Best Network setup for me?


Feb 15, 2002
It's time for me to expand my network at home and I wanted to get some feedback from some of you as to what would be the best set up for me.

I need to network 3 floors. I will be running aproximately 10 machines sharing my cable internet connection and a printer server. Each floor will have 3 or 4 machines. I have 2 (possibly 3) 10/100 switches with 8 ports each. I will be doing the cabling myself.

I am thinking of having one machine doing DHCP, NAT and Firewall. Another machine (low power machine) will be doing DNS and a third machine will be the file server/shell box. The rest will be W2k or Linux workstations.

How would you set up such a network?



Diamond Member
Mar 9, 2000

<< network at home.....I will be running aproximately 10 machines... >>


You don't need to have dedicated machine for firewall, DHCP nor DNS....all of that can be done at the router level. It doesn't need much to run the services that you mentioned. A 386/486 should have more than enought juice to run these services while passing 3 or 4 T1 traffics with out lattency.

You could then uses a low power box as a fileserver/shell/webserver/database for Snort & ACID.

Run all cables between floors to each computer from a single network closet, but best is to run a single cable from network closet to each floor and hook the end to that floor hub.


Golden Member
Jan 20, 2002
I don't see why you want a separate machine doing DNS, but anyhoo...

I assume you want DNS going across the local network so each of your PCs can look up the hostnames of the other PCs. If so, your best bet is to acquire a copy of Win2k Server, and install that on one box. As long as it's at least a PIII-400 (or AMD Equivalent, to avoid someone flaming me :|) with 128Mb ram, you'll be able to handle file and print sharing, as well as DHCP. NAT, and DNS.

If you create your own domain, you'll be able to have auto-updating DNS tables (automatically registering anyone who gets a DHCP lease) which is by far the easiest method to administer.

The only think I'm unsure about is how linux boxes would authenticate to a Win2k domain - I must admin I've been to scared to try...

Good luck anyway, just be prepared to spend a few hours tweaking/re-installing your server :)


May 12, 2001
Get a 4 port router, that'll take care of your NAT and your dhcp, and your dns......then have each port from the router going to each of the hubs(one on each floor) from there have each computer into the hubs...and you should have an extra port on your router for a print server......heh, that's how i'd attempt it anyways, not sure on the configuration of the software though....good luck with this