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chaplndave
09-03-2002, 12:55 PM
OK...here's the scoop. I am in the Navy and live aboard the base. We have no cable TV (it's a long story) so housing put in DirecTV for everyone. I was looking at Direct Way, Satellite internet connection, but with the upgrade kit and all they want like a thousand dollars over one year. Forget that. For now I have dial up. It is not ideal, but that is what I have to work with.

I have my computer (Windows XP Home) sitting on my desk and I have finally convinced my wife to let me build her a system (Windows 98SE) for her "craft room" in the basement. The kids are all away at school so we are "empty nesters" for the first time. I want to build a small network so that my wife and I can both be on the internet at the same time. Here is the question.

For dial up service which do I buy...a hub or a switch. For right now it will only be my wife and myself on the network, but when the two kids come home for the summer I want them to have a place to "plug in" and also have internet access. I know this this will be a drain on the network, but we can live with it for 2 1/2 months in the summer...and then they are off to school again. I need something that has at least four ports, but don't need much more. Not sure exactly what to buy. Of course, I know that I need to buy Cat5 cable for both of us, etc. but not sure what way to go. Has anyone else out there set up a small home network with dial up service who can give a guy some advice? Thanks ahead of time.

chaplndave

Uranium-235
09-03-2002, 01:22 PM
sharing a dial up connection will not make much difference as far as internet access speed with a hub or a swtich. Transfring shared files however, will. with a hub, your bandwidth divides (cause it's being transmitted to everyone), with a swtich, each packet gets sent to the correct port of the computer hooked to that port, in other words, if a packet is sent to a hub, the hub will broadcast that packet on all ports (computers connected) and the computer that it belongs to will accept it. Now with a swtich, the switch is smart enough to determine specifically which computer it belongs too, and it isn't broadcasted like with a hub, i'ts sent to the computer it belongs to get it? I sure don't

Jazzman
09-03-2002, 07:24 PM
I Find my collision indicator on my 10/100 hub to be blinking often.. I know this is bad... my question is: would upgrading it to a switch help? or a router? how can I stop this?

Uranium-235
09-03-2002, 07:25 PM
I used to get the same on my old 4 port hub.

stopped with the swtich

Omega
09-03-2002, 08:21 PM
Replacing your hub with a switch will create a smaller "collision domain." This means all the packets would be sorted at the switch, and then directed out only the necessary port.

For example, when sending from computer A to computer G, with a hub the data would go out ports A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. With a switch, the data would just be sent out port G. Although devices A, B, C, D, E, and F are smart enough not to fully accept the data, not only do they have to process them, but it also can consume a large amount of bandwidth. Imagine if all the computers on your network were simultaneously trying to use 100 megabits of bandwidth. As you can probably figure out, there isn't magically 700 megabits of bandwidth to go around, simply because it's multiplying everyone's data seven times (or splitting everyone's data if it's a passive hub, although these are now extremely rare).

With a small network without high-bandwidth needs, such as a small home network, or a network sharing a 56k connection it's not going to matter much at all whether a switch or a hub is used. If you're moving to a large network, or a moderately sized network with high bandwidth needs, a switch is a must.


Jazzman: Although you're probably not at a huge risk of any noticable effect of your collision LED blinking on you 10/100 hub, your logical upgrade would be to a 10/100 (full duplex) switch. As discussed earlier, this will create (a) smaller collision domain(s). A router is used for really large-scale networking, where really large-scale decisions need to be made, and they are made using layer 3 addressing (whereas a switch uses layer 2 addressing, aka MAC addressing). If you want to discuss layer 3 routing I'd be glad to, but I think it's a little past what you were asking here.

Jazzman
09-04-2002, 12:46 AM
yeah- i will just get a switch :) thx for the input guys!

chaplndave
09-04-2002, 08:56 AM
Omega...thanks for the enlightening description. I was the one who originally started this thread and I do have a couple of questions for you.

I have proposed this thread on several forums as I want to get a small network going soon so my wife can have her own computer and access to the internet. I will use my computer as host computer. I am running Windows XP Home on a machine with the following equipment:

Abit KR7A- R motherboard, AMD XP1800+ processor, 512MB CAS2 memory, IBM 60GXP-60GB HDD, Creative Labs modemblaster PCI v.92, Linksys NIC card (TX100).

My wife will be running a computer with Windows 98SE, IWill XP333 mobo, AMD 1.13 processor, 256MB Mushkin PC3200 DDR memory, IBM 75GXP-46.5GB HDD, Linksys NIC card (TX100).

For most of the time we will be the only ones on the network. However, when my two children come home from college for the summer I would like to have the ability to plug them into the network as well. There will only be a maximum of 4 computers ever on the network.

I am assuming that I should get a switch, per your suggestions. Someone on one of the other forums suggested that I get a DSL/Cable modem that has dial-up capability. I didn't even know that these existed. Everything now days seems to favor high speed internet access, but we only have dial up (56K) available (see my post above). I am in the Navy and will only be here in New Jersey for another year or so. When we get to my next duty station I would certainly like to have the ability to hook up to cable or something similar. What do you suggest for my situation?

Thanks for your help...and everyone elses...on this project. I will keep you all posted on how things are going. Thanks again. chaplndave

Grinnin Reaper
09-04-2002, 09:13 AM
I'm like you chaplndave I've never heard of a DSL with dial up capabilites. And from what I've seen the switch is better than a hub. I just got one from www.newegg.com for about 55 bucks and it has 8 ports. Not that I need that many now but if I have friends over and we have a Lan party for gaming it's a nice start. Also you may want to check on newegg for some of your parts. It's a good site, doesn't have the widest selection on the net but it does have some of the best deals. You may even be able to get an XP 2000 processor for just a little more than the XP 1800. Have a good day. And my hat is off to those that are defending this country. I was for a while but went back to the civilian world. Me and my family appreciate those that continue to endure the hardships that come with a military life.

Omega
09-04-2002, 08:10 PM
chaplndave: While in reality you'd probably never actually notice a real difference between using a switch and a hub, I would still recommend a switch. I always recommend switches, because hubs are just more archaic technology, and the cost difference is minimal between hubs and switches.

If you're looking to upgrade to cable internet or DSL in the future, you may have to make an additional investment at that time. Depending on the specifics of how your to-be broadband ISP distributes hardware, you may have to invest in an Internet Gateway Router, such as those manufactured by Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, etc. I've not seen a cable modem that acts as a dial-up adapter, and thus I have no idea how one might go about enabling ICS for it. Many DSL modems, mostly internal DSL modems, act as standard Dial-Up adapters in the view of Windows. If you were to get DSL, and an internal DSL modem that acted as a Dial-Up adapter, you wouldn't have to change your setup at all. A cable modem, however, is another matter. All cable modems I've used interface either through USB and/or Ethernet. I'm unaware if it's possible to enable ICS on an Ethernet adapter in windows (although I know you can bridge Ethernet adapters in Windows XP, but that doesn't much help you). If you were to get cable internet, I believe you would have to either have to get multiple WAN IP addresses, and then simply interface the cable modem directly into the switch (and each computer would be individually exposed to the internet), or purchase an Internet Gateway Router, as discussed earlier, to run NAT in order to share a single WAN IP address.

If you could find out specifically what your broadband options would be at your new location, it may make sense to just purchase a combination Internet Gateway Router / Switch (such as the Netgear RT314 (http://www.netgear.com/product_view.asp?xrp=4&yrp=12&zrp=55) or the Nexland ISB SOHO (http://www.nexland.com/products/product.cfm?id=6). If you have lots of money to spend, you could also look into some higher-end products that offer NAT for a broadband connection (Ethernet-connected) and a 56k/ISDN serial modem (I know the Nexland WaveBase does this, among other products).

Uranium-235
09-04-2002, 08:28 PM
A cable modem, however, is another matter. All cable modems I've used interface either through USB and/or Ethernet. I'm unaware if it's possible to enable ICS on an Ethernet adapter in windows

Not just cable modems. We use a speedstream USB DSL modem. Thiers two seperate adapters, the hardware adapter for the modem itself, and the login adapter. Took me a moment to figure out you had to share the ics to the login adapter, and not the hardware adapter. Anyways it's ICS on Win98SE and it's sharing it with and ethernet adapter, which is going to a 8-port switch, and my paretns and me are both connected to that. Other then the ISP dropping the connection every week or two, it's been working just fine. Anyways, here's the pic, it's the packard bell my sister left here when she went to kansas

http://www.paintbug.com/uranium/pictures/Dsc00111.jpg

chaplndave
09-13-2002, 01:40 PM
I'm like you chaplndave I've never heard of a DSL with dial up capabilites. And from what I've seen the switch is better than a hub. I just got one from www.newegg.com for about 55 bucks and it has 8 ports. Not that I need that many now but if I have friends over and we have a Lan party for gaming it's a nice start. Also you may want to check on newegg for some of your parts. It's a good site, doesn't have the widest selection on the net but it does have some of the best deals. You may even be able to get an XP 2000 processor for just a little more than the XP 1800. Have a good day. And my hat is off to those that are defending this country. I was for a while but went back to the civilian world. Me and my family appreciate those that continue to endure the hardships that come with a military life.

Thanks alot Reaper...for the information...and for the cudos on the military. I have been in the Navy now for over 16 years and I have met and dealt with some of the finest men and women I have ever known.

By the way...just purchased a TDK 48x24x48x to replace my 16x10x40x (will put that one into my wife's machine) for $99.99 from Price Club/Costco with a $20 rebate. Hoping to get it into my machine sometime this weekend.

Also, I have decided to go with a switch for my internet home network. I will most likely get an 8 port for future growth...and in case I need it for LAN parties that I may throw for other sailors in my home. It has been fun working on this project and rebuilding a machine for my wife. Still need to get some quieter fans, some speakers, a 17" or 19" monitor, and some round cables for her. Then the network... Thanks again for the response. Looking forward to hearing from you in the future. chaplndave

bilo86
09-26-2002, 08:39 PM
Routers, Switches, and Hubs... whats the difference. I just need a brief description if possible. Thanks

09-26-2002, 09:56 PM
Here's the skinny the way I understand it.

Hub - let's you network, cheap but not very effecient

Switch - very good but costs more. Gives each node a dedicated amount of bandwith.

Router - Normally used more in WAN evniorments (cable modems can also be considered a WAN) Can sort traffic to diffrent ports.

That's my understanding. If I'm wrong please correct me someone.

Omega
09-27-2002, 01:17 PM
I think I've explained this in another thread, but here it goes again:

Hub: repeats all signals on all ports. Also known as a multi-port repeater. Functions on OSI Layer 1. This creates a larger collision and broadcast domain.

Switch: reads the source and destination MAC (hardware) address, creates an address table (associating a MAC address with a port on the switch), and then creates a virtual circut between the source and destination ports. If the destination MAC address is unknown the switch will forward the packet out all ports. Makes forwarding decisions based on OSI Level 2 information. This creates smaller, and more collision domains, but creates a larger broadcast domain.

Router: commonly used term to describe what is more accurately described as an internet gateway router, or internet sharing box. A true router creates an address table using a special routing protocol, such as open shortest pathway first (OSPF), or internal gateway routing protocol (IGRP). These routers make path determination decisions based on OSI Layer 3 information. This gets into IP addresses, subnets, subnet masks, etc. A true router would be used in a large corporation to create smaller broadcast domains and logically segment networks.