Sparkfun (and others, no doubt) do a range of modules to connect Arduinos to ethernet LANs.
There's even one that has a chip in it that does the "heavy lifting" of setting up a webserver at the IP address (something like 192.168.0.40, in my beginner's world) being used by the module, as seen from elsewhere on the LAN.
All of this, by the way, in a Windows context, where it matters. Sigh.
I'm new to webservers, etc. Can I have two webservers on one LAN? (I already have one, running in a PC, on the http-usual(?) port 80, which serves pages not only to the LAN, but to the wider internet... my FarWatch project (weather and pictures, http://mon277rr.dyndns.org/)
If I put the Arduino's LAN module's webserver on a different port (81? What would be good?), would that set me up so that an "ordinary" request for a page (from the outside world, to port 80) would be served as before, and leave the "new" server on the same LAN out of things unless I pointed a browser running in a PC on the LAN to, continuing my example, 192.168.0.40:81?
Am I recommended to go down the "surface it through a webserver" route? I've made PCs talk to each other across a LAN through file sharing.... I set up shared folders, and "messages" go from PC to PC by means of files saved in those folders. Is this a (sensible) option for connecting an Arduino to other devices on a LAN?
There's more on my hopes and wishes at...
... if you feel really generous about contributing to the erosion of my ignorance in this area.
Despite all appearances, I'm not so much seeking an education in things LAN and webserver, as in hearing from people who have "been there, done that", put Arduinos on LANs, and can save me blundering around in the forest.
For less than $60, what modules are good? What features are important? I'm drawn to the modules which have a serial interface to the Arduino, as I would hope that those modules have a bigger market than, say, the Arduino ethernet shield.