DSL router and Print Server with 8 PCs and 3 printers / hardware question

5 pts.
DSL routers
Home networks
Network design
Print Server
I have about 5 PC's at home for my wife and family (5 of us) and we all use the computers daily. Compaq, Dell, desktop and laptop. I have one Canon printer mp3000 color printer. We plan on buying two more new printer. We currently have Bellsouth/AT&T DSL service. I have a d-link four port router(we share the connection (plug and unplug). I want to have (3) network based printers and 5-7 personal computers connected to the DSL router. Please advise on what do I need to buy? A new DSL router and printer server? Or switch? My budget is 300 dollars only. Many thanks.

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I think that you might want to consider a switch or additional router for your network. I don’t know how much printing you’re doing, but you can share the printers among all the users and use a computer as a print server so that the printers themselves aren’t taking up ports on your router.
An eight port switch can be purchased at bestbuy, circuit city, etc. for about $45, which would give you enough room to have every printer and every pc hanging off the network devices. You will just add the switch to one of your router ports and there you go.

You could also get an additional netgear router with 8 ports for about $130

This could add wireless capability to your home network and the laptop could go wireless or any of your desktops for that matter. I wouldn’t go wireless unless you’re out in the country where you don’t have neighbors close by or unless you’re able to secure your network from people trying to hog your bandwidth just because they can detect your signal.

If you don’t care about wireless connectivity buy the plain old switch for <$50 and share your printer and place it in a central location using the most powerful desktop as the print server and share that bad boy mp3000. Then you would save the expense of the extra toner and printers as well.

Or you could go all out, get the printers and you’d still have room on your switch for everything. If you can secure your wireless then go ahead and splurge and get the wireless netgear router with it’s 8 ports. You would still be under budget with that. If you really wanted, with that setup you could expand and get wireless adapters for your pcs and laptop for <$40/each and then all your stations could be wireless.

I like wireless so I would buy the netgear, but make sure you take a few security measures.

I hope that helps, have a blessed day!
BenB has several good ideas, If you do go the wireless route, check here for information on securing Netgear wireless equipment. I agree with BenB that the simplest and least expensive method to expand the available number of network ports is to connect a switch to one of your router ports.
Good Luck

We have a similar set up in our home which works well. 6 pc’s, two notebooks setup wirelessly and a networked Brother printer. We use a 4 port linksys wireless g router and can access it wirelessly from anywhere in the house or even outside. We have an additional 4 port switch for the additional computers and the printer. I prefer the printer on a port on the switch so I do not have to rely on a pc being on to use the printer and all computers can access this printer saving me printer costs. Happy networking to you!
~ technochic
Home networks seem to have exploded. Home computing seems to be like TVs in the 70s:one in every room, one for every user. I have 3 servers (2 DCs too), 3 virtual servers, 5 various laptops and desktops, 2 printers (1 wired, one wireless). With your budget, I advise at least 1 switch (I use dell 2708 gigabit, $82) and wireless.

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