Connecting two networks for printing purposes

May 6, 2010 at 01:44:44
Specs: Windows XP

I just need some advice on how to provide
printing access to a second LAN.

I have two separated networks in our office,
each one with its own internet connection:
The problem is that we have only one printer,
and it's attached to the LAN1. Now, the people
from the LAN2 need to start using the printer

How do I have to do it?

LAN1 is attached to a 24port Cisco 3560G
switch and this is also uplinked to a DLINK
unmanaged 24 port switch. LAN2 is attached
to a Cisco 2960G. We have 2 different ISPs,
one for each LAN.

I'm new to Cisco and I don't know if connecting
the two switches would be a good solution, but
I believe it will be too difficult to configure.

Any help would be great.

Thanks a lot

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May 6, 2010 at 01:51:50
Stick a router between the two networks, routers join networks.

Lee Cook

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May 6, 2010 at 02:05:46
Thank you very much Lee.

So I guess I'll have to configure the router as a bridge right?
will it work right away, or do I have to change many things in
the router configuration?. I believe I have one spare router at
the office, it's a Thomson Speedtouch, I hope it's enough.

Thanks again,


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May 6, 2010 at 06:42:00
you don't bridge between subnets you route.

depending on printer it maybe easier for it to have two network interfaces and you just connect the 2nd lan interface to the network you need to print from.

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May 6, 2010 at 08:21:56
Thank you wanderer !

I've been doing the following (before to see your message). I
took a router and configured it in bridge mode, then I
connected it to the two switches. I went to one of the
computers that are in the LAN without printer and manually
configured the IP address like this, example: IP subnet gateway to internet

In the printer I changed the netmask to

If I use the netmask, then I can print from both
LANs, but I can't see the other computers in the LAN2.

If I use netmask, I can see the other
computers as always but I can't print.

LAN2 has a DHCP server.

Am I close to the solution?


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May 6, 2010 at 10:27:36
Perhaps its time to consider a different plan of attack.

If the only reason you have two subnets is due to two gateways put in a dual wan port router and put everyone on the same subnet.

Or go back to my original idea and put another network interface into the printer [or use a print server with usb or lpt connecton to the printer]

Two gateways on the workstation isn't going to work.

Playing with the subnet mask as you are is supernetting. The correct subnet mask to do this is but that gives you a range of to According to my online calculator you can't supernet x.x.1.x and x.x.2.x. It is either 0-1 or 2-3.

You would need to change all the pcs to this as well as the printer. If you do this remove the router and only use a crossover cable between the switches.

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May 7, 2010 at 06:09:37
OK, let me explain the situation it a little bit more:


We inherited one Cisco 2960G (7 port), and one Cisco 3560G
(24port). We were in a smaller office using an unmanaged 24
pots DLing switch.

Our configuration is as follows:

WAN router
Firewall (NAT) gateway
3560G — Dlink 24 port unmanaged
2960G --- SoHo router (ADSL) gateway

The people attached to the 2960G are in a different subnet, wth their own DHCP server, and their own
internet connection.

All the rest of the office are in the using fixed IP

The printers are in the subnet.

I can't move everything to the same subnet, as we have a
special group of machines connected to the 2960G.

How can I allow the people from the 2960G to print?. They
don'ta have to talk each other, only get access to the network

I use Cisco Network Assistant.

Thanks wanderer,


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May 7, 2010 at 07:28:29
To simplify everything I would buy another printer. They're really not all that expensive these days if you shop around.

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May 8, 2010 at 01:15:38
Thanks Curt,

Well, I wanted to take this opportunity to learn something, so I'll investigate a bit more on how to do it without having to purchase a new printer.


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May 8, 2010 at 05:30:06
Depending on the printer, I would go with wanderer's idea about adding a second interface to it. This would keep the subnets separated and still allow both to print to a single printer.

But I will say this from an experienced IT guy point of view. You're making your life more difficult than need be. As a rule of thumb in computing one should always follow the "KISS" principle and you're going in the opposite direction.

The sensible, logical thing is to simply buy another printer and put it in the other subnet............period, full stop.

I appreciate you're trying to learn something but this is what you "lab" play, to learn. A smart admin NEVER tests in a production environment. He/she sets up a lab somewhere that is completely isolated from their production environment. Then you're free to play, and make as many mistakes as you want to, without adversely affecting your network.

Once you've thoroughly tested and debugged whatever it is you're doing in a safe lab environment, then you can bring it into production safely without adversely affecting your network.

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May 10, 2010 at 09:55:19
Thanks Kurt,

I'll suggest to buy a new printer for the other network.

It would be fantastic to have a lab environment, but sadly, our
company can't afford another Cisco switch for testing
purposes. I try to do the testing while most of the people are
not in the office, late at night normally.

The other possibility would be to join both networks in the
same subnet. Is it possible to set different gateways in order
to maintain our two internet connections?

Thanks again and have a nica day,


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May 10, 2010 at 10:07:40
It would be fantastic to have a lab environment, but sadly, our company can't afford another Cisco switch for testing purposes.

I would recommend looking around. Usually one can find used (older) Cisco switches for sale pretty cheap. If you live in Canada, let me know, I can probably get you a used 2900XL (24 port) quite cheap.

If you live in the US, you might want to look on ebay or some other sites local to you. You could try google as well

Is it possible to set different gateways in order
to maintain our two internet connections?

Yes, this is very possible.

If you're using DHCP in your environment, this could be a little bit trickier than if you were using static.

You never mentioned how many clients in each subnet. If we're talking 10 or 20, I would use static on one group and then DHCP on the other.

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May 11, 2010 at 02:29:07
Hi again Curt,

I live in Barcelona, Spain !

As soon as we have some budget, I'll try to replace the DLink
24 ports unmanaged switch by one Cisco switch, and I'll try to
get a second hand unit as you advice.

Well Ine the first LAN, we have 40 clients, and in the second
one only 5, I have set a static IP for all 40 clients and the 5
clients LAN uses DHCP.

Thank you very much,


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May 11, 2010 at 07:20:10
Happy to help.

Personally, I would have gone with static IP's for the 5 clients and DHCP for the 40, but I suspect you have your reason's for doing it the other way around.

A quick google search of "used cisco switch for sale" lead to the following set of links returned by google

I'm sure one or two of these places would ship to Spain. Check some of the sites out, you have nothing to lose there.

If I can add, the Cisco IOS 12.0 (which is what the old 2900XL's have in them) doesn't have the "range" command. IOS 12.1 does.

The "range" command allows one to add a VLAN to multiple (as in, "a range of....") interfaces at one time with a single command.

With 12.0, you have to add the VLAN one interface at a time and that is slow and tedious. So if you can, get a switch (or switches) with IOS v12.1 or newer.

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May 13, 2010 at 04:37:31
Thanks again Curt !

We have one rack with a computation machine with I believe
10 servers that is managed remotely by 4 workstations, one of the servers
provide IP addresses to the other servers adn the 5 clients. I
don't want to touch it... :-)

Thank you very much for the Cisco IOS information. What do
you think, is this unit a good choice:

So I'll end up having one 24 port 3560G + 2x 2960G + 1 2950.
I hope they'll work well together

I have to think in how many VLANs we'll need, and then, how
to provide all of them with internet connection (from the two
available) and printers access, and then I'll have to install a
domain controller, MS Exchange, etc. oh my god, what a



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