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Notw: I need a little help...reading NET + certification book and have no experience building networks

Who can show me the best way to get from A-Z if I wanted to build a basic network for a library or computer lab FROM SCRATCH?

^^^I know it sounds like a stupid question, but you have to start somewhere :o

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Last Post by DMR
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I know the network topologies but how do you set them up is what i am asking!!!!

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Your question is very poorly worded. Even inferring what you are wanting doesn't give enough information to give a satisfactory answer. I could write a book just to try to answer your original question and would still only scratch the surface of the topic.

Try asking some questions that can be answered simply. Questions like these are better suited for a forum:

  • What equipment is needed to wire up a network that will connect thirty lab computers, 3 network printers, and a file server? This setup will be no frills, so just basic equipment will fit the job.
  • Can anyone provide me with information or links to information about how to install networking cable in a room without having to open up the walls? This will be for a classroom setting, so safety is a concern.
  • At what point does a network need enterprise-grade equipment and cabling? In other words, how many systems can standard home/small-business-grade equipment handle?
  • Is it reasonable to set up a computer lab using only wireless connections, or would it be better to find a way to run cables throughout the room? The room is older, so there aren't any conduits that can be used to run the cables through and there will be desks set up along the walls as well as occupying the center of the room.

Notice that I gave some additional information along with the question. There are many, many variables to consider when planning a network design: size of location, construction materials, aesthetic and safety concerns, number of machines that will connect, desired connection method, desired connection speed, desired connection use (web browsing, gaming, file transfers, media streaming, servers, tunneling, VPN, etc), budget, and many more. So, as you can see, "tell me how to make a network" is a very hard question to answer with so little information.

Let me help you out a bit on why your question was poor.

Firstly, your question was "who can ...", which is actually asking for someone to name someone. I suppose I could tell you that most network technicians could show you how to build a network.

You say that you want someone to show you "from A-Z". That's a very tall order. It takes a lot of effort to descibe every detail from start to finish of any task. If you already know a bit about networking, ask specific questions about what you don't understand rather than asking someone to go into elaborate detail since they may waste time covering items you already know.

"basic network" and "FROM SCRATCH" are both very vague. There isn't really any network that is basic. Each network design is unique and will have different needs and challenges. There are standard network setups, but they aren't basic. What do you mean by "FROM SCRATCH"? Does that mean that you don't have a building and are working with the architect to design the room to allow for maximum flexibility in network design or to allow for ease of upgrades in the future? Does that mean that you don't have any equipment (not even the computers, printers, etc) and need to design an entire network complete with equipment in order to meet the needs of the lab or library? Does that mean that the equipment is already all there, but you need to find a way to connect it all?

Finally, I would think that the biggest problem with your question is your use of the word "best". Given a variety of different design options, you would be hard pressed to get a group of people to agree on one option. The word best ignores the fact that there are numerous circumstances to consider and the answer will vary depending on those circumstances. I suppose a better word would be "optimum", but even the use of that word would require that every single present and future need is not only decided upon but also addressed and planned for.


Heh... Sorry to pick apart your question, but in the technical field, it is very important to be precise. If you aren't precise, assumptions will be made, and a poor solution will be the end result.

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I understand where you are coming from, its cool. I actually began to ask specific questions, but then I realized that I don't have the right/enough information to know if I was asking the right questions. Your example of "good" questions to ask actually taught me things to consider when building a network (excuse me but for lack of a better term) "from scratch."

You sound like the person I need to learn from. I am easy to teach, but just a novice at this point. Help me out, I need better information than what this Net+ Certification book is giving me. The book is filling my head with pages and pages of protocols, definitions, and acronym upon acronym. I have come to the realization that I have read half the book and don't have the slightest idea of how to build a network.

To give you some perspectus on my knowledge of Networking, I have a B.S. in Computer Information Systems (class of '03), I was a Voice and Data Network Consultant for AT&T Business for a year (sales position), and before that held an Internship as a Junior Systems Analyst for a little over a year.

With respect to my initial question, I ask, hypothetically, If I were asked to build a computer lab for a school, where do I start?


Your question is very poorly worded. Even inferring what you are wanting doesn't give enough information to give a satisfactory answer. I could write a book just to try to answer your original question and would still only scratch the surface of the topic.

Try asking some questions that can be answered simply. Questions like these are better suited for a forum:

  • What equipment is needed to wire up a network that will connect thirty lab computers, 3 network printers, and a file server? This setup will be no frills, so just basic equipment will fit the job.
  • Can anyone provide me with information or links to information about how to install networking cable in a room without having to open up the walls? This will be for a classroom setting, so safety is a concern.
  • At what point does a network need enterprise-grade equipment and cabling? In other words, how many systems can standard home/small-business-grade equipment handle?
  • Is it reasonable to set up a computer lab using only wireless connections, or would it be better to find a way to run cables throughout the room? The room is older, so there aren't any conduits that can be used to run the cables through and there will be desks set up along the walls as well as occupying the center of the room.

Notice that I gave some additional information along with the question. There are many, many variables to consider when planning a network design: size of location, construction materials, aesthetic and safety concerns, number of machines that will connect, desired connection method, desired connection speed, desired connection use (web browsing, gaming, file transfers, media streaming, servers, tunneling, VPN, etc), budget, and many more. So, as you can see, "tell me how to make a network" is a very hard question to answer with so little information.

Let me help you out a bit on why your question was poor.

Firstly, your question was "who can ...", which is actually asking for someone to name someone. I suppose I could tell you that most network technicians could show you how to build a network.

You say that you want someone to show you "from A-Z". That's a very tall order. It takes a lot of effort to descibe every detail from start to finish of any task. If you already know a bit about networking, ask specific questions about what you don't understand rather than asking someone to go into elaborate detail since they may waste time covering items you already know.

"basic network" and "FROM SCRATCH" are both very vague. There isn't really any network that is basic. Each network design is unique and will have different needs and challenges. There are standard network setups, but they aren't basic. What do you mean by "FROM SCRATCH"? Does that mean that you don't have a building and are working with the architect to design the room to allow for maximum flexibility in network design or to allow for ease of upgrades in the future? Does that mean that you don't have any equipment (not even the computers, printers, etc) and need to design an entire network complete with equipment in order to meet the needs of the lab or library? Does that mean that the equipment is already all there, but you need to find a way to connect it all?

Finally, I would think that the biggest problem with your question is your use of the word "best". Given a variety of different design options, you would be hard pressed to get a group of people to agree on one option. The word best ignores the fact that there are numerous circumstances to consider and the answer will vary depending on those circumstances. I suppose a better word would be "optimum", but even the use of that word would require that every single present and future need is not only decided upon but also addressed and planned for.


Heh... Sorry to pick apart your question, but in the technical field, it is very important to be precise. If you aren't precise, assumptions will be made, and a poor solution will be the end result.

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I'm by no means an expert, but I have had my fair share of experiences with setting up and maintaining networks. Anything I say should by no means be considered comprehensive and may not even be completely accurate. The best I can give you is a hypothetical conversation that shows how needs can be assessed allowing for the beginning of a network design.

I'm setting up a computer lab for my students to use. What do you recommend?

There are a lot of things to consider when building a network. Let's see if we can't narrow down what type of needs should be addressed. How many computers will be part of this network?

The max class size is 30 students. The teacher of the current class will need a computer. We'd also like some additional computers available for the teachers and for other students who may need to finish up projects. Taking all of that into account, I'd say that we will have a total of 41 computers in the network.

Will there be any other devices attached to the network? Other devices can be printers, network attached storage or a file server, Voice Over IP devices, or any other device with a network connection.

I'm glad you asked that. We will need to have at least two laser printers on the network.

Will this network connect to an outside network such as the school's main network?

It will connect to the rest of the school's network.

Does the school's network have a DHCP server to handle IP assignments or will one need to be included in the lab's network segment?

The school's network has a DHCP server.

What type of connection is there to connect to the rest of the school's network? Is there an RJ-45 plug, a SMP for fiber, or some other type of connection?

We have a SMP jack that connects to a fiber cable that leads to a central switch.

I'm trying to decide if all the computers will connect with wires or if we need to allow for some of the computers to connect wirelessly. In order to figure that out, I need to know how these computers going to be situated in the room. Will they all be on desks running along the walls or will some of them be away from the walls?

They will all be situated against the walls, so I think all of them being wired would be just fine.

What about the computer that the teacher is going to use? Where will it be in the room.

I didn't think about that. The teacher's desk will be away from the wall in front of the marker board. Would there be a problem with running a cable to his desk?

Since it's in front of the marker board, we'd have to make sure that any cables run along the floor don't cause a hazard for the teacher while they walk back and forth in front of the board. Are there any plugs underneath the desk, such as power plugs?

There's a power plug in the floor that a power stip is connected to.

We should be able to fish a cable through the conduit that the power cord is using. The limitation on this is that we can't use standard CAT5 here since unshielded twisted pair cabling and power lines should never be run parallel to one another. The solution to this is to use a high-grade shielded cable that will protect against the interference that is created by the power cable.

I don't know. That sounds a bit expensive. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just do a wireless connection rather than to run a cable through there?

In order to add wireless, an access point must be added to the network and a wireless adapter would have to be added to the teacher's computer. This very well could cost much more than purchasing a high-grade cable and routing it through the floor and wall. Another thing to keep in mind is that wireless connections can sometimes offer connection issues and would increase the amount of maintenance needs for the network. I suppose we should decide if there would be any additional use for the wireless connection. Do you think there would be any use for having a wireless connection that a student or other teacher could use?

I didn't think about the students accessing it. That sounds like a nice idea, but I'm afraid that we might have problems enforcing our network policies if anyone was allowed to just bring in their laptop and use the school's network. We should stay with wired if possible then.

Since we are staying with wired, we will need to revisit that idea of how to connect the teacher's computer to the network. Does running the shielded cable through the conduit sound like an appropriate solution or would running a CAT5 cable under a cable cover be enough to prevent a safety issue?

I think you are right that it could be a safety hazard to run a cable along the floor. It would also be nice to have it out of the way so it doesn't have to be repaired all the time.

[Insert discussion about how the cable will be run here.]

[Most likely the cable will have to be run through the conduit, through the wall, and to a jack. The jack could be placed by the fiber jack that is for the school's network. This is a smart design since it would allow the teacher's computer to be directly connected to the network just by connecting the two jacks together (there are converters available that will bridge a connection from fiber to CAT5). Doing this would allow the teacher to still access the network for class purposes in case the rest of the network had to be taken down for repairs.]

So far I understand that we will need to connect a minimum of 41 computers and 2 network printers. This network will then need to connect to a SMP fiber connector in the wall so that it can join the rest of the network. The network will not include any wireless connections. Now that we've decided all that, it's time to decide on equipment. Where will the networking equipment be kept?

I think a good location would be in the back corner by the jack for the rest of the network.

I agree. That would be a good location. I think a small rack attached to that corner would be a good fit for you since you want to prevent people from tampering with the equipment. What do you think?

Wait. A rack? How much equipment are we talking about here? I thought we would just need a box to connect everything to.

You really won't be needing much equipment. Depending on what we decide, there will be either one or two switches and some type of power protection system to ensure that the network is protected. The main reason for putting it in a rack is that the rack will help protect the equipment from damage, tampering, and theft.

You're right. Protecting the equipment is very important.

The next thing we need to decide is how we are going to run the cable.

What are the options?

There are many different routes we can take. The basic choices are: running the cables along the floor, running a conduit along the walls that will house the cables and provide keystone boxes with jacks to connect the computers to, or running the cables through the walls and provide wall-mounted jacks for the computers to plug into. Each option has its strengths and weaknesses. I wouldn't recommend running the cables along the floor since it creates a mess, doesn't protect the cables, and creates a safety hazard. Running the cables through the wall gives the room a very clean appearance and gives a very high degree of protection for the cables, but it can be costly running the cables and would make cable repairs very expensive and difficult. I would recommend running the cables through conduits that we would mount along the walls. The conduits are very clean and neat looking, are much more inexpensive than running the cables through the walls, allow for the cables to be easily replaced/repaired if any of them are damaged, provide protection for the cables, and reduce the safety hazards by reducing the amount of exposed cable. What is your feeling on this?

The conduits sound like a good choice.

What will the computers in this lab be used for?

The computers will primarily be used to access the internet, work with productivity applications, create computer programs, and write reports.

Will there be any need to stream large amounts of data for multiple machines at a time?

I don't believe that will be necessary.

A 10/100Mbit switch would be capable of handling the loads that you are talking about. Switches of this type are availble with up to 48 ports. They are also available with a fiber optic connection that we could use to connect this network to the school's network. Using one of a switch of this type would provide a compact solution with reduced maintenance needs since all the machines are being connected to one device rather than having multiple devices connected together in a chain. You will also want a rack mountable power conditioner to prevent power problems from damaging the switch or creating unstable network conditions.


Yay! I wrote a book ;). Everything after this is about selecting the equipment that has all the feature sets wanted (which is really more of a budget decision at this point) and actually installing the equipment. Do you need me to detail those processes as well?

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I'm by no means an expert, but I have had my fair share of experiences with setting up and maintaining networks. Anything I say should by no means be considered comprehensive and may not even be completely accurate. The best I can give you is a hypothetical conversation that shows how needs can be assessed allowing for the beginning of a network design.

I'm setting up a computer lab for my students to use. What do you recommend?

There are a lot of things to consider when building a network. Let's see if we can't narrow down what type of needs should be addressed. How many computers will be part of this network?

The max class size is 30 students. The teacher of the current class will need a computer. We'd also like some additional computers available for the teachers and for other students who may need to finish up projects. Taking all of that into account, I'd say that we will have a total of 41 computers in the network.

Will there be any other devices attached to the network? Other devices can be printers, network attached storage or a file server, Voice Over IP devices, or any other device with a network connection.

I'm glad you asked that. We will need to have at least two laser printers on the network.

Will this network connect to an outside network such as the school's main network?

It will connect to the rest of the school's network.

Does the school's network have a DHCP server to handle IP assignments or will one need to be included in the lab's network segment?

The school's network has a DHCP server.

What type of connection is there to connect to the rest of the school's network? Is there an RJ-45 plug, a SMP for fiber, or some other type of connection?

We have a SMP jack that connects to a fiber cable that leads to a central switch.

I'm trying to decide if all the computers will connect with wires or if we need to allow for some of the computers to connect wirelessly. In order to figure that out, I need to know how these computers going to be situated in the room. Will they all be on desks running along the walls or will some of them be away from the walls?

They will all be situated against the walls, so I think all of them being wired would be just fine.

What about the computer that the teacher is going to use? Where will it be in the room.

I didn't think about that. The teacher's desk will be away from the wall in front of the marker board. Would there be a problem with running a cable to his desk?

Since it's in front of the marker board, we'd have to make sure that any cables run along the floor don't cause a hazard for the teacher while they walk back and forth in front of the board. Are there any plugs underneath the desk, such as power plugs?

There's a power plug in the floor that a power stip is connected to.

We should be able to fish a cable through the conduit that the power cord is using. The limitation on this is that we can't use standard CAT5 here since unshielded twisted pair cabling and power lines should never be run parallel to one another. The solution to this is to use a high-grade shielded cable that will protect against the interference that is created by the power cable.

I don't know. That sounds a bit expensive. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just do a wireless connection rather than to run a cable through there?

In order to add wireless, an access point must be added to the network and a wireless adapter would have to be added to the teacher's computer. This very well could cost much more than purchasing a high-grade cable and routing it through the floor and wall. Another thing to keep in mind is that wireless connections can sometimes offer connection issues and would increase the amount of maintenance needs for the network. I suppose we should decide if there would be any additional use for the wireless connection. Do you think there would be any use for having a wireless connection that a student or other teacher could use?

I didn't think about the students accessing it. That sounds like a nice idea, but I'm afraid that we might have problems enforcing our network policies if anyone was allowed to just bring in their laptop and use the school's network. We should stay with wired if possible then.

Since we are staying with wired, we will need to revisit that idea of how to connect the teacher's computer to the network. Does running the shielded cable through the conduit sound like an appropriate solution or would running a CAT5 cable under a cable cover be enough to prevent a safety issue?

I think you are right that it could be a safety hazard to run a cable along the floor. It would also be nice to have it out of the way so it doesn't have to be repaired all the time.

[Insert discussion about how the cable will be run here.]

[Most likely the cable will have to be run through the conduit, through the wall, and to a jack. The jack could be placed by the fiber jack that is for the school's network. This is a smart design since it would allow the teacher's computer to be directly connected to the network just by connecting the two jacks together (there are converters available that will bridge a connection from fiber to CAT5). Doing this would allow the teacher to still access the network for class purposes in case the rest of the network had to be taken down for repairs.]

So far I understand that we will need to connect a minimum of 41 computers and 2 network printers. This network will then need to connect to a SMP fiber connector in the wall so that it can join the rest of the network. The network will not include any wireless connections. Now that we've decided all that, it's time to decide on equipment. Where will the networking equipment be kept?

I think a good location would be in the back corner by the jack for the rest of the network.

I agree. That would be a good location. I think a small rack attached to that corner would be a good fit for you since you want to prevent people from tampering with the equipment. What do you think?

Wait. A rack? How much equipment are we talking about here? I thought we would just need a box to connect everything to.

You really won't be needing much equipment. Depending on what we decide, there will be either one or two switches and some type of power protection system to ensure that the network is protected. The main reason for putting it in a rack is that the rack will help protect the equipment from damage, tampering, and theft.

You're right. Protecting the equipment is very important.

The next thing we need to decide is how we are going to run the cable.

What are the options?

There are many different routes we can take. The basic choices are: running the cables along the floor, running a conduit along the walls that will house the cables and provide keystone boxes with jacks to connect the computers to, or running the cables through the walls and provide wall-mounted jacks for the computers to plug into. Each option has its strengths and weaknesses. I wouldn't recommend running the cables along the floor since it creates a mess, doesn't protect the cables, and creates a safety hazard. Running the cables through the wall gives the room a very clean appearance and gives a very high degree of protection for the cables, but it can be costly running the cables and would make cable repairs very expensive and difficult. I would recommend running the cables through conduits that we would mount along the walls. The conduits are very clean and neat looking, are much more inexpensive than running the cables through the walls, allow for the cables to be easily replaced/repaired if any of them are damaged, provide protection for the cables, and reduce the safety hazards by reducing the amount of exposed cable. What is your feeling on this?

The conduits sound like a good choice.

What will the computers in this lab be used for?

The computers will primarily be used to access the internet, work with productivity applications, create computer programs, and write reports.

Will there be any need to stream large amounts of data for multiple machines at a time?

I don't believe that will be necessary.

A 10/100Mbit switch would be capable of handling the loads that you are talking about. Switches of this type are availble with up to 48 ports. They are also available with a fiber optic connection that we could use to connect this network to the school's network. Using one of a switch of this type would provide a compact solution with reduced maintenance needs since all the machines are being connected to one device rather than having multiple devices connected together in a chain. You will also want a rack mountable power conditioner to prevent power problems from damaging the switch or creating unstable network conditions.


Yay! I wrote a book ;). Everything after this is about selecting the equipment that has all the feature sets wanted (which is really more of a budget decision at this point) and actually installing the equipment. Do you need me to detail those processes as well?

So, how do I get internet access for each of the computers and how do I make a server "talk" to client computers in the lab?

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I'd like to weigh in on this, if I could.

Point blank-- a forum is by no means the place to lay out step-by-step how to set up a network. Even your setup is not "basic" if you're looking to do things like connect the machines to the Internet-- there are things to consider like NAT/IP forwarding, what types of hardware to use, and what the host OSes are. No one can provide a thorough how-to document on what you're asking, because only you are going to know exactly how you need your network set up.

If your Net+ book isn't good enough, pick up another one. I mean this in all helpfulness, because it's just not feasible to walk someone "A-Z" through a network design over a forum.

Don't take offense at the title, but the first book I pick up when I need to familiarize myself with a topic are the "For Dummies" books. In your case, these would be awesome resources:

Home Networking For Dummies
Networking for Dummies

It's quite possible that the Net+ book isn't giving you the information that you need in a relevant fashion. I use the CompTIA books all the time for study, and I've always appreciated the amount of information in them. Basically, you have to know what's in that book in order to prove to CompTIA you're proficient in networking systems. If you use the For Dummies books to start you off at a little different level, then you may have a greater degree of success.

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because only you are going to know exactly how you need your network set up.

Thats what the problem is, i am trying to learn how to set up a network. I find it funny that nobody can give me the basics like how to make 2 computers talk to eachother or set one computer up as a server and the other as a client.

-Fasola

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Thats what the problem is, i am trying to learn how to set up a network. I find it funny that nobody can give me the basics like how to make 2 computers talk to eachother or set one computer up as a server and the other as a client.

-Fasola

People can, trust me. But, I'm asking why should effort be duplicated, here. Even within your small examples, there are caveats, and those have been covered in books or other resources.

Via a quick Google search, I'll direct you to these pages:

http://www.johnscloset.net/primer/
http://compnetworking.about.com/od/homenetworking/
http://arstechnica.com/guide/networking/installation-1.html

...and finally, from Microsoft:
Download the Home Networking Guide


Looks pretty promising. I know we're here to help people learn and fix their issues, but it's unfair to ask the people providing the help to regurgitate things that are covered to the n'th degree elsewhere, and in more detail than practical on a forum. Try reading the pages I supplied, and if you have a specific question, then why not ask us to clarify that particular point?

Empower yourself via search engines to locate this knowledge. In doing so, you gain more skill than what we could teach you.

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People can, trust me. But, I'm asking why should effort be duplicated, here. Even within your small examples, there are caveats, and those have been covered in books or other resources.

Via a quick Google search, I'll direct you to these pages:

http://www.johnscloset.net/primer/
http://compnetworking.about.com/od/homenetworking/
http://arstechnica.com/guide/networking/installation-1.html

...and finally, from Microsoft:
Download the Home Networking Guide


Looks pretty promising. I know we're here to help people learn and fix their issues, but it's unfair to ask the people providing the help to regurgitate things that are covered to the n'th degree elsewhere, and in more detail than practical on a forum. Try reading the pages I supplied, and if you have a specific question, then why not ask us to clarify that particular point?

Empower yourself via search engines to locate this knowledge. In doing so, you gain more skill than what we could teach you.

okay i went the first link and i have questions about the basic network diagram

if i have:

1. 3 computers running windows xp
2. NICs in all
3. Ethernet cables
4. a hub

and connect all 3 computers to the hub. What do i have to do make one of those computers control the other two? like have administrative privileges. because thats where it all starts right?

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okay i went the first link and i have questions about the basic network diagram

if i have:

1. 3 computers running windows xp
2. NICs in all
3. Ethernet cables
4. a hub

and connect all 3 computers to the hub. What do i have to do make one of those computers control the other two? like have administrative privileges. because thats where it all starts right?

That's still getting a bit ahead of yourself. Learn to get the machines connected, and get them IP addresses. If you want to share files, you don't need to remotely access the other two.

If you've gotten that configured, you can use this as a resource for remote access:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/expert/northrup_03may16.mspx

Your requirements are still vague, though-- "talking to each other" can mean a number of different things, depending on the situation, and who you're asking.

It's kind of like saying "How do I run an office?" You could mean, "How do I hire/fire people?", or "How do I order paper for the copiers?", or "What's the best way to set up a lunch schedule for the employees?"

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That's still getting a bit ahead of yourself. Learn to get the machines connected, and get them IP addresses.

okay im trying to learn how to do that, check out what i found

http://www.7up1.com/files/How_To_Network_Computers_Together.htm


"To assign a private IP address for a simple network

1.open the Network dialog box.
2. Select the TCP/IP Ethernet adapter from the list titled The following network components are installed.
3. Click Properties.
4. To assign an automatic IP address, click Obtain an IP address automatically.
5. To assign a static IP address, click Specify an IP address, and then type in the IP address and . "


^^^I couldn't find the "Network Dialog" box. what is and what does a TCP/IP Ethernet adapter do? what does bullet 5 mean? I thought computers got their ip addresses from the NIC and that's how the network/hub would recognize the computer on the network. isn't that called a "mask" or something?...also, look at bullet no. 2 (below):


"To configure other computers on your home network

1. Ensure that a network adapter is installed on each computer on your home network. If not, see the documentation that came with the adapter to install the hardware.
2. Make sure that TCP/IP is installed and configured to assign IP addresses automatically on each computer on the home network. For more information, see Related Topics.
3. Configure applications that can connect to the Internet, such as Internet Explorer or Outlook Express, to use your home network instead of connecting directly to the Internet. For more information, see the documentation that came with these applications.
"

How do you install TCP/IP, I thought that was just an internet protocol. Is TCP/IP actual software you install to get on the internet? And, how does TCP/IP assign ip address automatically?

-fasola


p.s. i read most of the tutorial from the 3 link you provided.

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i know i can look at the ip address information by opening, command prompt and typing "ipconfig", but is there a way to actually configurate/assign ip addresses from command prompt?

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okay im trying to learn how to do that, check out what i found

http://www.7up1.com/files/How_To_Network_Computers_Together.htm


"To assign a private IP address for a simple network

1.open the Network dialog box.
2. Select the TCP/IP Ethernet adapter from the list titled The following network components are installed.
3. Click Properties.
4. To assign an automatic IP address, click Obtain an IP address automatically.
5. To assign a static IP address, click Specify an IP address, and then type in the IP address and . "


^^^I couldn't find the "Network Dialog" box. what is and what does a TCP/IP Ethernet adapter do? what does bullet 5 mean? I thought computers got their ip addresses from the NIC and that's how the network/hub would recognize the computer on the network. isn't that called a "mask" or something?...also, look at bullet no. 2 (below):

Depending on the OS, Network properties can be accessed a number of ways.The link you provided told you how to do it:

You can also open the Network dialog box by clicking Start, pointing to Settings, clicking Control Panel, and clicking Network

Bullet 5 doesn't apply to most people. You have two types of IP addresses-- static and dynamic. Dynamic ones are assigned by a DHCP server (usually the router in a small network, or a standalone server in a larger network). Static IP addresses can be used in the absence of a DHCP server, or when you want a machine to consistently have the same IP address (like a webserver, or something)

"To configure other computers on your home network

1. Ensure that a network adapter is installed on each computer on your home network. If not, see the documentation that came with the adapter to install the hardware.
2. Make sure that TCP/IP is installed and configured to assign IP addresses automatically on each computer on the home network. For more information, see Related Topics.
3. Configure applications that can connect to the Internet, such as Internet Explorer or Outlook Express, to use your home network instead of connecting directly to the Internet. For more information, see the documentation that came with these applications.
"

How do you install TCP/IP, I thought that was just an internet protocol. Is TCP/IP actual software you install to get on the internet? And, how does TCP/IP assign ip address automatically?

Chances are, TCP/IP is installed on your system. Most modern operating systems require it to work properly.

The network properties control panel has options to specify if you want a static or automatically set IP address. Here in the next couple of days, I should be able to post a walkthrough on how to set up a static IP address that I made for another project.

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Here in the next couple of days, I should be able to post a walkthrough on how to set up a static IP address that I made for another project.

^^^I'll definitely be waiting on that!


question, so once you have the cables plugged into the computers to connect the computers to the hub and assigned your ip addresses to the computers, then what? remember, i'm trying to get the computers to (for lack of a better term) "talk" :)

i know im getting ahead of myself, but i can't wait to know how to build a "working" network....

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Once you know the IP Addresses of the systems, you can use the PING command from a command prompt. Just type in

ping ipaddress

Where ipaddress is the IP Address of a system. If you get REPLY FROM: 4 times, you are "talking" to the other system, in the simplest sense.

Here's the HOWTO, as promised:
http://home.comcast.net/~alc6379/helpdocs/ipadd_1.htm

Hope it helps you, or anyone else. I set it up as a clickable walkthrough, so it should be pretty easy to follow.

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Once you know the IP Addresses of the systems, you can use the PING command from a command prompt. Just type in

ping ipaddress

Where ipaddress is the IP Address of a system. If you get REPLY FROM: 4 times, you are "talking" to the other system, in the simplest sense.

Here's the HOWTO, as promised:
http://home.comcast.net/~alc6379/helpdocs/ipadd_1.htm

Hope it helps you, or anyone else. I set it up as a clickable walkthrough, so it should be pretty easy to follow.

i didn't know thats how a ping was done, thanks.


i went through the tutorial and it really helped me see how easy it was to assign an ip address. please clear up DNS servers and DHCP servers.

where is the DNS server? is it something i have to set on the network or is it something on the internet a LAN accesses when passing information across the internet? i'm lost, even after i went here:

http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/DNS.html


the same for DHCP servers. is it a work station i have to assign as a server on/for my network (i.e. LAN) or is it something i am suppose to access through the internet? i went here to understand DHCP a little better:

http://www.dhcp-handbook.com/dhcp_faq.html#widxx

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i didn't know thats how a ping was done, thanks.


i went through the tutorial and it really helped me see how easy it was to assign an ip address. please clear up DNS servers and DHCP servers.

where is the DNS server? is it something i have to set on the network or is it something on the internet a LAN accesses when passing information across the internet? i'm lost, even after i went here:

http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/DNS.html

A DNS server address is usually provided by your ISP. In most situations, it's automatically assigned through DHCP, just like an IP address and default gateway.

the same for DHCP servers. is it a work station i have to assign as a server on/for my network (i.e. LAN) or is it something i am suppose to access through the internet? i went here to understand DHCP a little better:

http://www.dhcp-handbook.com/dhcp_faq.html#widxx

It all depends, really. I thought I had outlined that in a previous post. A DHCP server can be any number of machines-- in a large network, it's a machine running some Network OS, like Linux or Windows Server 2003, and one of the system's primary functions would be to give out the IP addressing, and related information. On a small (ie, home, small business/org) network, it's usually going to be router you install that gives out the IP addresses. In certain circumstances, like if you used Windows Internet Connection Sharing, it could very well be a desktop/workstation on your network. Like I said, it all depends.

Have you purchased a book yet, or at least considered one? All of the information I've provided thus far is covered in those Dummies... books I recommended.

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It all depends, really. I thought I had outlined that in a previous post. A DHCP server can be any number of machines-- in a large network, it's a machine running some Network OS, like Linux or Windows Server 2003, and one of the system's primary functions would be to give out the IP addressing, and related information. On a small (ie, home, small business/org) network, it's usually going to be router you install that gives out the IP addresses. In certain circumstances, like if you used Windows Internet Connection Sharing, it could very well be a desktop/workstation on your network. Like I said, it all depends.

Have you purchased a book yet, or at least considered one? All of the information I've provided thus far is covered in those Dummies... books I recommended.

i really appreciate your help, its really is helping me understand networks better than that Net+ Cert. book.

sorry i didn't reply earlier, started a new job this week and have been pretty busy, tried to view your response at work but i work for one of those big corps that might fire you for using the internet to do non-work related stuff on the job. you know how that is!...i pinged my own computer at work though, that felt good :mrgreen:

i remember you telling me about the DHCP server before. i forgot about that. thanks for the clarification on DNS servers.

i'm at the library now so i'll see if they have a Networking for Dummies book.

i know a little about networking since i use to be a Data Network Account Consultant at AT&T, which made me go here to look up Multiplexers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiplexer

and i found this, "In digital signal processing, the multiplexer (often abbreviated to mux or, more rarely, muldex) takes several separate digital data streams and combines them together into one data stream of a higher data rate. This allows multiple data streams to be carried from one place to another over one physical link, which saves cost.

At the receiving end of the data link a complementary demultiplexer or demux is normally required to break the high data rate stream back down into the original lower rate streams. In some cases, the far end system may have more functionality than a simple demultiplexer and so, whilst the demultiplexing still exists logically, it may never actually happen physically. This would be typical where a multiplexer serves a number of IP network users and then feeds directly into a router which immediately reads the content of the entire link into its routing processor and then does the demultiplexing in memory from where it will be converted directly into IP packets.

It is usual to combine a multiplexer and a demultiplexer together into one piece of equipment and simply refer to the whole thing as a "multiplexer". Both pieces of equipment are needed at both ends of a transmission link because most communications systems transmit in both directions."


im going paint a picture of a basic network that i see all the time at work, school computer labs, the library, etc. i don't know how they work or what order, but im going to take a stab at it:

1. there's a T1 connection to the premises
2. the T1 is connected to a Router
3. the Router is connected to a Multiplexer
4. the Multiplexer is connected to machines on your network
5. there has to be a DHCP server running a network OS (Windows Server 2003) to assign dynamic ip addresses to machines on the LAN
6. or you assign an ISP's DNS that uses DHCP to assign ip addresses to machines on the LAN


^^^is that right or am i missing something (i know i am, it can't be that easy)? another question, do printers need an ip address too?

another question just came to mind, do network admins use Windows Server 2003 to "control" the network?...for instances, im at work, i need to download and install something on my computer, but my computer doesn't allow downloads or installations. so i call the helpdesk and they give me downloading and installation privileges, i hang up the phone and now i can download and install anything

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another question just came to mind, do network admins use Windows Server 2003 to "control" the network?...for instances, im at work, i need to download and install something on my computer, but my computer doesn't allow downloads or installations. so i call the helpdesk and they give me downloading and installation privileges, i hang up the phone and now i can download and install anything

To give you a simple answer, yes, admins use 2003 to "control" the network, much of which is done through the Group Policy editor.

The following will give you a little introduction to Group Policies concerning 2003 server.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windowsserver2003/technologies/directory/activedirectory/stepbystep/gpfeat.mspx

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im going paint a picture of a basic network... i don't know how they work or what order...

That's pretty much right. Different devices can be involved in different scenarios, but you've got the basic idea of the general flow and device connection order.

5. there has to be a DHCP server running a network OS (Windows Server 2003) to assign dynamic ip addresses to machines on the LAN

That's usually the case on an internal network, yes.
When you use a DHCP-capable router or have a computer acting as a DHCP server on an internal LAN, the device is usually configured to automatically assign (to computers on the LAN) IPs from one of the "private" ranges of IP addresses. The "WAN-facing" side of the device which connects your internal network to the incoming Internet line is assigned a single "public" IP address, and that single IP address is used for communication to/from the outside world.

More on "private" vs "public" IP addresses can be found in these links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_IP_address
http://www.duxcw.com/faq/network/privip.htm
http://www.pku.edu.cn/academic/research/computer-center/tc/html/TC0305.html

another question, do printers need an ip address too?

Well, yes... and no. There are basically three types of printing solutions found on networks:

1. Network printers. These are printers have their own built-in network interfces, so yes- they need their own IP addresses just like other discrete devices on the network.

2. Shared printers. These are printers which are connected to the local USB or parallel port of a computer (workstation or server) on the network. They do not need their own IP address, but they do need to be configured as a "shared" resource. The IP address used to "talk" to a shared printer is the IP address of the computer to which it is directly connected.

3. Print servers. A print server is a dedicated device that is used to connect a non-network (does not have a built-in NIC) printer to your network. The general concept is much the same as a shared printer, but does not require connecting the printer to a workstation or server. The printer is instead connected to one of the print server's USB or parallel ports, and the print server's built-in network interface (wired or wireless) is connected to the network. Obviously, the print server's NIC needs an IP address.

do network admins use Windows Server 2003 to "control" the network?... i call the helpdesk and they give me downloading and installation privileges, i hang up the phone and now i can download and install anything

Technically, administrative abilities and controls such as you describe are not so much functions of using a server edition of Windows, but are more functions of having your computers in a domain environment (as opposed to a workgroup). The domain structure is what allows for, among other things, centralized and globablized administration of all network resources.


More hopefully helpful networking linkage (warning: brain may explode):

http://www.networkingtutorials.net/
http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/701/3.html
http://www.ipprimer.com/overview.cfm
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=304040
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=1427&page=1
http://www.ezlan.net/sharing.html
http://www.homenethelp.com/web/howto/net.asp
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/learnmore/default.mspx
http://www.quepublishing.com/articles/article.asp?p=30421&rl=1
http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/00/39/index3a.html?tw=backend

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Hello,

Just to toss some fire... if you have Windows Firewall up, or another good firewall, the ICMP packets may be blocked, meaning that your ping test will fail.

After reading all this, I think you should consider a short course on networking and administration. From what I am gathering, you are too far behind the knowledge curve to pick up the details via a forum. I applaud the people who are here helping you, but there comes a time and place where a formal course can help you tremendously.

Also, those cert books are not good at all for getting the basics down. The cert books assume you have an understanding... they want to point out the highlights for the exam, and not teach the background knowledge.

I hope that you can come to an understanding, and install a safe network.

Christian

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After reading all this, I think you should consider a short course on networking and administration. From what I am gathering, you are too far behind the knowledge curve to pick up the details via a forum. I applaud the people who are here helping you, but there comes a time and place where a formal course can help you tremendously.

...Hence my original suggestion.

I think all of us could throw out links left and right on this one, and still not paint a complete picture. And, it's beyond the scope of a forum to provide a complete, bare-metal primer on building one specific network.

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And, it's beyond the scope of a forum to provide a complete, bare-metal primer on building one specific network.

Yeah, but it's kinda fun tryin'... :lol:

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