I'm pretty new to networking, so bear with me, please. I just want some advice on how I should do my network(s).
What I have is two small networks: a network on floor 1 (3 computers, 1 10/100 switch, 1 cable internet connection, using Win ME/98 ICS) and a network on floor 2 (3 computers, 1 10/100 switch). I want to make them one network with all the computers sharing the one cable internet connection.
I don't want to run cable. It would require expensive contractor work and/or running cable outside (which I read was bad on this site: http://www.duxcw.com/faq/network/outside.htm).
So, I want to go wireless. 11 Mbps should be fast enough for my needs. The switches are about 50 feet apart, through a few walls.
Currently the network on floor 1 uses Win ME/98 ICS. I did this instead of one of those broadband routers because 1) I already had the 10/100 switch and 2) I wanted one of the computers to have the static, external IP so I can run servers (WWW, FTP, PCAnywhere, my own, etc.) accessable from the whole world. I'd like to get away from using ICS because I don't want everyone to lose internet access when the host computer goes off or reboots or crashes. (This happens a lot because that computer is used a lot for software development.)
So, my questions:
What hardware do I need to do this? Any suggestions on specific models? And, how do I set it up? Is it as simple as a wireless access point plugged into both switches?
In the little research I've done, I've noticed that some wireless access points have broadband routers built in. If I were to change my configuration to use this, is it possible to still run servers accessable to the whole world on my dev. machine? (I want to only have (pay for) the ONE IP address from the cable provider.) Do those broadband routers allow config for certain ports to go to certain machines?
Thanks so much for any comments and suggestions.
Garrett G. Gunderson