How can I join a small cluster of PCs to the main LAN wirelessly


Can anyone explain the simplest method of achieving the following?

We have a master LAN on a 10.4.0.x.subnet which connects to the Internet through a Zyxel Prestige wireless router. We have a small office around 40m away with good LOS to the main office and a wireless laptop gets a good signal. It is also on a 10.4.0.x subnet and the mask is in obth cases. We would like to connect the 30 PCs in the smaller office to the main office LAN to access the main fileserver and Internet, and I thought that this could be done wirelessly. Obviously we could put a WLAN card in each PC but as they are already set up on a network I wondered if I could simply connect the smaller LAN to the bigger LAN with an access point or something like that? I've read about bridging but the LANs are on the same subnet - they just can't see each other. At the moment we run a length of CAT5 across the car park on a Sunday afternoon to bring the networks together to perform maintenance on them but this situation is not ideal. Any help appreciated.

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Go yersel!
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30 PCs each with their own wifi card, at those distances, is probably not a great idea. The performance will likely be terrible. But then again, 30 of them trying to go across a single wifi link for filesystem access may not be terrible better either. What else in the main building is expecting to use the wifi router? If there's already a number of PCs using it then adding a link to 30 more might not be all that great an idea. What might be best would be a point-to-point link with two wireless devices specifically handling JUST that traffic. This way you wouldn't be worried about overloading the existing router or affecting it's coverage area. Your point-to-point devices would be setup with highly directional antennas aimed directly toward each other. That way you'd be getting the best possible signal and using it for just that purpose.

And since you're already using private IP addresses it may also be a good idea to setup the other building on it's own subnet. Although using class C subnets on with a class A address block is somewhat nonstandard. It'll work, with most gear, but be aware that it's outside the norm.

Is this sort of idea practical?

Reply to
Bill Kearney

I have now purchased a second access point and got the two LANs talking. I guess I didn't think it would be that easy. As far as I read with bridging you couldn't join together two LANs that were each on the same subnet. Wrong! Signal strength is very good at 54Mbps and the PCs are connecting fine to the Internet, which is not heavily used. Thanks for your help.

Reply to
Go yersel!

Which devices?

Depends on the devices, which are you using?

If they're contacting the fileserver or an domain controller there's more than just internet traffic going across the link. Keep an eye on it, latency is a key reason users get irritated by the network (beyond all the usual reasons).

-Bill Kearney

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