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I would like to create a private network off of my work production network. I'm going to be testing some software on this network, and I can't have any traffic from the test boxes interfering with the production network. But I still need internet access for these test machines. If I connect the WAN port on the router to the production network LAN, will I be able to accomplish my goal?

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As long as the router is not running any dynamic routing protocols and a gateway to the internet is set (and any required routes to it in any routers in between), yes.

You might want to use a different private IP address range as well, just to be extra sure.

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I would need to make sure that all this is setup even though I'm plugging into the WAN port on a consumer router? – poconnor Feb 3 '12 at 21:10
@poconnor: Yes, as even consumer routers have RIP. – paradroid Feb 3 '12 at 21:11
This is sounding like something I'm going to have to test through Trial before running some of the test boxes. I'm going to put the private network on another IP range, but I'm not really sure how to check for dynamic routing protocols and gateway to the internet. I only know very basic networking. – poconnor Feb 3 '12 at 21:17
@poconnor: If you wait 15-20 minutes after having set up the new network and then try to ping hosts from one network to the other and there is no response either way, and you can ping internet sites from the new network, you should be fine. – paradroid Feb 3 '12 at 21:38

This is something you should discuss with your network team. You will most likely be breaking the acceptable use policy by doing this and could get into trouble. The network team may be using some kind of layer 2 security that would prevent you from plugging a rogue device into your network port, whether it's sticky mac addresses or 802.1x. If you explain the situation to them they might even be able to setup a better solution for you. If not, the router might work if they don't have security setup.

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I basically am the networking team. I take care of all the IT work. I just don't know if this will give me the private network that I want. – poconnor Feb 3 '12 at 21:03
If it's a regular consumer router then yes it will. As an extra security measure you may want to use something like dd-wrt and put some firewall commands on the router so that when traffic exits the router it can only go out to the internet, not your local network. – resmon6 Feb 3 '12 at 21:05

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