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  1. #1
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    Creating a simple network

    Hi,

    I'm trying to help a friend with a small business. He has 2 separate locations that he would like to network. What might be the simplest solution?

    Many thanks, Laurie

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    Re: Creating a simple network

    Where are these "2 separate locations " in relation to each other?
    What OS's are the machines running?
    What kind of internet access is there and will want?

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
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    Re: Creating a simple network

    The 2 separate locations are a few miles apart. I'm not sure what version of Windows they are using - I'll enquire. They do have internet access - they've got an ISP with a web site that somone has built for them.

    Thanks

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    Re: Creating a simple network

    Hi Laurie

    I am assuming that as they are 2 miles apart they do not have clean line of sight. Pity as you could use cantenna's (http://cantenna.com/ but that may be a real faff to organise your wifi and get them to connect.

    We have disparate offices in our company, if we have close offices (2-3 miles away) instead of major expense of networking we rent in ADSL lines to connect to hubs

    Some ideas
    Jerry

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    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Re: Creating a simple network

    I would say it depends what you want the network connection for. If it's occasional access to data between the two, you might be OK with a VPN over the internet connection. If you need robust permanent connections at proper network speeds in both directions, then you probably need to look at routed leased lines and establishing a proper MAN (Metropolitan Area Network). The ISP may well be able to assist with that.
    HTH.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

  6. #6
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    Re: Creating a simple network

    Thanks Rory I hadn't thought their ISP might help. Definitely one for us to look into. I would imagine they would want to go for the simplest option, so something like a VPN over the internet, as you suggest, would be sufficient. What tools/software could we use for this?

    If they did want the 'rent in ADSL lines to connect to hubs' solution as suggested by Jezza, again where do you start? Is it something you rent from an ISP?

    Btw, they use Windows XP.

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Re: Creating a simple network

    Companies like sonicwall and others provide hardware devices that act as VPN servers and software clients. Again, talking to the ISP would probably be a good bet - many provide VPN services and have relationships with vendors that can mean better deals.
    If you get a leased line, again it comes from the ISP and you have a routed connection between the two sites. This is generally more expensive because the leased line is solely for your use, but if you need bandwidth, it's the only real way to go. (In London, companies often lease 100Mb/s or bigger lines to connect offices where real network speed is critical. Depending on where you live, there may well be similar services, and they are certainly nothing like as expensive as they used to be - the last time I had to do this, it cost
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

  8. #8
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    Re: Creating a simple network

    Thanks Rory.

    I didn't realise leased lines would be so expensive, that's definitely way out of their budget. But talking to their ISP seems to be the sensible next step so I'll advise them to do that.

    Thanks again for your help - I love WL!! Your advice is always so valuable.

  9. #9
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Re: Creating a simple network

    I would think that by now, if you are in a reasonably metropolitan area, leased line costs should be down to a few grand a year, depending on how much speed you want. Those prices were 8 years old and were for fibre optic connections and installation to the building.
    If their ISP can't do it, it should be easy enough to find one that can!
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: Creating a simple network

    I had a similar situation with a friend and the budget was pretty low:

    2 Aggregators
    2 DSL per location
    2 MS servers

    The aggregators can take up to 4 lines (depending on the brand) and can say, line 1 is for this and line 2 is for that. They also failover if one connection goes down.

    So, each location has an aggregator, 2 DSL lines and a MS server with routing a remote access. 1 DSL line is for general surfing, the other is for the vpn.

    Its simple not only connects the offices, but keeps internet up. ( as long as the 2 DSL lines are by different isp's) This will work with any connections: T-1 & DSL, 2 T1's, 2 DSL.

    The speeds are ok, they're certainly not leased lines but its cheap and works.
    Mike Wolfman
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    Bow before me, for I am root.
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