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Need an expert with networking to help me

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December 12, 2013 9:12:27 AM

first of all, let me say that I am only a novice when it comes to networking so any responses please be very straightforward because I might not necessarily know what you are talking about. I am trying to be able to set up a network for my business. I set up a wireless network with 8 desktop computers that are wirelessly connected to a UBEE DDW3611 router from Time Warner. This is a medical practice and all of our electronic records are done through website. I want to be able to set up something where my employees can log onto the network and see client files while in the office but not be able to login to the network or the website to see the clients at their homes. I have read something about the possibility of needing to set up a static IP address. My question is....... what is a static IP address, what benefits does it give me, and is it possible for me to set up this type of network where they can only access this information while in my office and not at home over the web. I was able to do it when I hooked up a wired network because it was a part of the network but now since all of the computers are wirelessly accessed to the wireless router, I don't know if the router can't recognize whether or not a computer is 3 feet away or miles away. Is this situation that I need possible?

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December 12, 2013 9:36:47 AM

Ok, Static IP's are IP addresses that don't change. You can just type in 192.168.1.1 and get right too a PC no matter what the name is for it.

A wireless network has a limit on how far you can wirelessly connect to it. So they won't be able to connect to the wireless network from their homes unless they literally live next door and can RDP into their work PC's. If you don't want them connecting from home just make it so you can't remotely connect to the company network.
December 12, 2013 9:46:28 AM

I understand about the wireless network and the length of ability to be able to access the network. The files are not kept on the computers themselves but on a website that you have to log into. The person that runs my EMR (electronic medical records) system tells me that I would have to set up a static ip address and then he didn't tell me anything more. When you log into to EMR over the website, everyone is assigned a certain number of things that they can see or do. Right now the only way to give people access wirelessly over my network is to assign everyone admin status and I don't want to do that since we deal with writing scripts. Is there a way to make the computers, even though they are wirelessly connected to the network, to act as if they were wired through the system so if anyone outside of the network that logs onto the website can't access the information like it was when it was wired?
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December 12, 2013 9:47:46 AM

Are the medical records stored on a computer inside your practice, or are they stored off-site?

Every computer on your network has an IP address. Generally it is auto-configured to make set-up easy. The computer asks the router for an IP address, and the router assigns one from a pool of addresses. A static IP address is manually assigned, so it won't be random. That address should be removed from the pool of addresses that the router can assign to other devices. You can't have duplicate IP addresses within a network.

You can also get a static IP address for your organization from your Internet Service Provider.

If the records are stored on-site, the computer they are stored on should have a static IP address, so that all the other computers will know where to go to access the records. You should configure your router's firewall to block access to that computer from outside the network.

If they are hosted off-site, your business should get a static IP address from your Internet Service Provider. That way you can hopefully configure the system to only process record requests that are originating from your network.

There are a lot of things that could go wrong, and since you're dealing with very sensitive and confidential information, I would strongly recommend hiring an expert. Releasing confidential data like medical records could result in millions of dollars in fines...
December 12, 2013 9:55:02 AM

Ok, it looks like you need to get a static IP address from your Internet Service Provider. If you tell your EMR guys that address, he can configure the records system to allow traffic from your network. Wired or wireless are not much different. Once the traffic hits your router, it all looks the same to the Internet.

Some tips though, you should have a very strong password to sign on to your wireless network. Also, you should disable Broadcast SSID. That way the name of your wireless network is a secret known only to the people you want to know it. I can't pull out my smartphone and see "Oooh, Medical_Practice_Staff network is available"
December 12, 2013 10:07:14 AM

The medical records are stored on a offsite website that you need to log into through a user name and password. when we were wired, my network was not a problem and they could only log into the website when they were using a company computer connect to the wired network. Now that we are wireless, due to not wanting to run the wires through the walls, they need to be assigned admin status to access the website wirelessly, even in the office. Will making a static ip address make the computer think that it is wired into the system? The EMR that is set up will not allow access to the website from external means but only if the computer was only on the network, wired in like it was before. I guess the main question, static ip or not, is......is there a way that I can keep my wireless setup, but make each computer set up wirelessly on that network act as if they were wired in?
December 12, 2013 10:09:25 AM

cool thank you for responding. Is there a way that I can set up a static ip address on my own? Do I need to set a static ip address for each computer on the network and how do I turn off the Broadcast SSID
December 12, 2013 10:12:40 AM

once again....Im only a novice and am trying to save some money by doing this myself. Thank you for your patience. I might not "know exactly how to do things" on my own. "Networking for dummies" is the stage that i'm in right now. :) 
December 12, 2013 10:30:49 AM

It sounds like there is an admin username/password that can be used to access the records site from anywhere. Is that correct?

If so, it's seems that your IP address from Time Warner has changed and the EMR guys haven't updated it, so you're needing to use the admin log-in as a workaround.

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December 12, 2013 11:02:06 AM
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So I think, in a nutshell, this is what you need to do.

1. Call Time-Warner and make sure that you are on a business class plan.

It costs more, but you get that static IP address that you need to access the records site. Like boosted1g said, if you don't have this, your IP address will change periodically, and you'll be back to square one. Mine changes every 48 hours...

2. Call the EMR guys and provide them with the static IP address that Time-Warner gives to you.

This way they can update their system to allow access to computers that are connected to your network. Right now it sounds like you are being blocked because your IP address doesn't match what they have in their records.

3. Beef up the security of your wireless network

If your wireless network is unsecured, I could connect to your WiFi if I was in your waiting room and have full access to the medical records site.
You'll have to go into the router configuration to do this. It looks like typing 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 into your browser address bar will get you there. There's a metric sh**-ton of options once you get in there, but generally under 'Wireless Setup':

A) Disable Broadcast SSID -> This will make your network invisible. Write down the SSID name, you'll have to enter this manually to connect new devices to the network.

B)Enable WPA2 security ->This will encrypt wireless transmissions. It is better than the WEP option that might be there.

C)Make sure the wireless password is strong -> make it long, random, with numbers, symbols, etc. It shouldn't be guessable.
Write it down, and hide it away. If you have a safe or a lockbox, put it in there. You'll need it to add computers to the network, but it shouldn't be anywhere where someone could find it.
December 12, 2013 12:25:44 PM

Thank you sooooooooooo much for your help
!