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Help me complete this network.

I have a cable modem going to a switch. The switch has various devices connected to it. A few computers and a wireless router. I have a a number of computers connected to the wireless router wirelessly.

The devices connected to the switch together can communicate with each other. The devices connected wirelessly to the router can communicate with each other. But the wireless router devices can not communicate with the wired switch devices.

How do I make this one larger network?

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migrated from serverfault.com Dec 27 '09 at 1:33

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

3 Answers 3

I suggest you use your Access Point as the main router/firewall between the modem and the switch:

Modem>AccessPoint>Switch>Clients ('Wired clients' connect to switch, 'Wireless clients' connect to Access Point through it's SSID. The Access Point will serve addresses via it's DHCP service to all your clients). This configuration will keep your inside clients safer and on the same network.

By the way, this probably belongs in superuser.com since sounds like this is a personal network.

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If you want full communication between the wired and wireless devices, it is pretty simple.

  • Shut off DHCP on the wireless router
  • Connect wireless router to the switch using one of the wireless router's local ports (usually numbered 1-4, LAN, local, etc).

Right now you likely have the public port plugged in (marked Internet, WAN, External, etc) and so all of the wireless devices are hidden behind the router from your wired devices.

Also, are your wired devices getting IP addresses like 192.168.x.x, 10.x.x.x or 172.16.x.x? If they are getting addresses that don't start with one of those 3 sequences, then your devices are being exposed on public addresses (people on the internet can reach your individual computers).

If you are getting public IPs, I would plug the internet side of your wireless router to your cable modem and plug your network switch on the local side of the wireless router (and leave DHCP on). That will put all of your devices together behind the wireless router on private addresses.

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I agree with l0c0b0x. Also both the modem and the wireless router are probably running DHCP servers. You will want to turn one of them off, usually the easiest one to turn off is the one on the modem as not all wireless routers let you turn DHCP off.

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