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Assignment of Static IP Address to Router for Small Network

Posted on 2014-02-23
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Hi,

I just had Comcast Business Internet installed.  I also have 10 Static IP Addresses from Comcast.  I want to assign Static IP addresses to 5 VOIP phones, 2 computers and 1 printer.  I also have 2 laptops that will connect to the network via Wi-Fi.  I have a Linksys wireless router and a 16-port D-Link Switch.

My question is do I need to assign the Linksys router a Static IP address also?  If so, how do I do that?
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Question by:ghostfrog
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by:Patrick Tallarico
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I have a question first, do you need all of these devices to have publiclyviewable ip addresses?  I would be curious why you would want these devices to be configured this way and to not use the standard NAT subnetting provided with a linksys router. (Even the Comcast router provides private networking capabilities with firewalling capabilities.)

Personally I would strongly recommend against configuring a network that way. By using NAT and creating a private network, you can use the router firewall to better protect your network. You can still use static ip addresses assigned by your private network router(with the current hardware listed, you could use the linksys to create and manage your private network addressing). You can then open up only the specific ports that you may need to be available publicly.  First through the linksys, then, if necessary through the comcast router.  I just feel I have to say this as a caveat to the following solution.

Please feel free to ask about these configuration options if this sounds like what you would really need.

The easiest way to have the devices configured for public addresses would be to manually set up each device with the proper address netmask and gateway and connect them through the d-link switch that would be directly connected to the comcast router.  Then you can use your linksys router directly connected to the comcast device to make a wireless connection available to other devices (ie. the 2 laptops).

Again, I recommend using a private network for all of your devices.  There are many ways to configure these devices to allow access to the devices and services you need without having to fully expose each device publicly to the internet.
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by:ghostfrog
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Hi Stpm11,

Thank you for answering my question.  The reason I thought that these 5 VOIP phones needed to be configured with Static IP addresses is that my research showed that a Static IP addresses provide "more stability" when using VOIP phones (is that correct?).  And I felt that if I used Static IP's for the phones I might as well use them for the 2 computers and 1 printer (especially for the Printer because it's a Google Cloud Ready printer that employees will be access from home).  No one "really" needs to access the network from the outside (except the Cloud printer) so do you think it will be easier and, just as stable, to use DHCP?  If so, what would be the best way to configure the Linksys router?
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Patrick Tallarico earned 500 total points
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I would keep your whole network as a local network configured with NAT behind both the comcast and linksys firewalls. To do so, connect your linksys to the comcast router then your dlink switch to your linksys. This would allow your linksys to manage your lan and all devices would be able to see each other on the lan with very little configuration.
In my experience, voip phones do just fine from within a lan rather than having to set them up with static ips. I had one working for five years with minimal down time. Unless your voip provider is specifically requiring you to use public ips, i would keep them on the lan also.
For your computers, i would especially keep them on the lan to allow both the comcast and linksys firewalls provide protection from intrusion.  If you were to give the computers public addresses, you would need to configure the firewall for each computer. If they are windows machines, it would be a good idea to purchase a third party firewall to install and configure..  quite a bit more work than utilizing what you already have.  Generally i keep all computers behind my network firewalls and use port forwarding to make any necessary services available publicly, and then you still need to be careful with those machines to make sure they are protected. It is generally advisable that any computer with a publically accessible interface should not be used as a common desktop since that would increase the likelyhood that that particular machine would become compromised.
With google print, i can't speak definitively, but it would appear as though that service should be available without having to make that printer available through a public address either. Vheck out this article: https://support.google.com/cloudprint/#2541896
Do you have a printer that is google cloud print ready? (Meaning you don't need a computer to link the printer into the cloud print system.)

To sum up, you should be able to configure your network without needing to specifically assign public ip addresses to any of these devices. In the long run it should provide you with much more network security straight out of the box.
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