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XP Pro multiple network connections possible?

networking multiple connections

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#1 flynempire

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 14:58

Hello. A friend of mine has a 3 PC peer to peer network. For many years he has had to deal with a very slow DSL called SDSL. Unfortunately there does not seem to be a better solution as I can see no improvement in faster internet for his area.

Anyhow he purchased a mobile 4G hotspot from T-mobile which is faster to many extents and I purchased some micro size usb wireless adapters for each desktop to connect to the hotspot. All machines are on XP Pro.

Here is the problem. Originally he was connected via Ethernet cable on each machine. Now when I connect to the hotpsot I cannot access the internal network because only one connection can be used at a time. When I disconnect from the wireless now the internal network works.

So my question is the following. In XP Pro can I have two network connections at the same time?

I want the Wireless connections only for the internet and the Ethernet Cable connection to access the internal network resources. I really hope this can be done because disconnecting and switching continuously is not an option I want them to have. To much of a pain.

Thanks for any answers.


#2 +BudMan

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 15:07

"because only one connection can be used at a time."

I really don't know where you got that idea from?? Not a good idea to have multiple interfaces in the same network no, yeah that can cause some issue so just make your wired network 192.168.1.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 for example

And then make your wireless network 192.168.2.0 netmask 255.255.255.0

BTW you didn't need to buy wireless adapters for the machines - I would of just put a wireless router into client bridge mode and connected it to your 4g device and used your current wired network to connect to internet using the 4G connection.

But in your current setup, if you do not want to use the wired network for internet -- remove its gateway. Because wired interface would be used for internet access since its faster than the wireless connection. Unless you change the metrics of the interfaces, etc.

#3 OP flynempire

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 15:13

Hmmm, I did not think of that. Good suggestions on your part. The T-Mobile hotspot does provide DHCP to the machines with a 192.168.0.10 for example range. I would need to see if Client bridge mode can work inside this device.

Have you ever used one of these hotpsots? Was my first time so was trying to figure everything out.

If I remove the gateway for the wired will then both connections then work?

#4 +BudMan

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 15:23

Here I drew it up how I would of set it up.. Turn off lan dhcp on your old router, put its IP address in the address space that 4G hotspot hands out, same with your client bridge.. So you can manage its connection to the 4g, etc.

mobilehotspot.jpg

edit: client bridge in 4g hot spot?? Does the current sdsl router have wireless? I doubt the hotspot would support a client bridge mode connection to some other wireless network.

You would either have to use your current router and more than likely disconnect it from the sdsl network, or get a new router that support client bridge mode - routers that run 3rd party would be best choice I know dd-wrt supports client bridge, and I believe tomato does as well.

Or you could just buy a game adapter device (client bridge) -- they are designed to connect wired to existing wireless network, so that should work perfect, if they allow for more than 1 wired client.

edit2:
If I remove the gateway for the wired will then both connections then work?

What is your current wired network?

#5 OP flynempire

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 16:13

Wow thanks for the drawing. The internal network excluding the hotspot only uses a switch to connect to each other. all 3 PC's have a fixed IP because of two Sharp Copier/Scanners that send PDF files to the main machine. I cannot remove the IP's because of the way the Sharp is setup. They had a router from the SDSL provider hook into the switch.

Since that service is now terminated he is relying on the hotspot. I told him straight out this is not always going to be the fastest or most stable but it is better than the previous. I feel this may be temporary as I am going to contact several broadband providers to see what he can get in his area. We are in 2012, there has to be something faster for him!

#6 Simon-

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 17:31

I agree with Budman's solution except that I would take the SDSL router out completely as it serves no purpose.

If you are looking for a quick fix to get what you already have working before you can get a router/bridge that supports client mode wireless (which would be the more robust solution), you could do this:

Internal network - 192.168.10.x in this example (or whatever network that the Scanners are already using)
External network - 192.168.20.x in this example (or whatever you want it to be as long as it is different to above)

Each PC has a Wireless and a Wired network interface.
The SDSL router is removed from the network completely.
The switch stays in place for the Internal Network.

The Wired interface on each PC/Scanner/Printer is set to a static IP address, no DHCP use at all.
Eg: PC1 is 192.168.10.101 with subnet mask 255.255.255.0 and no Gateway/DNS address
PC2 is 192.168.10.102 and so on

Wireless interface is DHCP From hotspot
The DHCP from hotspot will automatically give it a 192.168.20.x IP address, subnet, gateway and DNS that will work with the Internet.

Windows will automatically route requests to the 10.x network because it knows that it is directly connected to this network, so you will have internal communications.
Windows will do the same for requests to the 20.x network if you had Wireless devices also on the Hotspot.
For any other network (ie: The Internet) it will follow the default route - The hotspot - Given out by the hotspot's DHCP
There can only be one default route without causing a conflict, as the Internal Network has a Static IP address with no default gateway, there is no conflict with the hotspot default gateway.
Also the Internal network and External network have different IP networks (10.x and 20.x in this example) which also avoids a conflict otherwise if it was the same, Windows wouldn't know the difference between the two networks or where to route to.


#7 OP flynempire

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 19:54

I am forever grateful for your input. I will do as you say and post the results here. Watch for it.

Just one final question. In the Advanced Section Men at the top, is there an certain order I should have? Should the wireless come before the wired?

Thanks

#8 OP flynempire

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 14:09

Well I just wanted to give a final update. It worked!! I printed your instructions for further use Simon in case I need to do this again. Had a little hiccup with the printer/scanner but that resolved it self.

So again thank you!

#9 Simon-

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 14:16

No prob, glad to help. I must say we created an interesting topology out of this!

#10 +BudMan

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 14:23

I was just drawing up his network -- him keeping the sdsl would be be up to him.. More left in their for understanding of the 4g hotspot comes in to play.

So your running both wireless and wired now on 2 different segments with no gateway on wired -- simon just went into more detail.

Not the way I would run it.. You have no need for every client to connect to the wireless. Just use your existing wired network to connect to your wireless internet device.

#11 OP flynempire

flynempire

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 21:32

Hello again. It has been a week since I did this for him and so far so good. I am going to need to clear up some confusion here for Budman.

First off hats off to Simon again. This was very easy to implement and if I ever have to do this again will be easy. It is not hard to maintain and if done correctly should work well for as long as the network stays the same.

The reason I had to do it this way is because the hotspot is not the typical hotspot you are thinking about. Most of the time those have USB and Ethernet ports. This hotspot from T-Mobile looks like a cell phone, is the same size as a typical cell phone and has just one of those ports. I do not have the model # but it does have a micro USB port to charge the battery in the wall but can also connect to the PC so you can configure the web page that is built in like a router.

I had to connect once to the PC to update the firmware inside and then configure the parameters. It was very easy to do. That is the only port it contains. Everything else is power button, external antennae and a WPS button.

So as you can tell, I had to do it the way Simon did. The hardware needed to connect like Budman would do it simply did not exist in this case. No hard feelings here and I hope you understand now. Plus was the cheapest option available because I purchased at newegg some nano wireless adapters that work great!

I have saved everything you guys posted for future work.

Thanks again and have fun watching the Super Bowl!

#12 +BudMan

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 14:04

"No hard feelings here and I hope you understand now."

Why would I have hard feelings -- and where did I draw that there was an wired connection to your hostspot??

Sorry but I still think 1 device (client bridge shown in my drawing) would of been cheaper and better option.

And I told you could do what you wanted to do in post 2, you can clearly run 2 different networks - and just remove the gateway from the wired one. Which is exactly what simon did in more detail is all ;)