Problem finding a simple router to connect two subnets...

By rebelyell ยท 5 replies
Dec 7, 2007
  1. Hello board. It's been some time since I've been in, but necessity drives me here and frustration is close behind. I teach Personal Computer Repair for a community college and have been asked to develop an advanced class. In the advanced class I have proposed to set up a small network with two subnets connected by a router. There are seven stations in the classroom, with one desktop PC at each station. I wanted to connect four PCs on one side of the room to three PCs and the instructor PC on the other side of the room. Each PC has an integrated LAN controller on the motherboard. I wanted four PCs on one subnet to connect to a hub, and the uplink of the hub to connect to one interface on the router. From the other side of the room, I wanted the other four PCs on the other subnet to connect to the hub, and the uplink of the hub to connect to the other interface on the router. That's the physical topology of the network. I wanted to use static IP addressing for each PC with a class C IP address and the standard subnet mask. Each interface on the router would be configured as the default gateway for that subnet, receiving the first IP address for the subnet (ex. and The A+ Certification textbook we are using in the basic class shows this EXACT configuration. Also my Network + Certification textbook has the same EXACT configuration in it. So why can't I find a simple router with two interfaces that can both be configured as default gateways to access each remote subnet??? Am I overlooking the obvious? Is this just theoretical and have no practical application? I wanted to use each of these devices/methods (static IPs, hubs, dual interface router) in order to have more things for the students to configure and more places in which to insert troubles for lab. As I'm in the development contract for this advanced class this week and next week, I need to get this worked out pronto, as I need to have the proposal submitted to "the powers that be" by next Friday. Please help with suggestions about what kind, brand, model, etc. of router would allow this application. BTW, there is no WAN access and this will simply be a LAN application, but I still need TWO default gateways to get from one subnet to the other, hopefully in the same router. Thanks in advance for any assistance you might be able to offer...
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    It looks like you have been looking at home routers which have only two interfaces and an embedded switch.

    You should be looking at business-class routers (expensive!) or build your own router out of an old PC. (Install three network interfaces and some ready-made free firewall solution like Shorewall).
  3. rebelyell

    rebelyell TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey Nodsu, thanks for your reply. Actually, all I need is two interfaces, but I need to be able to configure each of them as a default gateway in order to access the remote subnet. Will that work with a home or SOHO category of router? Thanks...
  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,477   +126

    Look at Netgear ProSafe VPN routers with 8 or more sub VPN tunnels they can be connected at different remote locations. Remember these are strickly wired routers no wireless. The top end has 533MHz CPU 64MB of RAM and 32MB for Flash. Throughput is 80MB. Not cheap though..
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    No, home routers will not forward to the LAN side. You still need something with configurable interfaces.

    If you just want to forward IP traffic, then you don't even need special firewall software. Just take a two-NIC PC and enable IP forwarding in the OS. Even Windows can do this:
  6. rebelyell

    rebelyell TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Great info! Thanks for your help and to others who responded...
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