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Some questions about getting server 2003 on DSL and share the connection to other PCs

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Sorry, I am rusty on this.

I have a win 2K3 server with 2 NICs.  1 is conencted to a linksys router conencted to a dsl modem and 1 to the switch feeding 4 desktops.  The Linksys has the dsl credentials and we can access the web ok this way.  But I want to get rid of the linksys router, right?  Connect the server direct to the DSL modem.  in network connections on the server, I see the 2 NICS - LAN is static and WAN is dynamic.  If I make another connection - verizon DSL - when I connect through that (still going through the router) it does connect and the server can still surf.  But users lose access to the web.  Any thoughts on why they would lose web access? might as well leave the linksys in place?

Do I want to enable RRAS or internet connection sharing to let the users on the LAN side of the box access the web?

Is there a way to make the server make sure the DSL connection is always up / after a reboot of the server do I have to manually dial up the DSL connection to get the users on the web?

Watch Question

You are in the preferred setup right now.  The is the better design...to have the DSL linksys.  Why do you want to go for the less desirable setup of using the Windows 2003 server as the router?

Yes, you can do this but you will have to use Internet Connection Sharing...


use the server as the router or use the server to authenticate dsl?  I'm learning, having come from working 99% with workgroups.  I am getting into sbs 2K3 and they always say to use the server and 2 NICs - one for the WAN and one for the LAN.

I was thinking like you - the linksys is a dedicated box for dhcp, router, etc.  why turn off dhcp, etc just to put the windows box in the loop?  but people that seem to know more say that is the better way - get rid of the linksys router (which freezes sometimes, even with the latest firmware).

and back to the question - I HAVE to use ICS?  or can I use RRAS? Or either works (then why 1 vs. the other?).  it's 3 people in a small office, they were sold server 2K3 before I got involved (I would have done it as a workgroup, using a dedicated xp pro machine.)

In your situation it is best to keep the setup like you have it.  Use ONE NIC in the server.  Use the DSL router.  However, I would suggest that you turn off DHCP on the router.  Windows 2003 DHCP is a little bit better in the respect that Windows DHCP can help older OS's register themselves in DNS on behalf of the client machine.

With ICS and RRAS, you will place an additional load on the server, you will have slower web browsing, and if your reboot the server, the entire office will lose thier internet connection.

Your setup sounds good right now.

However, I would turn off the DHCP on the router and enable DHCP on the server.

I would also make sure that your server and client TCP/IP settings look similar to this:

Server Name: SERVER1
Gateway:   <-- router internal IP address
DNS:  or   <-- DNS should be pointed to itself and only itself

To get DNS to forward to the internet, go into the DNS console of the Windows 2003 server.  Right click your server name and choose properties from the drop down list.  Click the forwarders tab.  Enter the router IP address or your ISP DNS server IP addresses here.  Click OK... you have now allowed your windows 2003 dns server forward DNS requests on your clients behalf.

Client name:  Client1
DNS:  <---Must be pointed to your internal Windows 2003 DNS server.  Should not be pointed to the ISP DNS server or the router DNS server.  Windows 2003 domain clients need to use the internal Windows 2003 DNS....and no other DNS should be listed.

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