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Two locations - how to connect networks - equipment and config

I would like to connect two home networks in differnent locations so the networks appear as one.   I currently have consumer grade linksys routers connected to cable modems.  I would replace or add whatever equipment is needed. Can you suggest the best approach?
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gregdrew
Asked:
gregdrew
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1 Solution
 
memo_tntCommented:
how far distance between these two locations??
what's your current devices you have ??
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senadCommented:
2 home networks inside a house,houses next to each other,location in different cities,wireless routers,all machines running W7,server ???
Explain a little bit more please....
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senadCommented:
In W7 is simple really.You need not network but homegroup.
1 machine sets the homegroup - other join.
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BigBadWolf_000Commented:
gregdrew,
You can connect the two networks using site-to-site VPN (PPTP or IPsec tunnel, IPSec preferred).
1) If you have Dynamic IP addressess at both sites...
You can use Linksys BEFVP41 routers using dynamic DNS addresses from
no-ip.com.

2) If you have Static IP addressess at both sites...
You will need to purchase a netgear or a netopia router to do this. Linksys has a model to but I have not had good experiences with them. There are also more products, but it would depend on your budget....for now, I will assume you have a small budget. The networks would have different internal IP (each)

If you already have two Linksys WRT54GL, I would recommend upgrading them to DD-WRt, instructions below (disclaimer: if you do not do it right you can be left with two bricks)
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/OpenVPN_-_Site-to-Site_Bridged_VPN_Between_Two_Routers
or you can use two Linksys RV042 VPN Router
or you can use two Netgear FVS318
or (my preference) use Netopia 3386 . Work great/stable IPSEC tunnels (for less the $100 each)
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gregdrewAuthor Commented:
Some additional informations -
- Locations are 1000 miles apart (SoCal to Oregon)
- Equip is Linksys WRT150N and WRT 610N respectively
- Using W7 on all desktop / laptops machines
- Windows Home Server (HP) at one location (uses Servier 2003)

 
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BigBadWolf_000Commented:
You could get it to work using DD-WRT on both the Linksys models you mentioned. See compatibility list in link. However only if you IP from ISP is Static

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices#Linksys
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gregdrewAuthor Commented:
BigBadWolf - your suggestons are very helpful.  
I dont believe I elected to have the static IP address from the cable companies on each end.
Is it easier to pay for the static IP address or get other equipment to accomplish this?
BTW, I am willing to spend a little to end up with a low maintenance configuration.  
Thx.
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Tony GimenezInternshipCommented:
https://secure.logmein.com/products/hamachi2/

VPN solution as a last resort.
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BigBadWolf_000Commented:
I would recommend to get a static IP (both ends) then use the netopia 3386 ENT at both ends and you will have a stable connection between the two networks using a IPSec secure tunnel....I have been using the above to connect two sites with 15 users each, broadband (DSL/Cable), shared resources, for over 8 months, not had a single issue to date, hav'nt touched the routers after initial setup :D
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gregdrewAuthor Commented:
Great advice and fast response to questions.  Thanks!
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