I need about 20-25 Ethernet connections so I guess a switch is the only way to go. My question is does a wireless access point create a new network (would it make the wireless network a separate network?). I want one network for wireless and wired devices.

  • Product recommendations are specifically off-topic on Server Fault. But ProCurve and Extreme make some good equipment too. Cisco is pretty much the most expensive option, and also the most widely supported. – Chris S Feb 3 '13 at 22:03

@user1090389, why don't you try having a simple SOHO router handle your DHCP requirements like RobM suggested above. If it's a relatively simple network structure, this is a quick and inexpensive solution that can work. I use it on one of my subnets to issue ip addresses out to about 25 pc's. It doesn't give you the most control but it works for what we needed and it's really simple to define a range of addresses to assign. If you do need more control, than a server based solution would make more sense.

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  • You mean connecting the switch to the router because I need more ports than a router can give. – henryaaron Feb 4 '13 at 19:16
  • I think you need to think about routers and switches as two separate devices which they are. Some routers will have some very basic switch components built in but that's not why people purchase routers. The LAN ports are there for convenience so that people can purchase one device to offer a connection to their internet and small LAN. If you need more LAN ports, address this with switch capacity, not a router. – Deca Feb 4 '13 at 20:29
  • But I'm asking if you're suggesting connecting the switch to a router? – henryaaron Feb 4 '13 at 21:14
  • @user1090389 - My suggestion to use a router was in response to your need to have a DHCP server issuing out IP addresses. The router can accomplish this without the need to put a server in place to do this. The switch would be plugged into the router's LAN port. If you have a managed switch, it most likely has the ability to do vlans, therefore you can assign the port on the switch that the router is connected as a specific vlan which would allow you to separate the wired v. wireless networks. – Deca Feb 5 '13 at 0:30

Not necessarily... Typically, a true wireless access point is just a bridge to your existing network.

In your situation, how do you allocate IP addresses? Is there a DHCP server? You could assign the switch port that the access point is connected to a specific vlan and assign addresses for wireless devices a different IP scheme... but the details of this depend on your topology.

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  • I'll use the switch as the DHCP server, and disable it on the WAP? – henryaaron Feb 3 '13 at 21:52
  • @user1090389 have you checked that they both come with DHCP servers? Most "proper business" switches and WAPs don't come with that stuff, they concentrate on being good at their primary job of shifting data around and don't come with things like DHCP servers, firewalls, etc. – Rob Moir Feb 3 '13 at 22:19
  • Oh wow! I actually just researched a little an found out they do not. What do people do without DHCP servers? – henryaaron Feb 4 '13 at 2:08
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    @user1090389 They run business-class DHCP servers such as ISC DHCP or Microsoft DHCP server. – Michael Hampton Feb 4 '13 at 2:16
  • Would an unmanaged switch come with a DHCP Server? – henryaaron Feb 4 '13 at 3:15

A wireless access point is simply a bridge between two physical kinds of network: Wired and Wireless. It's a logical point to seperate networks should you want to do so, but you don't have to if you do not want to.

So you should be fine, the configuration you want should pretty much be the 'out of the box' configuration for your gear.

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  • Are you familiar with these models? Are they any good? – henryaaron Feb 3 '13 at 21:52
  • @user1090389 nope, don't know them myself, sorry. I tend to buy HP Procurve switches and Aruba wireless gear, both aimed at larger businesses than the kit you're talking about. – Rob Moir Feb 3 '13 at 22:16

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