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What to Look For in a Network Switch

Discussion in 'Hardware, Software & Troubleshooting' started by Skakruk, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Skakruk

    Skakruk  

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  2. Bi()ha2arD

    Bi()ha2arD Toxic!

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    100mbit is enough for lan play. Depending on how many players there are you can get 5port or 8 port switches. You can connect them to each other to get more ports with a normal lan cable. Netgear is a good brand to go for. Their stuff is excellent.
     
  3. Deathmaker

    Deathmaker Balanced

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    ^ WHS.

    Though, if the computers you're networking are fairly current they'll no doubt have gigabit nic's, it stands to reason to pay the little bit extra and get a gigabit switch, especially if you're going to be shifting large files around.

    I've been using aD-Link DGS 1005D 5 port jobbie for the last couple of years and can't fault it, apart from the sucky Apple wannabe white colour, thankfully, it's out of sight.
     
  4. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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    It depends on your lan size.

    Routers are usually support smaller number of concurrent users as they are more specific for handling packets from other networks (normally in this case the internet). If your network requires access to the internet or wireless networking then you can just connect a router to a switch.

    Switches can vary in size a lot, but if you're not a particularly large lan or a lan with complex needs then an unmanaged / web-smart switch would probably suffice. For the larger switches, just check that they can actually handle the load at full duplex (i.e, a 16port switch 10/100/1000 should have a few GBps backplane).

    If you're planning to host larger lans (above 16 people), then you may want to plan how you want to handle your network. Typically you would have one large backbone switch which then branches out to children switches. With this setup it is difficult to provide full gigabit cheaply as you'd need large trunk branches ... but providing 10/100 is easy with this setup.

    If your lan is mostly gaming, then 100mbps is more than enough (considering that we often play on internet connections that are much slower than 100mbps). If you plan to file share, then 1000mbps is better (since it provides about 120mb/s) but 100mbps is fine (12mb/s).

    Chaining lots of small switches is okish for small lans since it's cheap to do, but these days its easy to just buy a large switch to begin with.

    Unless you know what you're doing, try to avoid Layer 2 and Layer 3 switches for a small lan. Layer 2 is somewhat affordable, but Layer 3 isn't likely to be affordable. These switches are more intended for coporate networks.
     
  5. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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    Some routers have more than a single port. I have three routers at home that all have at least four ports with one WAN port.

    Judging from what you've said, I'd probably recommend a small gigabit switch with gigabit network cards in each computer. This would enable you to shift as much data as possible without your network being the limitation. Plug the router into the gigabit switch to then enable internet access between the machines.

    I imagine that should just about sort out everything you need.
     
  6. Bi()ha2arD

    Bi()ha2arD Toxic!

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    If you already have them onboard thats fine. No reason to buy a card then.

    Many routers come with built in ADSL modems, but you can use most with an external modem too.
     
  7. Hunter

    Hunter BeyondUnreal Newsie

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    If it's a cable router it normally means it will have an extra dedicated port for the connection to your cable modem and also provide wireless.

    If you're just looking for a switch for LAN gaming you probably want a 5 or 8 port that way you can always run a network cable to your current broadband modem.

    Who do you have for an ISP?
     
  8. Deathmaker

    Deathmaker Balanced

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    I've had the DGL-4300 (which is the same as the 4100 but with wireless G) for a number of years now and, especially for it's age, I can't really fault it (except for the super-bright led's). I typically have 4 PC's and a laptop or two accessing the net, along with a Wii or 360 on the odd occasion without any issues. It works great on the lan side of things too, hooked up with the switch I mentioned above.

    I bought a Belkin N Vision a couple of months back as I'd bricked the D-link while doing a settings restore after a firmware upgrade. Although it looked fantastic, had some really cool features and supported N spec, as soon as I managed to resurrect the 4300 I took the Belkin back in a flash.
     
  9. Continuum

    Continuum Lobotomistician

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    If your not plugging it into your modem get a switch, if you are get a router.

    If you want quality get a Linksys with the Cisco upgrade option.

    If you want cheap (and still usable) get a TrendNet
     
  10. Hunter

    Hunter BeyondUnreal Newsie

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    Been a Netgear fan for a while now, first Wireless router was one of theirs and now I've switched to Sky I'm back on a Netgear one. It's great, shame about the Sky settings but it can all be changed easily.
     
  11. Deathmaker

    Deathmaker Balanced

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    Take a look here, there's loads of reviews & useful info.
     
  12. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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    I'm with Telecom. I'm just too lazy to change. I'm not 100% sure who would be the fastest for you, but it may be Orcon I think.

    If you already have onboard NIC's then there is no need to buy extra NIC cards (I had no idea what you guys had you see).
     

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