Question about connecting a lan network
Pretty new to networks and trying to connect a couple of LAN's over distance. I have one LAN set up with the nodes connected in a star topology to a central switch. If i wanted to connect this LAN to another LAN with the same topology would i need a router, or could i connect the two via the switches? Would it be best just to have a router anyway instead of the switch?
Jboy33 said:Pretty new to networks and trying to connect a couple of LAN's over distance. I have one LAN set up with the nodes connected in a star topology to a central switch. If i wanted to connect this LAN to another LAN with the same topology would i need a router, or could i connect the two via the switches? Would it be best just to have a router anyway instead of the switch?
There is a lot to consider here...
I'm happy to help, but I need you to answer the following questions and give me as much info as possible. If you could present an existing network diagram of both LANS that would be good too.
What is the primary reason you want to connect the two LANS together?
How many nodes are on each LAN?
What is the distance between the LANS?
Is this a domain or a workgroup?
Does each separate LAN have it's own DHCP, DNS and gateway?
Are there servers involved here too?
Are there any servers with applications licensed to a specific IP address?
Are you running any applications that use a non-routable protocol?
Are any applications incapable or need to be licensed in order to see into another network segment?
Are you opening up a security risk by doing this, or are there any security considerations?
Do either of the two separate LANS have any layer three switches with VLANS?
Are their network printers involved here as well?
I just asked you a butt-load of questions, and from the initial question I'm going to assume that there isn't all of this stuff, but is does give you an idea of just how sticky networking can get. If this is the joining of a couple of small offices or larger, you need to think about this stuff. I have seen people connect a couple of places, go almost all the way, hit the wall and have to roll back because they overlooked a few details.
If they're physically in different locations and you're unable to run a Cat6 cable (~700ft) or fiber from LAN to LAN, you'll have to go with a router. Each LAN will need to have their own Internet access (ISP connections). From there the secure way to connect the LAN would be to use a VPN connection.
Linksys has 2 Routers with built-in VPN technology. Last time I checked it ran around $400 though, it could have come down by now though. Both Routers connec to the ISP and within the Routers you configure the VPN to use a "key" (same thing as a wireless key) and one router will dial to the end router and establish the connection.
Really we would need to know more about why you're doing it, what the intentions are, the distance, the type of ISPs involved and if you have a budget available to do this.