into separate vlans then you can curb that routing

you can also use some fancy ACLs in the router to block the traffic from mixing in the middle as well

what's the make/model of the cisco router?
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