I'm trying to setup our network so that I can forward some ports. I know how to forward the ports through the router but I'm new to the static ip option and am not sure exactly what it requires me to do to the multiple devices that are accessing our network.
There are roughly 4 people using our internet through wireless and ethernet (at least 4 laptops, 2 xbox 360s, a desktop, and another desktop I'm trying to turn into a file server[haven't quite figured out how to access it outside the local network ]). There's only 3 main operating systems: ubuntu, win7, and windows server 2008.
I've tried looking at some tutorials online but I don't seem to understand what exactly I need to do. I have a linksys WRT54G router. Do I just need to manually assign every computer/xbox an ip at random or do I need to use certain ones? Also, what exactly is the static dns? I have Comcast cable internet, do I need the host or domain name fields to contain for anything?
I'm sorry if these are really noobish questions but I could really use some answers. All the help is greatly appreciated!
DNS is a domain name system that is used in the internet to translate names of network nodes into addresses. You should see that you need a primary and a secondary dns which should be both obtained by just calling your isp or inside the router on one of the screens that shows you that you are connected and ip info and such.
Now if you set the router to dhcp it will automatically assign computers there ip info but as you mentioned you want to set up with static ips for each computer so you need a couple bits of info.
You need an ip address between 192.168.1.100 - 192.168.1.253 Been awhile and Anyways you assign what you want for that. When you are inside the router configuring for static ip it will tell you the range you can use but default starts at 192.168.1.100 but can be changed but you should be fine with the default since you don't have over 50 computers.
Subnet mask should be 255.255.255.0
Default gateway is the address of the router. Usually it is the same address you used to access it to configure it. For linksys it should be 192.168.1.1
Primary and secondary dns is as I explained earlier and you enter those ips in that you obtained either off the router or from your isp.
Those are what you need on each compuuters network settings if you are going to use a static configuration on the router.
Every setting except for the ip address will be the same on each computer or item you are connecting.
So for example:
your windows 7 system may be 192.168.1.101
windows server 2008 may be 192.168.1.102
xbox may be 192.168.1.103
Now that is just an example. Preferably I would use like 192.168.1.108 for the first system and then 192.168.1.119 for the next system and so on just using random numbers in the range.
As for your wireless devices they use the same info but you will need to use whatever security you choose on the router and setup a key which you will need to setup on the wireless card when you connect when it prompts you for it.
Any person connecting to your network will need you to give them all ip info now and if they are wireless the security key also.
Now for port forwarding it probably has something to do with your server and I don't have all info neccesary to help you with that.
1) Don't setup your file server to provide files to the external networks without putting it in a DMZ or at least using encrypted protocols. VPN is a MUCH better option.
2) If you statically assign addresses (as stated above) make sure you keep them outside of your DHCP scope to ensure you don't have any conflicts. Typically I like to assign a range that I'll use for static (manually assigned) IP addresses say 192.168.1.20 - 192.168.1.40 and then setup DCHP to assign out 192.168.1.41 - 192.168.1.60 on the DCHP scope.
I set up hamachi the other day which allows me to do what I want but the speeds are pretty slow.
Also, I'm not sure it's possible, I would like to be able to access my file server without having to install any software if possible, maybe through a web browser?
SSL based clientless VPN, but most home routers / firewalls probably won't have that. I know Untangle does SSL VPN but I think it costs $$$ for that option. There is an old project called SSL-Explorer out on Sourceforge, but looks like it was taken over by Barracuda networks... not sure if it's any good / still usable.
Other option might be to tunnel over an SSH session... you could use Putty which is an additional application but it doesn't require an install (it's just a single .exe file).
The performance you're seeing with hamachi may just be due to your upload speeds of your ISP... or might just be that the overhead of the encryption is a bit much if you're using lower end hardware, but you're likely to see that with most solutions.