Thanks for the reply - I hadn't realised that I could have two routers on the same network (did say you have to assume I know nothing!).
I'm going to try your solution but with a slight variation - I'm going to assign the "home" laptops (the ones the kids use on the slow connection) with static addresses as well as the printers and NAS drives. The reason for this is that both the wife and I also connect laptops provided by our clients to our "work" network (the satellite connection), and I can't assign static addresses to these machines.
Static or not for the sattelite connection shouldn't matter for a VPN, but if you prefer it that way, it's possible.
If I understand correctly, I will need to turn off DHCP on the "home" router then and set the static IP machines to this router as their gateway?
You understand correctly
As a matter of interest, could I use one of the old Linksys routers as a switch? If so, what advantage would it offer and how would I then configure the network? What is DHCP Snooping? I did a quick Google but I'm not sure I understand it properly - is it simply setting the router clients to specific IP/MAC addresses (which even I understand
I don't recommend using the Linksys as a switch. it will work if you use only the WAN ports, and again disable DHCP server (give it another IP in the same subnet, 192.168.1.3 for example). It will work but usually at a low throughput. Now if you have a cheap switch still lying around somewhere, that would be better.
DHCP Snooping would prevent the DHCP negotiations from one router reaching the other side of the network. That way you could let both on automatic addresses, in the same network, but still allow separation. It would be a more creative solution, that is all.
To be honest, if the network works just by putting the kids' machines on static addresses, then I'm happy with that.
That should work, yes. Just double-check everything: everything in the same subnet, no overlapping DHCP scopes, not even with the static addresses, proper gateway addresses.
Thanks for the help!