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If you’re looking to build a network and plan on using multiple subnets then you’re going to need a router, without one your network simply won’t work. Multiple interface routers are usually not very cheap (I’m not talking about your average home broadband router by the way!) and the Cisco range are especially on the expensive side when you want several LAN interfaces. An old computer or workstation, the spec can be as low as a 486 with 16mb of ram and this will still work! Multiple network cards, these can be picked up for very cheap (a few bucks each), you will need one network card for each subnet you want. You will need an old computer for this, since the Linux distribution runs off a floppy drive; you won’t require the computer to have a hard drive or a cd-drive. The Fresco interface is perhaps not the most user friendly in the world since it is Linux based but the functionality is everything you would expect or need.


For each subnet you want your going to need a separate interface whether it is on the same router or on a different one. You might be able to get a cheap second hand one on EBay but even they can be quite expensive and are usually in poor condition. The software is tiny and fits on a floppy disk so your computer doesn’t even require a CD-drive for this to work.
The zip file contains a batch file which you can run that will make a bootable floppy for you.
A basic configuration will consist of each interface being configured with its respective IP address and subnet mask. There are many instances where I have needed to build a quick network consisting of three or four subnets for testing purposes but lacked the equipment to do so.


Ensure you have all the network cards plugged in, you might need to get hold of an additional PCI riser card if you run out of slots for your NIC’s. Once this is done you will have a basic but fully functioning router that is ready to route packets between all of its subnets. There are a whole host of tutorials and guides on the website to help you setup your configuration, there is also a support forum if you get really stuck.



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