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Real Ethernet Bridge, IP questions.

By onesmartidiot
Mar 20, 2008
  1. I asked earlier this week about web servers and home servers... and In the process of working that concept together, I have really questioned my network setup. Ill try to make this as painless as possible.

    Ethernet Bridges:

    Simply put, I cant run hardwire up to my room. And with me moving to Pittsburgh in a year, Its not worth the effort.

    So, for the past couple years I have used a Linksys Gaming adaptor as a cheap alternative to an ethernet bridge. For one PC, it does the job. Once hooked to a switch, its fine. Now turn on 2 or more XP computers on that switch, IP conflicts left and right.

    I got what I paid for... so now I am looking into true ethernet bridges, and would like some help picking one out. From there, I'll need some tips on buying a switch... (im thinking gigabit)

    Ill be happy as long as it can be protected (wep, whatever security they have now a days) and will run up to 5 or 10 machines at the same time with no problem. As for the switch, I just want the best one out there without hurting the wallet. And both should have settings like the router, where I can make specific configurations.

    Which brings me to my IP questions:

    I have too many towers laying around that I paid way too much for, so I'm determined to give them a second life.

    If you have seen my earlier post, you know I am trying to make my old athlon 64 box a home server. Most of my IP questions are pretty much solved on that as long as i can configure samba right. But my next phase will be to take my old athlon xp machine, and make it a web server.

    (this is the part that is jumbled in my head)

    I understand I need a static IP, wideopenwest charges 10 a month for it. Ill get it when I'm ready. However I dont understand the order I have to put things in my network.

    How hard is it, to make the web server accessable to the outside would, through a router, bridge, and switch?


    Sounds pretty hard to me (hence why I'm asking about professional networking equip)

    But is it possible? Im not a complete *****, but If it is possible I could maybe figure it out.

    OR. I could run a setup like this


    of course there will be a hardware firewall and or vpn to the Athlonxp web server box. depends on what i wanna do with it.

    The only downside, is the fact the cable comes out in the living room, and I'd have to run a cat6 cable back through the floor to the crawlspace and set it up down there. I doubt it would live long next to the dell, between the 2 dogs, and the old guy, so it would either have to be hardwired in the basement, or wireless in my room.

    Sorry for the extended post. But I have been contemplating this for a couple days now and just about blew up my itty bitty brain with info.

    And if you have any better ideas with the entire set up, Id love to hear it.

    Im sure theres some IT guy on here who has a better idea than an 18 year old high school student lol.

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +6

    Well, first let's clear up some terminology. You mean a wireless ethernet bridge or a wireless network bridge. Just "ethernet bridge" is an ambiguous term.

    A bridge works on a lower level than TCP/IP, so any questions about IP addresses are totally irrelevant. Once you have bridged two networks, the bridge is totally transparent and any IP stuff works exactly as if everything was wired together in a single newtwork.

    Same goes for making your web server available. The bridge is 100% transparent to everything at IP level and above. So you set up the router just as if the web server was wired to it.

    No, you do not need a public static IP address to host a web server unless you want to use your own domain name instead of a subdomain. There are plenty of free dynamic DNS providers out there and your router most likely supports one or more of them already.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,494   +1,431

    IP Conflicts are caused by users performing a manual IP setup and not understanding TCP.
    if you would just set all NIC cards to use DHCP for both IP addresses and DNS addresses
    this would not be an issue.

    You're using a switch and I love them, but they do not have DHCP support.
    However, your up-stream router does and the request to the DHCP service will
    pass thru the switch to the router and the TCP configuration will be created
    by the router. As long as there is at lease one router with DHCP, you can chain several
    switches serially to it.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,494   +1,431

    topology (ie layout / wiring )

    your principle network would always start like
    modem ---- router ----[COLOR="Blue"]X[/COLOR]
    Any static IP address you might use would be on the PUBLIC (WAN) side of the router.
    You would then configure the LAN side for a non-routable address of
    1. 192.168.x.x
    2. 176.16.x.x
    3. 10.x.x.x
    and the router's LAN side address would be x.1

    What is X? Anything you like! Your switch would take one slot, leaving three
    ports on the router (make these low traffic systems). The high traffic systems
    would benefit from the switch technologies reduction of 'junk packets'.
    modem ---- router ---- switch --- many systems
                    +  --- three other wired connections
                    + --- .... a few WiFi connections
    If the router is WiFi capable, that's fine -- but you don't want many systems connected via wifi and certainly not the web server.

    Bridge: unnecessary unless you get a second router connected to another ISP connection.

    To access another remote system (say upstairs, other end of the house) you think about
    modem -- router -- switch -- (wired )Access Point .. wireless .. WiFi Extender ...
                 +         +
                 +         + --- many systems
                 +  --- three other wired connections
    There's a security benefit moving the WiFi down stream from the router;
    You could configure the AP to have addresses that can be 'known to be untrustworthy' and
    therefore your software firewalls can ensure no file sharing occurs to/from them
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