network neophyte and vpn over television cable network

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i'd like to use a few of 254 cable connections on a private tv cable network to
link windows and mac computers for file sharing. i believe i need a cable modem
at each location and might be able to use vpn. there is already an internet feed
on the network along with television signals.

i know now to install vpn.
what kind of cable modems do i need?
will vpn work in this setting?
am i asking the right questions?

--david

Re: network neophyte and vpn over television cable network
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What do you mean by "private TV cable network?"  Is it completely owned and
managed by you?  Where does the TV and internet feed come from?

-Gary



Re: network neophyte and vpn over television cable network
Gary wrote:
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yes, it is owned and maintained by us. there is a commercial tv and internet
feed by a cable tv company. a dozen of the 254 sites each has a cable modem
supplied by the cable tv company. the cable modem is connected to a wireless
access point that we supply. each a/p is limited to five computers by
mac-address filtering.
--david

Re: network neophyte and vpn over television cable network
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The answer to this question depends on how close the sites are to one
another.  If they are close enough to reach a single wireless router, you
could do everything you want with a single wireless network.  This would
also allow you to reduce  your internet connection to a single cable modem.
Of course, you'd have to evaluate if the bandwidth provided by a single
cable modem is sufficient for your needs.

-Gary



Re: network neophyte and vpn over television cable network
Gary wrote:
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terrain is not wireless friendly. steep hills and dense trees separate the
sites. am i correct that both a cable modem and a router is required at each
site?

Re: network neophyte and vpn over television cable network
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It depends on the number of computers you want to connect at each site and
the type of service you have from your cable company.

If you have service that provides a single IP address and you want to
connect more than one computer, you need a router.

If you have service that provides a single IP address and only one computer
per modem, then technically you don't need a router.  However, I wouldn't
recommend that as a router provides a layer of protection against network
attacks.

If you need wireless service for any number of computers at each site, you
need a wireless router.

If you have business class service and you want to establish VPNs between
the sites, you need a business class router and somebody who knows how to
install and maintain your network.

As you can see, the possibilities are quite varied and depend heavily on
your requirements and resources (money, expertise, staff, ...).  At this
point my best recommendation is for you to engage directly with a company or
person knowledgeable about networking and the services in your area.  It's
possible your cable company can help through their business services
division, or you may want to hire an independent contractor.  In any case,
it appears that you need professional assistance; which you won't get here.

Good luck,

-Gary




Re: network neophyte and vpn over television cable network
Gary wrote:
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ok. thanks for all your guidance.
--david

Re: network neophyte and vpn over television cable network
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Now, with the information you just provided, your question boils down to:

    I have a bunch of sites connected to the Internet via cable modems.
    I would like the sites to be able to share files between each other.
    How do I do that?

The answer is dependent on the presence and type of router, the operating
systems used on your computers, the use and type of firewall software on
your computers, and other issues I'm sure I'm missing.

Possible solutions are to continue to discuss it here or in other forums and
maybe come up with a solution that works some or all of the time on some or
all of your computers while learning how to maintain and troubleshoot it, as
you'll be in charge.  You could also discuss it with your cable company, as
they may offer this type of service for business accounts (I'm guessing you
have a commercial account given what you've stated).  That would  have the
benefit of some level of support.  A last (and in my opinion best) option,
is to hire a network specialist to work this all out with you and your cable
company and sign a service contract with them.

Good luck,

-Gary

P.S.  MAC address filtering is a very poor way to secure a network.  If you
do start using file sharing across wireless, know that MAC address filtering
is very easily broken.  You should not count on it to secure data of any
importance.



Re: network neophyte and vpn over television cable network
Gary wrote:
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thanks for your generous time and effort, gary, in getting this network neophyte
headed in the right direction. i can see this is not going to be easy. :=)

i want to experiment at first with a setup that does not involve the existing
cable modems and wireless routers. i think you've answered one question: do i
need both a cable modem and a router at each site? the answer seems to be yes.

--david

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