I just took responsibility for a network at my work, I'm not trained to do anything around a "professional" network like this one but the guy that was actually "liable" for it has not been able to get the job done and things are getting pretty crappy.
We are a 40 people organization that depends on having internet and VOIP services up and running 24/7. I would say the network is pretty simple but still, we are experiencing some weird problems.
What we are talking are 2 T1s and 2 DSLs running with 4 wired routers (or switches, I don't know) and 4 wi-fi hotspots. I understand that one of the T1s is connected to a VOIP server while the other one should give us a constant and secure Internet. The 2 DSLs are running on different hotspots for people who have trouble with the "main" network.
In the network there are 4 network printers.
The problems we are experiencing are:
- Some people plug in to the wired network and get no IP.
- Most people have troubles getting any of the printers to work, some people find a couple of them while some people cant even find one.
- Wi-Fi is extremely slow compared with the wired alternative.
The things I would like to fix:
- I don't know if there is any way of cascading or balancing the T1 and the 2 DSLs so they work in one transparent network and we get the most of them.
- I would like to fix the problems with the printers and the connections for everyone
- I would like to be able to monitor and understand what is happening in the network.
Of course (as everyone) we are limited due to economic reasons to try to spend the less we can. So, I would rather do it myself (even if I have to read books or learn new tools at night) than paying an expert or getting new software or hardware(open source alternatives of course are more than welcome) but most of all, I want to know my options and their prices. What do you people recommend? Do you need more info of the hardware (like exact models of the routers, and T1s/DSL?)? What can I do to have a good network experience?
Thank you very much, I know its a pretty "noob" question or situation and I hope you can understand my position.
Update: Apparently here's how it works: There are 3 separate networks, the wired network, the DSL network and the wireless network.
The wired network has the following elements: T1 (Cisco 1841) connected to a crappy wireless-n router(wrt160n v2) that nobody has the password to connect and then to two switches/hubs that are wired to all the office, the main one is a D-Link Gigabit Switch(DGS-1016D) and a secondary(cascade) of a Linksys fast ethernet auto sensing 10/100 EFAH16N. The biggest concert here is that they connected the crappy wireless-n router to work as the DHCP because they didn't know how else to get it working, i find that adding a crappy equipment (it's funny how the other 3 equipment in that network look like they are professional and this one looks like a 20 bucks crappy router). What is the best solution here? who should be doing the DHCP?
The DSL wireless network is the modem and the router and works fine.
The wireless network is again, a little weird and I need some explanation here too; Its a T1(Cisco 1841) going to a 3Com Supertack II(wired switch) and then 1 cable go to each wireless hotspot directly (being WRT300 wireless-N same model all of them). Now, I don't understand if they have static IPs, or who is doing the DHCP.
Almost all the problems are related to this network (since everyone wants to use wireless) and asking the sysadmin(who is clearly; again; not doing hes job) got me the next answer "The problem is that all wi-fi routers have the same name and the same frequency and I have advised that we change them to have different names but the guys in management told me they need to have the same name"
I have never configured more than 1 wi-fi router to work with others and don't know how that works, any insight here?
Well apparently (without considering the printers) my efforts are in understanding how some hot-spots should be configured and a DHCP server, it doesn't seem that hard =) Thanks everyone for your useful answer.