Do I need a Server ?

Asus Eee pc t91 tablet pc
October 16, 2009 at 04:58:03
Specs: Windows XP
I intend to start an internet service cafe. I will have 10 sets of PCs, 1 counter control PC, 1 Admin PC.
My question is, do I need a server to link up all these PCs ? I intend to install PublicPC Desktop 6.2 and CafeTime Pro software to manage and operate my business.

I need my counter control PC and the Admin PC to track and administer the 10 sets of public internet PCs, how do I do it.

I know I need a router to connect all the 12 PC units, I have very tight budget and I have to do most of the technical stuff myself.

Hope someone can help me out.

Thank you, Flozzy

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October 16, 2009 at 07:56:18
I need my counter control PC and the Admin PC to track and administer the 10 sets of public internet PCs, how do I do it.

Being unfamiliar with the software you're mentioning I can't tell you how to do anything with it. I suspect the software you install will have the capability built into it and you'll likely have the ability to designate one PC as the admin one. I doubt you'll need an actual "server" for this. I'd bet you could use a regular PC running XP Pro on it. The answers you're looking for should be in the software's documentation, read through it thoroughly and see.

With regard to physical network, you'll need a switch as well as your router. I've never seen a SOHO Router with more than 4 LAN ports on it so you'll probably have to get a 16 port switch to tie into the router in order to have enough connections for everything.

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October 16, 2009 at 07:57:44
No, you don't you can use hardware proxy to do this but I like using Servers for Proxy because I have much more control. What a Proxy server is is a computer that caches the content from the web before it gives the pages to the client computers. This way you can filter content like porn or what ever you don't want to be displayed at your shop. There are some cheap open source proxy servers out there that you can install on a Linux box which will work great the only problem is they are not easy to use. There are some Proxy servers for Windows boxes which are better but they will cost you some money.

If you are willing to spend some money I would recommend getting Windows 2003 or 2008 server with a 15 seat CAL. This will give you some easy to use function like DHCP control and DNS caching, which can be done through a router, but you will have more abilities with Windows Server. Also Linux will be able to do this much cheaper but again you will need to know how to use it where with Windows it is all GUI making it easier.

There is lots of ways to skin this cat I would recommend you get a contractor to advise you on what to do.

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October 16, 2009 at 10:57:50
Thank you guys for responding.

I will take Curt R's suggestion. Curt, you got the point, the software probably has the capability built into it and to facilitate the designation of one PC as the admin unit. You are right I need a switch and a 16 port router. I am in planning stage and I will try your suggestion.

As a start-up, I don't have the budget to hire an IT contractor. I prefer to make the task simple. Besides, the contractor is going to charge me a bomb plus recurring retainer fee.

I can get a software to filter out restricted contents if necessary.

I appreciate both the responses from Curt R and Ace Omega.

Thank you very much, Flozzy.

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