How to create public and private areas using same router?

We want to configure a network so there is a public and private area.
Public area -- type in password and  our visitors can browse the internet
Private  area -  a few laptops and wireless printer in a secure, private area.

-modem provided by the ISP
-D-Link Extreme N gigabite router (new)
-Linksys - WRT54GS (old)
-Wireless HP printer (new)
-2 new Toshiba satellite laptops
-vistor's wireless devices

1. modem => new router
Public and private PCs connect on same network
Private PCs use windows to create a secure work environment

2. modem => new router => old router
Private PCs use the new router
Public PCs connect to the old router, which is connected to the new router.

Which approach would be best?
Any alternatives / advice on implementation much appreciated.

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You might want to try modem => old router => new router
Visitors use old router for Internet Access. New router provides private network. Configure separate subnets both on wired and wireless interfaces of both routers. That way your private network has the fastest wireless network. I'm assuming you understand how to configure TCP/IP, DHCP, DNS, subnets, firewalls, and wireless security on each router. If not post back.
tomfolinsbeeAuthor Commented:
"I'm assuming you understand how to configure TCP/IP, DHCP, DNS, subnets, firewalls, and wireless security on each router. If not post back"

....afraid not.  Any good links that will walk me through it? Thanks!
The first resouce to read is the manuals that came on the CDs with the routers. If you don't have them they are here;

Each router has a different interface, you have to follow the manual for your specific router.
you'll need to indicate your hardware version (printed on the router) to access information specific to your device. The links have information on finding your specific version number.  
Read how to update the firmware and do that first for the Linksys router if it hasn't been done recently.
To set up your network connect the ethernet port on your modem to the WAN port on the Linksys router and connect the power cable. By default the router should obtain an IP address, Subnet mask, Gateway IP, and DNS addresses from your ISP network. If you are provided a static IP address from your ISP then you will need to enter this information manually (see manual) in the router. Router firewalls generally are configured to block most inbound requests. Connect a workstation to one of the LAN ports on the Linksys router and log into the router by entering the IP address of the router in the address bar of your browser. The default IP address of the router is given in the manual. A box should appear allowing you to enter username and password, the defaults are given in the manual. If this fails try resetting the router by depressing the reset switch near the power cable connection. At this point you should also be able to browse the Internet. Verify that you can. Next log into the router and set the time zone, change the Admin password, enable and configure wireless security (see manual), and review the firewall settings. DHCP is enabled by default and the router will usually configure a subnet of 192.168.1.xx for the LAN. For purposes of discussion lets call this LAN A. Using a Laptop verify that you can connect to the Linksys router and browse the Internet. Read the manual and familiarize yourself with the other settings as well.

A first troubleshooting step if this doesn't work is to "power cycle" the modem by powering it off, wait 30 - 60 seconds and power it back on. Then do the same thing to the router. Wait for the computer to reconnect to the router (watch the network connection icon in the system tray) then test by trying to browse the Internet.

Next connect the D-Link router by using an Ethernet cable. Plug one end into one of the LAN ports on the Linksys router and plug the opposite end into the WAN port of the D-Link router. Connect a workstation to one of the LAN ports of the D-Link router. Connect the power cord on the D-Link router. When it powers up it should obtain a WAN IP address from the Linksys router and create a LAN subnet which is different from the LAN A automatically. We'll call this LAN B. The D-Link router will use the Linksys router to obtain it's TCP/IP settings and Internet Access by default. Using the workstation connected to the D-Link router on LAN B open a DOS window by typing "cmd" in the run box without the quotes. at the command prompt type "ipconfig" without the quotes and press enter. look for the Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection and find the Gateway address. This is the LAN IP address of the D-Link router. Type this address into the address bar of the browser and press enter. follow the instructions above substituting the D-Link router manual.

Rather than belabor this subject endlessly I'll leave it at that and suggest that you post back if you have any additional questions.

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tomfolinsbeeAuthor Commented:
The new router had option for private & guest network, so we got rid of the old router.

Thanks for the detailed reply.
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