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Does an analog router work the same as the broadband NAT routers (Linksys, Netgear) used today?

Hello.
We have a small network of 6 workstations and 1 Windows 2003 server set up in a domain.  The server is currently dialing the ISP and providing Internet access to the network via RRAS.  I know this is not how it is recommended to be set up.  We are now having problems and I would like to move the modem off of the server.  I could set up ICS on an XP workstation, but I think it would be better to get an analog router.  

Any thoughts on purchasing an analog router?  Is it a good idea? Any better options?  I worked with a few analog routers 7yrs ago, but don't quite remember how they work.  Do they work like the current NAT broadband routers where you simply point the DHCP server to the router as a gateway?  Will the analog router initiate a dial-up session if it is used as the gateway from clients?

I am looking at a 3Com Dual Analog Router (i have worked with them before) or a Netopia R2000.

There are no broadband options available here. (other than satellite)
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benab
Asked:
benab
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2 Solutions
 
jessmcaCommented:
An analog router would work exactly like a nat router.
The only problem will making sure it isnt connected when not required if you are paying for calls at least.

They usually configure via telnet with a programmed interface. You need to enter the ISDN dialup numbers amnd login details and IP details for your lan including dhcp if needed.  You can have the router connect on request or stay connected.  Windows is very chatty though, so it could be almost permanently connected unless you disconnect each evening.

Apart fom that, it is fine and a perfectly acceptable connection.

Jess
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giltjrCommented:
What are you problems?  If your problems are related to network performance, then moving the modem off of the Windows box to another box (analog router) will not make any difference.

I am assuming that when you say "analog", you mean a plain old dial-up modem (14.4, 28.8, 33.6, "56") as ISDN is not analog.
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benabAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your responses.

giltjr,
Yes, this is a dial-up 56k external modem that is in use currently.  By analog router I mean a router that has a plain old 56k modem built into it.  
Does this change your answer Jess?

Many times they can't connect to the Internet to send/recieve email or browse the web.  The ISP claims they are having no problems.  We have had some DNS issues in the past because of how the server was set up.  I did not set up the server, but something about the domain was not quite set up right.
We plan on getting new server hardware soon and I will install a new domain at that point.

I am aware that the modem could be connected 24/7.  I think they have an unlimited plan.


Thanks,
-Ben
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giltjrCommented:
A 56 Kbps modem can barely support one user for general Internet access.  Before you start buying new hardware I would look to verify that you are not having problems with the dial-up connection or that it is not saturtated.

Remember a 56 Kbps dial-up modem can technically do 56 Kbps downstream and a max of 33.6 Kbps upsteam.

In the US it can only get up to 53Kbps downstream and that is on a perfect line.  You may want to check and verify what speed you are connecting at.  Even with the data compresssion that these modems do, they still are not designed to support more that one person.
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jessmcaCommented:
The router would still be a better option than windows sharing and has a simalar lan interface as other routers, though if dialup was your only option I would move to ISDN if possible.  It would be worth the extra cost if you are a business and need the internet access.

So the answer to your question is yes, they work the same way but if quality is important, it won't come close unless you get an ISDN line installed.

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pseudocyberCommented:
I would only add to make it a Cisco router - for ease of support.  You can do dial on demand routing.
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giltjrCommented:
I will agree that using a real router (especially a Cisco) will make managment of the enviroment easier.  However if the problem you are having is due to the lack of bandwidth, then the only think that will help is more bandwidth.

If you can't get ISDN, you may want to see if your ISP supports multi-link PPP over analog dial-up.  You could then get a second analog modem and have both of them dial-up at the same time, bond the two connections together and get just about two times the speed you are getting now.  I doubt if they do support this as very few ISP's offered it over analog lines.

As your traffic seems to be fairly low, you may want to look into fractional T1 or even burstable T1's, if your ISP offers these.
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benabAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your answers.  
The first answer from jessmca was supposed to be the Accepted Anwser and the last one from giltjr was to be the Assisted.  I didn't quite know how the split works.

Thanks much.  Your answers helped me look in a better direction!
I called an ISP that can provide voice and data on a T1 for a very reasonable price.  I think we will go that route or ISDN.

-Ben
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