View Full Version : Basic Network question - routers and switches
24th December 2007, 08:17 PM
I have a wireless router with 4 ports, but I have more than 4 machines that do not have wireless cards to connect to the router.
If understand it, I should be able to:
- purchase an auto-switching switch
- run a network cable between the switch and the router
- use the other ports on the switch to add machines to the network
The auto-switch features means that the switch will be able to handle data going up and down between the switch and the router.
Do I have this right?
If so, are all modern switches auto-switching? I can't seem to fine one on www.newegg.com that mentions this feature.
24th December 2007, 09:07 PM
Yes you can connect a switch to the router. Check to see if the switch has either a switch to change one of the port to an uplink port. Some offer auto detect but never trusted them. If no way to switch the port then you will need a crossover network cable to connect the switch to the router. If an uplink option is present then one and flip the switch and use a standard network cable. Only difference is a crossover network cable reverse the wiring for send and receive transmission.
24th December 2007, 09:09 PM
The auto switch thing usually refers to the fact that one used to have to use a cross over cable to connect a switch to a switch. Manufacturers use the term loosely though, so it might sometimes refer to sensing the speed and whether it should be 10 MB or 100MB. Older switches and hubs used to have an uplink port, which you would use to connect to other switches and such.
At this point in time, almost any new switch that you buy will have that feature built in, so you shouldn't have to worry about it which is probably why it's not mentioned. (The newegg people are very good though, you can confirm it in advance if you wish.)
So, you basically have the setup correct in your mind. Plug the extra machines into the new switch. Run a cable from the new switch to your wireless switch-cum-router. You should be good to go.
24th December 2007, 10:40 PM
The feature that allows use of straight-through or crossover cables is Auto-MDIX. So, if you see that keyboard for your switch, then watching crossover and straight cables shouldn't be concerned. As the other two posts point out, this is not to be confused with autosensing, which relates to speed and duplex.
24th December 2007, 10:50 PM
Make sure you get a switch and not a hub. Some places still have hubs for sale. Hubs allow packet collisions that will drop your throughput to almost nothing.
Another thing to consider is a GigE switch. If you use a GigE switch there is no issue with a crossover cable. Your on switch transfers (assuming GigE cards) will speed up dramatically. In my case I also saw an increase of about 10% on internet speeds, presumably the switch's buffers keeps the router's buffer empty (router is just 10/100). The metal case(not the plastic ones) Netgear switches are pretty good. I have a Gs105 (5 port) I picked up for $35. There is an 8 port (and larger) model as well. You can also daisy chain switches if you need to.
25th December 2007, 02:25 AM
I'll order a switch tonight.
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