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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.