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Switch Vs Router


Inu_Yasha
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I need to buy me a router to share my dsl connection and network my 3 comps. I first was looking at the gigafast 10/100 switch and then at the belkin dsl/cable router (both are the same price, $10). I was wondering what is the difference between a switch and a router? Can I use a switch to network and share dsl? My current router sucks, that's why I need a new one...

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a switch is only used to connect computers to one another, not to the internet, switchs work on layer 2 which deals mainly with mac addresses(24-bit hexadeciaml number), and a router works on layer 2 and 3, layer three deals logical link addressing(ip addresses) and mac addresses, then when you combine a switch with a router, its a match made in heaven, the switch will connect all the computers together and the router will manage the ip addresses and splitting up the internet connection. Of course this is a very simplified explanation of what a router does, but i didnt want to get to in depth with my cisco knowledge.

 

So you have two choices. You can buy a switch and not buy a router, but then youll have to connect the internet to one of your computers and turn on ICS(internet connection sharing) and then use a secondary nic to connect to the switch to share the connection, only disadvantage to this is that your machine has to be on for the other computers to use the internet, and ICS isnt all that reliable. or you could go the second route. which is to buy a switch and a router and then plug the router into the switch, or buy a router with a built in switch. Either way the work the same. Then what you would do is plug all of computers into the switch, then program your internet connection into the router, and it would split the connection, and you would never have to leave a computer on, and they are usually very reliable.

 

of course i definetly reccomend the latter option, but if it is not an option because of budget, then ICS should work.

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Essentially a router will connect two networks together. The nice thing about a router over a switch is it usually has a DHCP server built into it so you can put like 250 computers off one router. A switch is basically just like a hub in which its a central connection point. But a switch is smarter and more efficent than a hub in that it is full duplex and only sends the data to the computer that is supposed to receive it. A router also has a built in firewall called a NAT (Network Address Translation). This will take your ISP's IP address that was assigned to you and make your own private network essentially. Its like it hides your computer(s) from the internet. Routers are worth it and usually not too much more over a switch. You can use a switch to share cable/dsl but only to as many computers as your ISP gives you. I think most give two IP addresses which means that one of your computers would not be able to have internet access. A router gets rid of this problem.

 

I guess Andrusk posted the same time I was writing this :D

Edited by LobbDogg

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Well see, here's what I've got; I've got a dsl box with a built in router. The router is only base 10 so my network is extremely slow. I wanted to get 100base; also, ever since I reinstalled win2k on my comp, the network to my comp has been buggy. I was thinking of going with the switch because it was smaller and could connect more... The router looks kinda funky but I can overcome asthetics. So here's my new question, do you think I would be able to hook my current router up to the gigafast switch to be able to share internet and network? Would I be able to utilize the 100base-tx speeds by doing this? Also, what's the difference between half and full duplex?

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since your router is 10meg then your internet conection will be at that speed to everything on the network...since you have a fast switch all your LAN connections will be at that speed...someone correct me if im wrong

 

or was it if one device is at 10 the whole network was at 10 ???

 

:withstupid:

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??? That was kinda confusing... Basically what you're saying is that my whole network will run at 10base-t even if I get a 10/100 switch? Right now, my dsl box/router runs only at 10 base; what I was planning on doing was hook the dsl box up to the switch via the wan port (if the switch has one) and then run the network off of the switch so taht I could have 100base

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Your network would run at 100 mbps from computer to computer, but if you were accessing the internet then the computers would be capped at 10 mbps. But most home users don't have a 10 mbps connection to the internet. So really it shouldn't slow down. Theorectically that is. I think most cable/dsl connections are around 1.5 - 2.5 mbps connections anyway. And Full duplex means the device can send and receive at the same time. where as half duplex means it can send then receive or vice versa.

Edited by LobbDogg

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Okey dokey then, it looks like I'm probabbly going with the switch! Thanks for the input all! I learned a lot! Reason for the switch is because I want to take it with me when me and my friends sponsor lan parties (most of them only have like 8 ppl at most but we've had upwards of 20).

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Hey inu i dunno if you already bought junk but a Router/Switch Combo is the best option. I dunno if you have the $ for one but because they are in the same box the speed and reliability is increased. Id say a Linksys, thats what i have and i have 9 computers running off it (3into the router switch combo, then a switch plugged into the router and furthur dividing it 6 more ways.) Works great.

 

 

if not i suggest you dont get the switch and get a router. A router can support VPN which will allow you to share 1 ip over hundreds of computers. So your routers Ip would be set to xx.xx.xx.xx (Provided by your isp) and your computers would all be 192.168.1.X (x being the computer number). This is a great setup especially if you enable the DHCP cause its all automatic. They also have firewalls usually incase you want one.

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if not i suggest you dont get the switch and get a router. A router can support VPN which will allow you to share 1 ip over hundreds of computers. So your routers Ip would be set to xx.xx.xx.xx (Provided by your isp) and your computers would all be 192.168.1.X (x being the computer number). This is a great setup especially if you enable the DHCP cause its all automatic. They also have firewalls usually incase you want one.

how exactly would you have him hook up his computers to that router without a switch? Or did you just make a typo? :blink:

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