Splitting a network


I'm working at an office that needs to split up their network for security purposes.  They're currently on a peer-to-peer network and only have two computers on it.  They would like to have a guest network for people that come in and want to use their wifi.  Also, their credit card merchant company says that they're not PCI compliant since the computer and credit card machine is not on it's own network.  They are on the same network that the computers are on.  Also, they're using their Century Link DSL modem (gateway) C1000A as their router--which I'm sure doesn't have the proper security that they need.  I was thinking about recommending a Sonicwall wifi router to them but I've had mixed experiences with the wifi Sonicwalls.  Can you recommend an affordable router solution for them to accomplish the split network, guest wifi and good security?  Please let me know if you need any further information.  Thanks for your help!
Matt KendallTech / Business owner operatorAsked:
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James HIT DirectorCommented:
Instead of that, depending on your level of knowledge, you can just create VLAN's using a managed switch which can and will separate the traffic and you can configure it so that one cannot see another.

However, the Sonicwall will also work as you can configure an interface for each the these devices/networks.
Any firewall can do this so it is really up to you and how complex you want to be.

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To do it right, you need to make an investment in higher-end network equipment. You need more than a guest network, you also need to create a separate vlan for the PCI equipment which is locked off from the other stuff. So that's 3 vlans, none of which can access each other, plus your internet connection and firewall, plus the wifi access point, which given the other requirements will probably be separate.

For easy PCI compliance, I'd recommend using a service like Square. You might pay more per transaction but you don't have to worry about credit card security or PCI compliance. That would simplify your needs a lot and lower the equipment cost. It depends how much credit card business you have and what the cost delta is between Square (or similar services) and your current merchant agreement.
If you want to stay relatively inexpensive, you could get a decent a/c router (practically all of them have guest wireless networks built in) and then attach a managed switch to that.  On the managed switch, create two VLANs, one for the PCI equipment and the other for the computers.
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