Setup a small office network

Hope you can help.

I have been asked by a friend if i can setup a small netwok in her office, their are:

6 PC's
3 Laptop's.

all win98

Their is no existing Network infrastructure so would need to install all the cabling if i was to go for a hardwired solution.  In light of this i fell that it would be cheaper to install a Wireless LAN, my only problem with this is i have never set this up before.

They have just a normal freeserve dialup to retrieve email and for some unknown reason they have a seperate dial up for internet browsing.

What i would like to do is set them up in a peer to peer configuration for data sharing, and so they can share the internet connection..  I am going to try and convince them to invest in ADSL but not sure of cost.

Could someone let me know what hardware i will need and if they think this is a good solution or not,  and what complications may arise if any.

They are a charity so cost is a huge issue!!

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stevenlewisConnect With a Mentor Commented:
depending on the size of the office (influencing how much cabling is involved)
ethernet is usally much cheaper
You can buy buld cabling, and cut it and put the ends on yourself
ethernet NIC's and hubs/switches are much cheaper than wireless. You can use one of the boxes (if it is 98 second edititon, includes ICS, internet connection sharing) as the router to connect to the dsl, or linksys and d-link make inexpensive routers/gateways
my 2 cents
hi michael,

if this is a charity go with cable network, it is cheaper. and if cable or DSL are available go with one or the other. All you will need on your end (not provided by IPS) is:

1. router
2. hub/switch
3. ethernet cables (length will depend)

now, is this office going to grow? if yes skip SETUP 1 if o read SETUP 1 (or read both)


1. get a 8+ port router available from different companies (Linksys, Netgear, D-Link). They are not bad. The 8 ports will be for each one of the computers in the office or "LAN-Local Area Network". The 9th port on the router "WAN-Wide Area Network" port will be for the cable/DSL modem (provided by your ISP).

2. 8 computers to the router = 8 cables + router to DSL/cable modem one more cable. All cables should be Cat5 Ethernet Patch a.k.a straight-through cables. Make sure no distance excedes 185 meters on any one cable.

3. set all your win98 machines. Make sure all the computers have NICs(network cards). Make sure "Client for Microsoft Networks" is enabled and all computers have TCP/IP protocol binded to the NICs. Have DHCP enabled and all the settings set to "obtain automaticlly". Don't give any computer an IP address, they'll get those from the router through DHCP. Enable "print and file sharing" on all the machines as well. Be careful with this one, it can be a security hazard, read more on it.

4. turn all the devices off and turn them on in this sequence: ISP modem, router, the PCs at 30 second intervals.


1. get a one port router from say Linksys and a 24 port switch from say Netgear. All of your 8 computers will plug into the Netgear switch and you will still have room to grow (16 ports will be left). The router will also plug into the switch/hub. The one-port-router actualy has two ports. one for "WAN-Wide Area Network" and the other for the "LAN-Local Area Network" the LAN port will connect to the switch and the WAN port to the ISPs modem.

2. same as SETUP 1 except you'll need an extra cable. For router to switch connection.

3. same as SETUP 1.

SETUP 2 diagram
                    2 port        24 port
internet---modem--->router----->switch-------->all 8 PCs
  WAN    |<-----------------LAN------------------------>|

SETUP 2 diagram

                          4 port      
internet-----modem------->router------------->all 8 PCs
  WAN    |<-----------------LAN------------------------>|

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michael_huntAuthor Commented:
Sorry guys i forgot to mention that the office is split inot 2 rooms so with no obvious root through for cabling....

kiko1234Connect With a Mentor Commented:
ok mick,

so you want to save money but don't want to use cables, ha? let me just remind you that there is many ways a cable can be run. you can in fact drill a hole right through a wall and slide a cable through it. you can also have the cable snake through the place under carpets, by the floor-wall edge etc. you can also have a hybrid network (wireless-and-cable). if you want me to give you more specifics on something let me know what type of network do you wan't in the first place. Wireless or cable or both. if you are not sure just describe distances, quorters where each computer is going to be, type of building, budget etc. I'm right now inclined to think you want(need) wireless, is it true? see, the more you describe the ore we can help you.
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