Network Admins, critique this setup

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by n8236, May 28, 2009.

  1. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #1
    Hi, here's the scenario:

    Currently inside shop: 2 iMacs, 2 PCs, 3 Printers, 1 Dell desktop server as the print server. ISP is A&T using their 2wire wifi-router hooked onto a switch.

    Hurdle: Two commercial printers + Macbook is going right outside of shop. Note: Hard wiring is not an option.

    Goal: Have the outside printers and Macbook connected to the inside LAN.

    Given this circumstance, here is what my cousin came up with. Hook up a general Linksys WRT54G router to the ISP's 2wire box that's inside. Then another WRT54G router to each of the printers that is outside and have the Macbook that's outside to one of those printers' routers. Utilize WDS to connect the Macbook + two printers outside to communicate w/ the router inside the shop.

    Basically, our client runs a print shop and wants to place two commercial printers and a kiosk of some kind outside his shop for after-hour student use. His challenge is that all the machines outside have to communicate w/ his shop wirelessly.

    Will this method work? Is there a cleaner or better solution?


    Thanks!
     
  2. gatepc macrumors 6502

    gatepc

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    #2
    I am not a 100 % clear on what your asking and I am not an admin but I think if you own a airport extreme you can have 2 separate wifi signals and you could use one for your network with your printers etc and the other as a guest network with nothing but internet for those computers so that you don't have to worry about them accessing your network with important information.

    Now I think that the airport extreme can do this I don't know if anyone can back this or not. At any rate I know that there ARE routers that will do this if not the airport extreme
     
  3. n8236 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #3
    Sorry, I wasn't clear.

    Basically, I am trying to integrate two printers and a Macbook that is outside the LAN and I'm wondering if WDS is the best way to do it. Especially w/ that whole two router thing.

    I think your two Airport Express design is similar that the outside AE would connect to the peripherals outside while communicating to the AE inside. Is that what u're explaining?
     
  4. gatepc macrumors 6502

    gatepc

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    #4
    Yeah I am just saying instead of using two routers you can save space ( and maybe money ) buy just buying a apple airport extreme instead of the two routers you mentioned.
     
  5. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    I'm not a network admin at my current job but I do hold a Cisco certification, close enough? :D I see three possibilities for this.

    Option 1: If you haven't bought the printers yet, consider buying some with wireless capabilities, so they could just connect to the existing WiFi network coming from the 2wire. The Macbook would do the same. This is the easiest option.

    Option 2: If you already have the printers, or wireless printers are not an option, then it sounds like a setup like you mentioned with WDS and 2 routers is your best option. I'm not sure if the WRT54G routers support WDS out of the box, you might have to install a 3rd party firmware on them such as DD-WRT for that.

    Option 3: If the printers are also USB, plug them into the Macbook (which would be connected to the 2wire network) and enable printer sharing. This is the cheapest option, as the most it might require you to purchase is a USB hub. The one caveat is that it would require the Macbook to be on and connected for anyone else inside to print. It might not be bad if you had a desktop that didn't move but I'm sure you bought the Macbook for portability.
     
  6. Ninja Guidan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    #6
    I am a network admin and this is what I would do. I would take your cousin's recommendation for the inside setup only. For the outside setup, I would get this...

    http://www.netgear.com/Products/PrintServers/WirelessPrintServers.aspx

    ...if your printers have usb ports.

    By the way, what type of printers are you getting? If this is a commercial print shop and depending on your budget, you can get HP or Xerox machines with wireless built in so you don't need to get any additional equipment for outside (yg17's Option 1).

    Then you want to make sure your printers are using static IP addresses.
     
  7. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #7
    Wow, I didn't even know those wireless print servers existed. That's probably the best option if he doesn't get printers with built in wireless.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    Yes in general that will work. The possable problem is that there may be to much space and or walls or concrete for the wireless signals. You can address this by placement of the indoors router. If that does not work then buy external antenna for the wireless devices.

    You will not be using the routers in their default configuration so you will need a person who understands networking. Find that person before you buy anything. He may have a preferred brand of equipment.

    They also make wireless "print servers" These are special purpose devices not as complex as the linksys routers made for exactly what you need. Although the ones I've seen don't have a place to attach an extrnal antenna if you need that feature.

    One question: How are you getting AC mains power to the printers? I doubt he plans to run the printers off battery power and there are no "wreless AC outlets". So if he can run AC power way not a cat-5 Eithernet cable along the same route.

    One more thing... There also exist "eithernet over AC lines" devices that plug into power outlets and send the data between outlets. I think about $60 for each unit? This may be the easiest way to go. but ONLY works if ALL AC outlets are running off the same breaker box.

    All that said your plan should work
     

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