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creating a wifi network in the office

Posted on 2013-12-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
We are using att network in the office.  At times fetching data from one computer by another becomes extremely slow and than at some other times is it real good.

The data is being fetched by simply sharing the hard disk and mapping the disk on another computer.

Do we need to buy a separate router and use it to create a separate network?  Or should we try to diagnose the problem.

Not sure how to check speed between the computers?  

Not sure what to do please guide.  Thanks
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Question by:goodk
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 39713137
Is your wireless network secure?  If not you may have a neighbour making use of your network and consuming much of the available bandwidth.

Another thing to check is office workers using streaming media video or audio such as listening to internet radio.  One user doesn't make much difference but with sevral users doing so it can affect the entire newtork.
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goodk earned 0 total points
ID: 39713201
Would installing another router to share data between fewer computer would resolve the issue?

Is the setup easy or problamatic?
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by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39713260
If your router supports QOS (quality of service) you might want to try playing with it and see if you can increase the priority of file access.

HTH,
Dan
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by:naderz
naderz earned 28 total points
ID: 39713427
Please elaborate on: "We are using att network in the office.  " What is exactly your setup? Are your computers connecting all via WiFi?
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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 212 total points
ID: 39713954
By adding a router I assume you mean to have one network for file sharing and one for Internet?  That is not as simple as it sounds, and probably not necessary.  How many computers/users are there?  I doubt many as it sounds like you do not have a server.  Your best bet would be to have a wired network and a Gigabit switch, though file sharing doesn't require a lot of bandwidth in a small business.  It would be helpful if we knew about your network, #of users, speed of network cards, wired/wireless, etc.
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Author Comment

by:goodk
ID: 39714126
About 8 computers.  In our side of the building we have 3 computers.  

The router belongs to another sister business and we do not want to fiddle with it.  If there are any commands we could run to diagnose the problem and become more certain.

We do not have a dedicated file server.  One main computer used by the manager has one the directory shared and the files on this directory are being shared with two other computers.

We have a option to spend another $150/month and get another internet connection with another router for the three computers.  Not sure if this is necessary.

Physically wiring is also difficult but no impossible.
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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 212 total points
ID: 39714207
With 8 computers there should be no problem sharing files.  I suspect a poor wireless connection or something/someone consuming bandwidth.   Measuring performance is not easy to do.  Normally you would install a managed switch capable of mirroring ports or a sniffer, then run a program called Wireshark, and look for unnecessary traffic.  This can be very time consuming and requires some familiarity with the application as there are thousands of packets captured every minute.

Wireless communications can be depreciated by interference from everything from portable phones to electrical sources in the building.  There is also the possibility that users, neighbours, or viruses, are using up bandwidth with unnecessary internet use.  You might want to try isolating the “server computer” and a couple of PC’s by adding a switch and connecting with patch cables to see if there is some improvement.

Keep in mind also that wireless networks generally are slower than most wired networks.  Wireless N networks can run at a theoretical speed of up to 300 mbps, but most run at 54 mbps, where as a typical wired network runs at 100 mbps and any new equipment (4 years or newer) probably runs at 1000 mbps.
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Author Comment

by:goodk
ID: 39715827
Well, we still have a problem but no solution.

Please tell me why I cannot buy a router and connect the three computers to it?  Like a LAN and hardwire it.


Could we keep the internet router separate and never use it to connect between the computers?

May be I am missing the complexity it could create.  Please tell a little about my thought. Thanks.
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by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 110 total points
ID: 39715838
You can buy a router, but all you need is a switch. Most routers have built-in switches anyway, but usually only 4-port. If you need to connect more stations you're still going to need an additional switch.

HTH,
Dan
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by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 110 total points
ID: 39715850
If you cannot connect to your main router using a cable, you will need a wireless router.
Then link it to the main router as a repeater bridge.
Connect the local clients via wires to the new router (or connect a switch to the router and the clients to the switch).

Advantages:
- all internet requests will go to your main router
- you'll still be on the same network as the other 5 computers
- data transfers between your 3 wired computers will be much higher (assuming you have gigabit switch/router), since it does not need to touch the main router
- data transfers between the 3 wired computers will no longer be influenced by the other 5.

HTH,
Dan
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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 212 total points
ID: 39716722
>>"Please tell me why I cannot buy a router and connect the three computers to it?  Like a LAN and hardwire it."
As Dan stated you certainly can, but you only need a switch.  However you are not troubleshooting the problem.  Is the issue poor wireless reception causing the delays or is it due to something consuming the bandwidth.  If the later the switch will make no difference as the same devices will be connected to the same router and LAN if you intend to keep internet.  If you only want to use wireless you would need to use a wireless.

You could use a router and connect its WAN port to the other/existing network.  That would isolate the 3 computers, assuming one of them is not the source of the problem, allow for file sharing, but Internet would still be slow.

Getting another router and ISP connection for $150/ month would likely make a difference but seems like an unnecessary expense for 8 users.  Then again if one of the 3 computers is the problem this will not help either.

However, it sounds like you are looking for a simple solution to a difficult problem.  Something is affecting performance.  You really need to hire someone trained to troubleshoot the cause rather than trying to deal with a $50 solution to deal with the effects.  It is very possible one of the computers has a root kit that is using 80% of your network bandwidth.
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Assisted Solution

by:Fred Marshall
Fred Marshall earned 150 total points
ID: 39717285
Sharing files over wireless is very much "it depends".  If you can avoid wireless then by all means do so.

You can certainly have your own LAN.  I've attached diagrams re: how to do this.  
Most internet connections are so slow compared to wired or even wireless networks that the internet connection speed inside the network should not be a worry.
Multiple-Subnets.pdf
Wireless-Router-as-a-Simple-Swit.pdf
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Author Closing Comment

by:goodk
ID: 39726231
hmm, guys thanks for helping me.  I guess I am confuse about various solutions offered.  But I will try to study the help provided a little bit more careful.


Thanks again guys.
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