I'm pretty new to this stuff, so I apologise if I'm asking something really stupid. Here goes.
I'm getting ADSL soon, and intend to set up a two (or three) PC network (Win NT+98), with a shared internet connection. Less importantly, I've also got a laserprinter that I'd like to access from both PCs.
By the terms of the agreement, I *have* to use the router the ISP loans me (a Cisco 677), but as it only has one LAN port, I need to buy a hub or switch.
I've seen that I can buy a SMC 7004ABR router considerably cheaper than getting a separate hub/switch and printserver, but frankly I'm too confused to dare to go ahead with it just yet...
1) Is it ok just to plug one router into another in this way, and if so, what sort of repercussions can I expect? The ISP provides a single static IP which is shared using NAT, but I think that they're strict about messing around with the Cisco config (i.e if you screw it up after they've configured things, they'll charge you loads to fix it). Could I leave the Cisco as they configure it, plug the SMC into it, make a tweak or two, and get it working purely as a switch/printserver? My networking knowledge is very weak, and whilst I'm keen to learn more by getting my hands dirty, I'm a bit concerned that I could spend weeks messing around only to find that I've spent good money on something completely inappropriate.
2) I have a spare battered Pentium 100 with a couple of netcards and parallel ports. I've read about FREESCO (http://www.freesco.org/) and was wondering if this would be solution worth looking at, firstly because I assume it would be more configurable and more likely to match the Cisco setup, and secondly because I won't waste any money if things don't work out. Ok, it's gonna be big, clumsy and noisy, but is it feasible for a network-illiterate to get this sort of thing running?
Thanks for any help
(I'm trying my best!)