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How to set up Cyber Cafe using Alavarion Wireless Antenna

Posted on 2007-10-11
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hello,
I need to your advise on how to set up an Internet Cafe using Alvarion Wireless Antenna, to provide intenet access for 20 Dell PCs? How and what IP, subnet mask, default gateway I configure on the Wireless Antenna, Server and Client PC? Do I need a router and a switch? How and where do I connect them? How do I improve the speed of the Internet internally? How do I figure out what it the bandwidth I am getting from the ISP? Sometimes they do not provide what they promise.  I will be using Windows 2003 for the server and XP Professional for the clients.
Thanks,
Savi
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Question by:savoyajolie
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Groux
ID: 20065441
You are going to need some kind of router to plug the modem from the antenna in and share the internet connection with the PCs and server... since you are going to have 20 PCs you'll probably need a 24 port router. Cisco, Netgear, Linksys all make such routers... find a router that suits your price range, search online or just go to sites like newegg.com. Finding one with built in Firewall capabilities is probably best, unless you are going with a software firewall solution.

The IP scheme is up to you, the most commonly used IP schemes are either 192.168.0.1 or 10.0.0.1. Your default gateway should be the first device in your IP scheme, so .1. All other devices should fall in line after it. Your server should be .2 and then I'd make your public PCs over .100, just so it is easy to keep track of which devices are which. Subnet mask should be 255.255.255.0, simple as that. The IPs can been whatever you like them to be for the most part, just make sure the first 3 sets of numbers are the same. So... for example.

192.168.0.1 - Router/Gateway
192.168.0.2 - Server
192.168.0.3 - Cash Register or Office PC
192.168.0.100 - First public PC
...
192.168.0.120 - Last off PC

If you want to get a comprehensive speed test to see what your download and upload speeds are, the guys at dslreports.com have been doing it for nearly a decade.
http://www.dslreports.com/stest

If you want all of your PCs to be wireless you need to go with a router that has built-in wireless and that can support 24 concurrent devices. If you go with wireless then you'd need to it up to be secure so no one can steal your bandwidth... the best way would be to set up an access list on the router with the MAC address and names of each computer that is allowed to connect to the network and then also creating a 128-bit network encryption key. I would not recommend wireless for various security reasons.

I would also setup group policies on your server for the public PCs to use. Make it where those using your public PCs have no administration rights and therefore can't install software, change the desktop, access he c: drive, etc. Depending on what you are going to let users do is how you setup the group policy. Are you going to allow them to use messenger clients? Are you going have have other software installed like MS Office? Or are you going to only allow them to cruise the web? If so, only give them access to Internet Explorer.

The setup I describe is VERY basic and in truth there are a lot of security risks involved in such a basic setup. Using a default or most commonly used IP scheme makes it easier on hackers. Also your public PCs should be on a different subnet than that of your server, and your server should be behind a firewall safe from your public PCs, however this is all very difficult to setup and requires some networking expertise.

You can make a fairly secure network with what I described above but I would bring in a freelance network architect from your area if I was serious about opening a business and wanted it to remain secure. Setting up a network where complete strangers come in and do what they want on your PCs is like playing with fire... so you want to be extra cautions and go through all the right steps and removing as much power from them as you can so your network remains safe and operational. If a user is able to bring down your network that'll be money out of your pocket, so set it up right the first time.
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by:savoyajolie
ID: 20067263
Thanks BradGroux. As you stated, my mine concern is security and I do not have firewall experience and the person I assigned to do the work does not seem knowledgable either. What do you recommend best for the firewall set up? Windows 2003? Pix Firwall? Netgear router built-in firewall? And when I set up the firewall what do I need to do? What port to block and what ports to permit?

Users will be allowed to use MS Office, Messenger of their choice but they do not have admin rights to those machines.
Thanks,
Savi
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Groux
ID: 20068801
For something of your size a Cisco Pix 501 would do nicely... and cost you about $500 USD state-side for under 50 licenses. You would of course need a standard 24 port switch for your public PCs to connect through, but you could put your server and private computers behind the firewall.
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/vpndevc/ps2030/ps2031/index.html

You can also take further measures to secure the network by installing software firewalls on your server and the workstations themselves. You can use these in conjunction with the built-in Windows Firewall.
http://www.zonealarm.com/store/content/home.jsp

For the most part these devices aren't too difficult to setup, and you can find support documents and "how to" documents all over the internet for them. How to set them up will all depend on the environment you are building, but they are scalable to whatever your needs are.
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Author Comment

by:savoyajolie
ID: 20080791
Okay. Do I need to ask the ISP provider to add A record, the Server name and its private static IP address, on their DNS server?
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Brad Groux earned 1000 total points
ID: 20081312
Your ISP shouldn't know a thing about your server... why would you need them to know about your server? All that they need to do is send internet connectivity to your router, where you can delegate your network connectivity on your own. You really need to hire a network architect that knows what he is doing. Setting it up is the easy part, securing your network is the tough part. Hiring a local consultant is key to rolling out a project of your scale.
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