How to setup a LAN network with case study

Learn the components like switches, routers , cables needed to set up a LAN network. This article explains how you can setup a LAN network along with a case study to help understand how the different components would fit in the solution.

Step 1 – Switches

Identify the number of users on the LAN. This is one of the most important criterion since switches form the core of a LAN network. The switches are selected based on the number of computers and devices which are connected to it. If there are less than 5 users, a 5 port switch is required. If the number of connected devices are greater than 20, then a 24 port switch would be required.

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Switches comes in different ports like 5 port, 8 port , 24 port, 48 port etc. Based on the number of devices on the LAN network, you would need to purchase the appropriate switch.

Step 2 – Cables

Ethernet cables are required for connecting the devices to the LAN network. The number of cables required can be calculated based on the number of devices.

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Step 3 – Racks

Switches are placed inside racks. The size of the racks are based on the size of switches.

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Step 4 – Routers for Internet

To setup internet access on the LAN network, you would need a router. Typically, you would need to purchase a wireless router , which would connect to the internet. The internet is then shared among all the users on the network. The router also has inbuilt DHCP server which is used to allocate IP address to devices on the network.

Case Study – LAN network setup for 20 users with internet access

Now that we have understood the components required to setup a LAN network, a case study is used to understand how the components would fit into the solution.

Step 1 – Identifying Switches

There are 20 users on the network. Also the network requires internet access. So we need 20 ports on the switch to connect to the devices of the users and 1 port for the router which is used for internet access. In total, 21 ports on the switch is required. A 24 port switch is recommend for the same.

Step 2 – Identifying Routers

For providing internet access , you would need a router. A wireless router is recommended, since this would also provide wireless connectivity to required users.

Step 3 – Identifying Racks

Purchase a rack to place the switch. A rack which would accommodate the router and the switch would suffice.

Note: We are not elaborating on this, since this comes as part of structured cabling and not within the scope of the article.

Step 4 – Identifying cables

The are in total, 21 devices which would be connecting to the switches. To accommodate these devices, 21 ethernet cables would be required.

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Step 5 – Network Integration

The lan network diagram along with the necessary components are shown below.

Connect the LAN interface of the wireless router to the switch port. Connect all the devices to respective ports on the switch. Setup DHCP server on the wireless router. DHCP server is a service , which would allocate dynamic IP address to users on the network.

The Wireless router has two interfaces, the interface connecting the router to the internet and the LAN interface. The LAN interface IP address of the router should be configured with the IP address and subnet mask as ( Note: Any private IP address can be used. This IP address has been used as an example)

Configure the DHCP server with the IP address to provide IP addresses in the range – for the devices on the network, connected to the switches. The DNS server and default gateway IP address should be configured in the DHCP server configuration with the IP address of the router which is Ensure that the router is connected to the internet and its working fine.

Our product recommendation

1. A 24 port unmanaged switch would suffice , for the above requirement. Vendors like netgear , DLINK, Cisco etc manufacture 24 port switches and which are available on Amazon . The details can be viewed here.

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2. It is recommended to purchase a good router like a Wifi 6 router. Wifi 6 is the latest wifi routers as of today , and would also provide optimal performance if wireless connectivity is required.

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