Setting up Small Home Network
I've got two computers -- one a laptop running Vista Home
Premium and one a tower running XP, though I could easily
upgrade it to Vista. The tower is a server used for backup,
media storage off external drives and as a host for alternate
OS's like Kubuntu to be used for testing applications I write.
It's also used to run some Internet file-sharing apps 24/7.
I want to set up a network that will allow me to share files
between both computers, access the Internet (using a cable
modem) with both computers and operate the tower (in either
Windows or Linux) from the laptop using TightVNC.
The hitch is that I disconnect my cable modem to avoid
wasting time on the Internet when I'm on "crunch time" for
whatever project I'm working on that month, and I want the
network to continue to function. To accomplish this, I
understand I need to have either a router or the tower act
as a DHCP server, and I need a router which does NAT.
(I do have two IP addresses from my ISP, but I believe I
need to assign each computer its own IP so the network
will continue to function when disconnected from the
I currently have an old Linksys wired router which I believe
may be faulty, since I'm having trouble getting it working. I
set it up, plugged it in and it worked great, but then when I
disconnected the modem for about 2 weeks and reconnected
it, the router stopped working completely, though I could
still get net connectivity by plugging one computer directly
into the laptop. It's possible the router's fine and there's some
technical issue I'm missing, but I did try unplugging and
resetting it manually.
Can anyone here recommend me a router model compatable
with XP, Vista and Kubuntu that is affordable (~50-70$), offers
DHCP and would otherwise meet my needs? Wireless is a
plus, since my laptop supports it, but it must support wired
ethernet as well. A user-friendly HTML configuration like the
old Linksys one had would be great. (I'm not sure if I can get
GigaBit in my price range, but that would be ideal too.)
Secondly, can anyone give me any tips to setting up a stable
network that works in the manner I describe here (i.e., connected
to the Internet sometimes but not always)?