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General Networking/Lan/Wan/Creating a LAN of 31 PCs on Win Vista

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Hello Mr Jeff, i hope this mail will find you in best of your health and spirit.  Im an average user of computer systems with mere knowledge of Networking. Years ago i and my friends started a project of educating homeless children with our own limited resources.  Now with the grace of God we are able to offer them basic computer learning and keeping on advancing we wish to arrange a computer lab of 31 systems as a first step. We had arranged systems and made the setup but about networking we all are blank. For this purpose we wish you can share your expertise on this field and suggest us a project design and equipment required to create a LAN of wire.  We also wish to carry further to establish a wi-fi LAN to connect our school with the lab network.  can you pls kindly suggest us that what kind of equipment is required for both types of LANs.Pls suggest us other technicalities if any for the establishment of this LAN pls.  

Best regards.

An early reply will help us to do our best in less consumption of time.

Answer
Hi Sohail,

What you wish to do isn't really all that hard but it can be time-consuming, especially if you need to run ethernet cables all over the place to those PCs.  You may wish to consider just going wireless all around.

But if you really want a wired setup, you'll need a Gigabit switch, one 48 port or two 24 port models.  Nothing fancy really - just a decent unmanaged switch by someone like netgear or linksys, etc will do just fine.  You'll also need a router, preferably with integrated wireless, to provide an Internet connection for all, and wireless for that other connection.  Wireless does have it's limits.  You'll want something that supports N, and not just B/G.  N is MUCH MUCH faster.  Again, anything from netgear, linksys, etc will do the trick.  It'll probably be about $50 or so.  

What is the distance between your school and the lab?  Wireless has it's limits ...  so does wire for that matter.  But if you put a wireless router in windows that face each other and if the distance between them isn't too great it'll work.  100-200 feet is probably ok.  More might work but the greater the distance, the worse the performance.

Feel free to ask follow-up questions, but this will get you started at least.

J.  

General Networking/Lan/Wan

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Jeff K

Expertise

I'm a Network and Application Performance Specialist, and have worked for some of the best software companies in the world.

Experience

I have over 20 years in Information Technology & Networking.

Education/Credentials
Lots of hard work, study and real-world experience. I've had some formal training along the way but most of my knowledge is from working in the field, not the classroom.

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