Time To Update The Network

Geek8 Comments

It takes me a long time to get my computing environment setup the way I like it and now its got to change. Its been working perfectly for the last few years. The new twist is the addition of my Cisco VPN networking equipment. Turns out due to some bug in IOS, you can’t put the Cisco VPN 831 router behind a firewall. Oops. The bug is supposed to be fixed by summer.

So now what do I do. After lots of thinking and discussions, it appears the strategy is to get another static IP address from my ISP. Turns out I lease a /29 subnet and I can have up to 5 public static IPs. Cool. So now instead of having my Linksys router at the end of my antennae, I am going to put a switch. Need to buy another Linksys switch…we get employee discounts on Linksys gear. Great perk for a geek.

Anyway, then I can plug my Cisco VPN router and my Linksys router into that and have 2 networks within the house. I have to have 2 networks because Cisco policy is that you cannot do split tunneling while connected to their network. Its a simple security rule that saves lots of time and money. Its ok…except I can’t see printers on one network from the other but I am going to solve that one with Bluetooth eventually.

So now the final problem is that I only have one Cat5 line running into my office from the data room. I should have known that wouldn’t be enough. So this weekend I have to run another. Why not wireless you ask? Wireless is too damn slow for my home network. I shuffle video around. And I can’t use it for the Cisco network for obvious security reasons. So I am going to run 100 ft. of Cat5 this weekend to make that happen.

Watching The Screen Savers last night, I learned that you have to have Cat5e or Cat6 if you ever want to run gigabit Ethernet. Did not know that. Linksys now has gigabit switches. Maybe I should make the move.

  • There’s always a problem that comes up.

    I personally would enjoy installing some more Cat5 in a house, but that’s just the home improvement guy inside me talkin’.

  • eburke

    the only piece of advice i have is that although the unfinished basement makes life easy, make sure you measure at least 2 or 3 times from 2 different places so you know where to drill in the basement ceiling, or you’ll end up drilling 5 holes for 1 line like i did. 😉

    for the second line i only had to drill twice, so i figure if i have to run one more i’m golden!

  • I already have holes from the existing lines. I just have to snake up them! Much easier.

  • eburke

    fwiw, this is quoted from an email on the list at work today:

    “I like the Linksys WRT54G. You get 802.11b/g in a tiny MIPS-based Linux box for $79 from Amazon. The beauty of this box is that Linksys, through the GPL, have been forced to supply the source for most of the firmware and now people have taken that and built much better firmware for it. So you get all sorts of goodies with more coming every day. You can literally turn this box into just about any sort of router/gateway/bridge/repeater/mesh box you can think of simply by loading in the appropriate firmware. And yes, it runs PHP too.

    For more info check here:



  • I heard about that. I am not sure I want to hack my router yet.

  • todd Weber

    If you are wiring go Cat 6… 10 GB is “just around the corner…”

  • You must work for a company that some how profits by more bits on the wire. 🙂

  • Kevin B.

    Howdy – I would run away from the linksys gigabit router – it has a fan in it that runs louder than the 4 PCs and 2 Macs I have running in my office combined. No kidding – I caved and bought a netgear (first non-linksys switch on my office network) — it works like a charm and guess what? No fan.