Physically connecting a server-based network to the internet.


Baseband Member
I want to create a server-based network at my home so I can learn how to install and maintain a server-based network. After starting a thread on this topic before here at computerforums, people have given me some of the basics on how to get started. I have one problem though. I'm not quite sure how to hook up this network physically to the internet. I have one computer, my home computer, hooked up to the internet right now. I have AT&T DSL. I have the 2Wire modem, which is a modem/router combined with 4 ports. I have many questions though. First, I was told that I need to install DHCP and DNS on my server. I have one computer which I installed 2000 server on, which will be my server. I installed 2000 professional on the other computer, which will serve as my client. I want to connect these two computers to each other to create this server-based network. But I also want to keep my home computer seperate so I don't mess anything up with it and my internet connection. I was told that I need to hook up this two-computer server-based network to the internet to truly make it a server-based network, I guess so the dhcp and dns works or something like that. Now, the thing I am confused about is the fact the my modem acts like its own dhcp and dns server. My server will also be trying to do all the dhcp and dns stuff. Here are the questions now:

1. Won't these conflict each other if both the server and the modem are trying to do the dhcp and dns stuff?

2. If the client computer is also connected straight to the 2Wire combination modem/router, won't the modem automatically give the client computer an ip address, which defeats the purpose of my whole server-based network which I'm trying to set up in order to learn from?

3. I aslo don't want to use my current modem because I don't want to take the chance of messing it up. Is there anyway I can hook a different modem to use strictly for my network and switch back to my regular modem when I want to use my home computer?

4. How would I physically hook up this server-based network to the internet?

5. How are server-based networks in a real work environment hooked up? For example, do both the clients and the server both connect to the modem which connects straight to the ISP or does the server connect to the modem and the clients connect to the server without going through the modem, etc., etc.?

6. If I do use a different modem strictly for my network, so I don't screw up my regular modem that I currently use with my home computer, will I be able to do this? Will AT&T DSL only allow me to use only one modem without being able to switch back and forth between two modems? What I mean by this is...does a modem have like some sort of mac address or something like that that AT&T will only recongnize one modem and no other?

7. Basically, how should I hook this server-based network up to the internet here at my home with modems, hubs, switches, etc.?


Daemon Poster
As I stated many times below you need to buy a book and start from page one. There is a ton of information you need to learn before even diving into making a network. If you want to do anything network based you will need to know all what a network entails.

OSI model
What the difference of a switch/hub/router/bridge are
IP addressing
and much, much, much more.

1. You do not HAVE to set up your server to be a DHCP server. You can have the router do that function. As for the DNS feature on your router, you can turn it off once you have set up your server to be a DC (domain controller).

2. Turn off your DHCP and DNS functions on your router.

3. Write down all of your settings if you are afraid you will mess something up. If you mess with the DNS/DHCP settings and screw it up you can restore it to factory defaults and BAM you are good to go.

4. You need to get a book and study. You can't expect to just be able to blindly do this. There is a bunch of configuration that goes into this.

To set up a domain you will need to run dcpromo from the run command. Once you have your server configured to be a PDC (Primary Domain Controller) then you will need to set up DNS and DHCP. You will need to set up DNS forward and reverse look up zones for your network. You will need to set up scopes for your DHCP server.

You will also need to make sure that you are using correct networking addresses that fall within the same subnet.

5. Much more complicated than what you are doing. But here is a diagram.

6. Very possibly yes. You may not be able to use a different modem other than the one they provided you. Chances are this will be the case.

7. You should get a book and study. There is a lot of stuff you need to know prior to even trying to set a network up. I highly recommend a set of books like THIS.

Good luck.


Baseband Member
Thanks netBooger. Those were very detailed and very excellent answers. I think that just about answered everything. Thanks much.