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Tech Helproom

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network up to 10 computers


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hi we have up to 10 computers that all require independent internet access thru one router(ie no computer is the access point). some(3or4) of these computers need to share files they are a mix of win 7 and xp.

we also need a system that allows us to backup off site to a secure server via drag and drop if possible.

am totally new to networking so need basic instructions an idiot (me) can understand!

thanks for any help

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Forum Editor

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and even with a 10-machine LAN (Local Area Network), which is what you'll have, there's a need for a little technical knowledge if the network is to function smoothly.

For ten machines you'll be building an Ethernet cabled network (there are other types, but not on this occasion) based on 100Base-T Ethernet for fastest performance, or 10base-T if money is tight. You could run a wireless network, but performance will suffer if all ten machines are logged in at once.

Make sure that whoever runs your cable is aware of the requirements for data cabling - no kinks or very sharp bends in the cable.

If performance is a critical issue you'll be better off running a network server that provides resources for the client computers, otherwise you can dispense with a server and run what's called a peer to peer network where all the computers function as both servers and clients combined.

It's not possible to cover networking properly in the space available here, and I suggest that you do some reading before you start. You can always come back to this thread with specific questions or problems later.

click here for a networking overview, it should enable you to get your network going.

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I agree totally with the Forum Editor. There are many variable that need to be considered.

As someone who sets up and maintains networks, both server based and peer-to-peer, the needs and requirements are different and no network may be the same.

with regards to backup, I suggest you get a NAS drive with a backup software to backup at specific times. The size of the backup drives will depend on what needs to be backed up.

also ensure that the switches, hubs, and network cables you use are fast gigbit provided that the network adaptors are compaible. Try to put labels on the swithces to indicate which hardware these are connected to - it will make it so much easier to troubleshoot.

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