Help in setting up a school network

Tags:
Network design
Networking
Hello, I would need some advice to set up properly a network in our school. We already have a network set up, consisting of over almost 20 computers (both wired and wireless), a NAS, four office printers (two of which are only used for scanning). But it's not working too well, especially as regards the internet which regularly (at least twice a weak) just goes out and the only solution is to turn the modem (which works as a router, too) off and back on again, since you can't even access its web-interface. Last week I installed an old PC with ClearOS as a Router-Server in order to take the weight off the modem, but after 3 or 4 days the internet suddenly disappeared again, and this time the modem only wouldn't connect the Server to the internet, everything else could get a connection, so I hooked everything back up to it. I still have to go through the logs of the server to see if there's anything... One thing that could be causing our problems I though, might be the fact that we are using mostly repeater switches and not L2 or higher to connect the whole lot. There's only one CNET CNSH 1600 which does MAC tables and some QoS. I only recently discovered that there were these different kinds of switches when I thought of getting new ones (since ours are years old and in some of them some ports don't work anymore, so who knows if the switch itself ...). I wanted to know what would your suggestion be: what kind of routers/switches do I need and how do I have to hook them up? There are three rooms: one where the modem is with the ADSL line, from where the other two are connect: here there are only 4 machines. One only has 4 machines, the other has 15, of which only 3 connect by wire, the others by Wi-Fi (in order to escape the cable jungle, though I'd prefer the cables, both because of the number of machines and because this is where most of the work and therefore LAN and internet traffic comes from!).
I appreciate your help.
Thanks in advance.
Andreas
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