Please help with semi-working network

May 19, 2011 at 11:39:54
Specs: Windows XP
Hi everyone. I successfully made my own little LAN offline but when I try to connect to the internet it failed miserably.

Basically, I have 3 desktop computers, 1 networked printer, 1 non-network printer, 2 routers, 1 switch, 1 laptop

When I was doing my offline LAN to try to learn networking, I just assigned a static IP address to each computer and changed them to have the same workgroup Name. Things connected and I could print from one of the printers that I connected to my switch to play around with.

But now when I connect my Cable Modem to my LAN, it doesnt work. I thought my LAN would come to life as soon as a line to the internet was connected to it. It wasn't that simple. It turns out that I had to add moreinfo into the TCP/IP settings in XP, for DNS Servers, Gateway, and Subnet Mask. I found the DNS Servers, Gateway, and Subnet Mask info from XP by typing "ipconfig /all" when I connected my laptop directly to my cable modem because when I used the numbers that I got from my D-Link router when I was connected to it, those numbers did not work either...I guess D-Link made them up as they all began with 192. None of the online tutorials, including pcmag's 5 easy steps to a home network ever mention anything about Subnet Masks, gateways, or DNS servers. All of them assume you are not using a static IP.

Anyway, this is what I would like to do. I want to connect all my desktop computers to my d-link switch. Then I want to use my Asus router as an access point to get wireless and connect my non-network printer to my network. I dont want to use my d-link router's wifi. I just want to use it as a wired router.

Here is my set-up.

cable modem
d-link router
d-link switch
desktop1------desktop2-------desktop3------asus router/print server------HP networked printer
| |
laptop brother-printer (usb)

These are the settings I have for my equipment:




HP network printer

Asus router
-DHCP server turned off

I couldnt get onto the internet when I plugged my cable modem to my D-Link router. I could get my desktop computers online when I copied the Subnet Mask, Gateway, and DNS Servers to my D-Link router and desktop computers. However, my laptop wifi connection through the ASUS router still doesnt work even though I have DHCP server turned off on the ASUS router.

1. Do I need to copy the Subnet Mask, Gateway, DNS Names, from my ISP to all my desktop computers, laptop, and BOTH routers?
2. Can I use the Asus router to serve as an access point, while connecting my non-network Brother printer and laptop to my switch?
3. What settings should I have my Asus router besides assigning it a static IP? DHCP is off?
4. What would change if I decide to get a static IP from my ISP later on so I can RDP and VPN? It's not a matter of if, I want to get the static IP...only $10/month and no big deal.
5. I want to get my IPAD and do RDP through my laptop later on too (the laptop is heavy and the Ipad is light) so i can work on my laptop while at work or Starbucks, or wherever I can get a wifi connection.
6. Why did I not need to tinker with the subnet mask, DNS Servers, when I connected my router to the cable modem when I didn't have a static IP assigned on my Laptop?

Please, can someone go over my network. Thank you thank you in advance. I really need this sucker working by tomorrow.

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May 19, 2011 at 11:42:43
By the way the diagram didnt post correctly at the last part.
The Asus router/printserver has a laptop and non-networked printer attached to it.

laptop brother printer

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May 19, 2011 at 15:54:01
Ok, right off the top, it's much simpler to use DHCP on the router connected to the internet to provide TCP/IP settings to clients.

You may have to statically assign that info to some devices, like the printer, and then you have to include the:
- Default Gateway

Both of which will be the LAN IP of the router.

You'll want to start with the router that's connected to the internet and work your way out from there. Get it configured and working. Then start attaching clients.

If you wish to attach a second router to use as an AP, click on my name above and read my "how-to" guide titled "‚ó¶Add a second Router to your LAN" You'll want to pay attention to the scenario where you're keeping it on the same subnet as your first router and interconnecting them "LAN port to LAN port"

To answer as many of your questions as I can:

1) If you want clients to have internet access the answer is YES. The default gateway tells client traffic where to go if it's going to be external to your LAN. The DNS address tells it where to look to get resolution for the hostnames you use (DNS resolves hostname to IP address). It isn't absolutely necessary for printers unless you're going to have multiple subnets. The second router should be fully configured too.

2) I don't see why not providing you follow my guide.

3) See answer 1 and my how-to guide. Definitely shut off DHCP if it's the downstream router

4) You would have to statically configure the WAN side of the router connected to the internet as per the TCP/IP settings your ISP would give you.

5) To RDP you have to create a portforward on your router. You would enable the port forward on the RDP port (3389) and point it to the internal (LAN) IP of the computer you wish to connect to. A typical forward (using as an example IP) would look as follows:

Forward - Port 3389 - to

6) You got your TCP/IP settings for the WAN side of your router from your ISP.

If you used DHCP on your router for LAN clients as I advised, you wouldn't have to touch anything on them either. Typically, most SOHO Routers use a class C subnet with subnet mask If you used the same SM while assigning statically on clients, it will work.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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