Hi there. I go to small LANs with friends fairly often (between 3 and 15 people). We always end up with some networking problem that consumes a depressing chunk the fun. What kind of setup would you recommend? What's best?
At our disposal on a perfect day, we have these: - 1 Linksys wireless g router (100mbit, 4 ports) - 2 Netgear switches (100mbit, 5 ports) - 1 Netgear hub (10mbit, 4 ports) - 1 Netgear hub (10mbit, 16 ports)
So we have things branching off to other things. 10mbit equipment is used all too often because the decent stuff is always in the middle of some home network that nobody feels like taking apart...
I was thinking maybe I should just buy an 8 port gigabit switch. That alone would take care of most of our LANs. We do transfer files a ton, and something like 4X the speed over 100mbit it would be a godsend, but I don't know how much hard drive speed would limit it. I also don't know how much of limiting factor our Cat 5e cords would be.
So, any general advice on this matter?
A Phoenix from the ashes
18th April 2006
I was thinking of doing something similar for our college LAN society. If nothing else, it would get rid of a lot of the clutter. I'm sure you can find an 8-port switch for less than $50.
Gettin' hardware chilly
16th June 2004
look around and see if you can find a gigafast switch. I bought one around 3-4yrs ago for $30 or so for a 8-port and jeeze this thing is sweet. They also had 16-port models for under $50. I suggest you look on ebay since newegg no longer carries their products.
Hmm, there are only a few eBay listings for gigafast, and nothing of what I'm looking for. But I did just find this 8-port TRENDnet for $15. I'm tempted to just grab it. Has anyone heard of the brand?
It's crazy, 5-port 100mbit Netgears are only $4 each on Newegg. Wow, like dirt.
Yeah heard of the brand, they aren't to bad, we sell their Access Points through work, other then Billion, SnapGear, Linksys, Cisco we also recommend TRENDnet products, they are good sturdy reliable units. 15$ I'd grab it.
6th February 2005
Cat5E won't be a problem for gigabit ethernet, its designed for it. Its not as good as CAT6 for any significant distances but over the couple of metres your going to be looking at its not worth worrying about.
If you have a lot of people coming occasionally you might want to consider grabbing a netgear 24 port switch as well. Those are cheap as dirt on ebay (in the uk at least!) and will give you 100MB connectivity for everybody.
That said, I wouldn't really worry about brand names. At this point, pretty much any network equipment actually works. Any gigabit switch will do the job.
Your right that you don't get maximum performance from a gige network because of the perfomance of other components within the computer (IIRC the major problem tends to be the PCI bus, which is why some fiber cards are now designed for a PCI-E slot) however gigabit is still way faster than fast ethernet.
Unless of course its onboard gigabit lan, which most people have with semi new systems. Then its not limited by the PCI Bus.
6th February 2005
Well, its one of those "it depends" things. Some companies do actually have a decent dedicated interface for the network card (certainly some Intel cards did) but I think a lot of them just treat having a "gigabit" network interface as a tickbox feature (like onboard AC97 8.1 sound cards) and try and spend as little as possible on it.
Using the PCI bus instead of putting in a decent interface saves the board manufacturer money and most people don't know how to tell the difference as long as windows says its a 1.0Gbps connection. Nobody tests them to find out in reviews (or notices when using them...) so I wouldn't be at all surprised to see most of the cheap boards doing this.
The difference between a gigabit PCIe Controller and an Intergrated Gigabit is tiny to nil. Only time it'd change if you made a move to fiber channel or 10/100GB NiCs (I admit I do have a 10GB one). If it saves OEMs a few bucks to intergrate a 'shitty' NiC which ultimatly saves me, the end user money, then I'm all for it.
I don't however say the same about other components such as Audio/Raid (dont get me started on mine grr).
Ah, what a shame, the switch I was looking at went out of stock :( Looks like I'll be paying more.