need help in setting up a network in a small medical office

By christy123
Jul 4, 2007
  1. Hi!

    I just started my own office and would like to set u a network in the office. I have setup networks( mostly wireless) at home. I woud like to setup a hybrid network. office will have one server , about 3 desktops , printer/scanner and one laptop. i am setting up asterix pbx ( a friend is helping with that) and voip phones. have to run wires across 3 rooms. would like to have wireless networking for laptop use. I have zyxel 550 mimo router and plan to extend it by adding a switch.

    I need a basic idea about how to run wires. have to run wires across 3-4 rooms. my understanding is that i need one cable for each computer. So if i have a printer and computer in a room-- i would need to run two cables from two ports---right?

    also need help with which cable to use cat5 cat5e? what other equipment do I need?


    appreciate your help much!

  2. herr5407

    herr5407 TS Rookie Posts: 101

    Basically the rule of thumb is one cable per device. I would use cat5e for this type of setup as it will give you room for expansion as cat5e is gigabit ethernet capable (assuming growth is always good instead of re-wiring infrastructure). This is the cable most often used in fast ethernet setups (100MBps).

    Also keep in mind that the maximum length you can use for the cabling is 100M or your going to run into some serious issues.

    You also need to use different ethernet cable types for the devices. For Example - If you go from Router to a computer, you use straight through. If you go from router to switch, you also use a straight through. The only time you connect devices using a crossover cable, is like devices. Ex - switch to switch, router to router.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,143   +595

    Be advised: You have HIPPA compliance to be concerned with so going totally
    wired is highly recommended, especially since you've already elected to add wiring.
    With wireless, you MUST ensure encryption is the highest possible and
    need to fuss with one or more systems when/if the connection gets lost. None
    of this can occur in a wired network.

    The normal setup would be to wire all systems to a common router
    (this is called a Star Network) and then Share devices from various systems to
    which they are attached. Frequently this means that a Multifunction device
    (printer/copier/fax) may be to a receiptionist system for convienence to the
    staff, as the server may be in a back room somewhere.

    You should strongly consider a hardware firewall between the ISP and your router
    (if you intend to allow Internet access) and disable the Windows Firewall.
    This gives you a single point of control and avoid multiple software firewalls
    to be managed.

    Btw: I highly suggest you place the network devices and the server on a
    UPS (uninterruptable power supply) AND that you frequently power off all
    systems (could be random systems each day) at least some time during the week.
    It ensures proper systems operations and avoids many issues that occur for long-running systems.
  4. christy123

    christy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the prompt response guys.

    wireless networking is common in medical offices. ofcourse i have to be careful with security. the router (zyxel 550 mimo) that i intend to use is WEP compatible. i have been using the same router at home without any problems..I intend to use a tablet in the exam wireless networking is a must!

    --office is not that big will not have issues as far as crossing the maximum length goes
    -i intend to use zyxel router which is wireless and has 4 ports ....four ports may not be enough for me. so am planning to add a switch. should i connect switch between modem and router or should i connect it to one of the router ports....what kind of cable do i use here?
    --- do you have any recommendation for hardware based firewall...i was going to use pccillin intenet security--but i agree hardware firewall may be better

    --i am planning to get ups....just not sure what would be appropriate for my setup--suggestions welcome
    -- what kind of tools do i need----i am sure i would be cutting cables etc----

    thanks again for help
  5. herr5407

    herr5407 TS Rookie Posts: 101

    For the firewall, if it's possible for an admin to look after it, I would suggest a seperate PC running ISA server 2004 or the newer one (2007 i think).

    You would use a straight through for everything except for devices that are the same.

    You will need a few tools for cabling. You will have to lookup the pinouts for the cable and buy a crimp tool to put the ends on the cabling. and RJ-45 cable ends of course. I may have forgotten some things its been awhile since I've cabled anything.
  6. christy123

    christy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have ubuntu server installed...would ISA server work with that?
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,143   +595

    ill advised! Use WPA or WPA2. WEP is EASILY hacked.
    just standard cat5 or cat5e
    like this;
                             +--- wireless connections
    try this link
    Go with AVG Free as an antivirus solution. The hardware-firewall will be sufficient and effective.
    Recall: Firewalls are proactive-preventative solution; AV products are all reactive- get me well solutions.
    You need both :)
    UPS are rated in KVA and sometimes they're kind enough to also show the WATTS rating.
    SUM_Power_Usage(all devices attached) and get a UPS greater/equal thereto.
    If you can't match the power ratings, you need more than one.
    You also need to decide how/if the UPS interacts with the computers.
    1. you can just attach the power cord OR
    2. add a serial cable to enforce system shutdowns
    If you power-off the computers when unattended, the (1) is just fine and
    you will be present if there's a power outage and can take control as needed.
    I don't recommend cutting and cripping cables -- you save $1.95 and buy a ton off reliability issues.
    purchase pre-build cables OR have a professional service company do the work.
  8. herr5407

    herr5407 TS Rookie Posts: 101

    I would have to say no since MS is pretty only MS compatible. I'll let jobeard handle this thread for things I don't know too well as he seems to be a guru of sorts on this topic.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,143   +595

    re Servers; What service(s) do you need on your server?
    secondly, how many different systems can you manage?
    Remember, your real business interest is medical, not I.T. :)
  10. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    Sounds like you have everything you need... Are you going to run the wires in the ceilling if you got those type of tiles you can move over and run cables through. Do you have a spare closet to use for a network closet. I would go with CAT 5e as most business use that.

    You can use access point for the wireless laptop off the a switch.
  11. herr5407

    herr5407 TS Rookie Posts: 101

    If you plan on running the cables in a false ceiling, make sure they aren't close to the flourescent lights as this will cause a lot of EMI interference which will end up with annoying intermittent networking issues (if it operates at all)

    Just a quick thought.
  12. christy123

    christy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am pretty comfortable with computers ..have been using them for last 10 yrs..

    At this stage i can afford dedicated tech support....most solo medical practice cant afford this actually at any stage.

  13. christy123

    christy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes the ceiling has tiles---- is there a difference between wireless router and access point ( i suspect there is!)...if yes can i use my router as access point..if not, any suggestions for a good access point
  14. christy123

    christy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thats a very important point...would have never known...thanks..

    what would be safe distance ?

  15. christy123

    christy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes i have a closet that i intend to use for this i need to change the door for proper ventilation?
  16. herr5407

    herr5407 TS Rookie Posts: 101

    I found some guidelines on the Internet.

    - Always use more cable than you need. Leave plenty of slack.
    - Test every part of a network as you install it. Even if it is brand new, it may have problems that will be difficult to isolate later.
    - Stay at least 3 feet away from fluorescent light boxes and other sources of electrical interference.
    - If it is necessary to run cable across the floor, cover the cable with cable protectors.
    - Label both ends of each cable.
    - Use cable ties (not tape) to keep cables in the same location together.

    I wasn't completely sure of the distance but knew it was at least 3 feet away. Just wanted to get clarification from another source (even though its the internet)
  17. christy123

    christy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    how do you get an exact length from point A to point B.....i think i would need to cut cable atleast where it goes into the wall receptacle....
  18. christy123

    christy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks thats going to be very helpful!

  19. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    A lot of wireless routers have the feature built-in to make the a wireless access point. If the one your using has it then use it. Otherwise you'll need to go out and buy them. Buffalo, Belkin, CISCO pretty much have it. I would recommend Buffalo because it has 2 power amps for for the unit and one for the ANT. I have no problems with the 2 I have right now. Planning on getting a 3rd one. You can use it either way wireless router or wireless access point..
  20. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    You can buy a wood luver door they work or you can cut out 20" hole and put metal exhaust luver or one they use for attic. You can find these at homedepot. Now if it gets to hot in the room you might want to get a portable A/C unit on wheels for it you'll need a drain hose and vent to go outside. Or use cooling fans.

    Wiring can be place in pipping tubes you can get PVC ones and run the wire thru them. 5" diam or larger. If you put the wires in the ceiling away from the lighting system.
  21. christy123

    christy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think louver door may be the solution. Office is Air conditioned but we turn the Ac off in the after hours. closet is very small room for AC..

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