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Old 06-19-2001, 04:17 PM   #1
BarnyardMonkey
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Trying to figure out if it will be worth getting a different Router with built in Switch,or just a Switch to add to my setup.


Ok:

I have 4 PC's with 1 IP (have 2 IP's but using 1 at the moment)
i am using a 4 port SOHOware NBG600 Router (Cable connection)

now the question is,would i be better to get a Router that has a built in Switch,or maybe just a Switch for my setup.

i use 1 of the PC's for Fserve on Mirc,and one for an FTP.
both will be download/Uploading files at the same time more then likely.

but with my setup i have now,i am noticing extreme slow downs when both are download/Uploading at the same time.
and thought maybe a switch would help my slow downs.
(My Router now has no built in Switch)

and also the other 2 PC's will be browsing/gaming at the same time as well.(not always,but every now and then)

was thinking on maybe getting the Netgear RT314 Router which has a built in Switch,and can do Port Forwarding.(which my Router can't do)
and also i believe is 10/100,not just 10BT.

(Oh,and if i use my 2nd IP,would things be slow if i ran the cable modem into a Hub/Switch,then the HUB/Switch into the Router for the other 3 PC's?
while the PC with the 2nd IP would run directly into the HUB/Switch for its own IP connection.so i can use one for FTP,and the other running fom Router for the Fserve on Mirc)

Diagram of Setup

I tried the cable modem into Hub,then Hub to Router with 3 PC's into the Router,and my FTP PC straight into the Hub with its own IP.but the FTP PC seemed to perform better then the Fserv running on the Router.would a Switch help even things out connected this way?


Any info would be appreciated.



Shawn.
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Old 06-20-2001, 12:30 AM   #2
SgtBuddy
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I have the RT314 (got it at Best Buy for $49 new, no MIR, off the shelf...hate me?)

Switches will outperform hubs. Eventhough, your internet connection is probably only, at the most, 1.5Mbps, and since a switch is full-duplex and a hub is half-duplex, a 10Mb Switch will outperform a 100Mb Hub. (this is a general comment for this case, I have seen full-duplex hubs [rare])

Note: If you have 1.5Mbps service, all 4 of your computers are sharing the bandwidth. Can't tell you the number of people who complain about slow service (via dialup) when they have 5 computers sharing a 24000bps connection.


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Old 06-20-2001, 12:40 AM   #3
Garion
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Actually, most 10BaseT NIC's are strictly half duplex. There was a very rare time when they made full duplex 10BaseT NIC's before 100BaseT was really going full steam. And I would doubt that a good 100BaseT hub would be outperformed by a 10BaseT switch - Even 100Mb/s half duplex should give you 50Mb/s whereas 10BaseT Full will give you a max of 20. For one-way traffic (Like a download), 100BaseT will smoke 10BaseT - Duplex is much less of an issue.

Nowadays, you can probably get a 5-port 100BaseT Switch for about $40 and a good broadband router for about $100. Your 10BaseT network port on your current router isn't going to be a problem. Most cable modems max out at 3-4Mb/s (300-400KB/s as reported in IE/Netscape), well within the capacity of 10BaseT network (which really tops out around 5Mb/s).

If you have a router without a built-in switch, how old is it? Try to do some testing from your inside PC's to your FTP server. How fast can it go? You should probably see somewhere around 350KB/s on a download. If you're getting less, replace the router with one that has a built-in 10/100 switch like the SMC Barricade. It's supposted to do around 4Mb/s on normal traffic. Just make sure you get it from somewhere that has a good return policy in case it doesn't help.

- G

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Old 06-20-2001, 12:58 AM   #4
SgtBuddy
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Didn't think about the NICs. Smack me.

I guess I was more thinking 100BT nics (haven't seen a 10BT nic for sale in a while) through a 100BT hub or 10BT switch. Wouldn't a 1.5Mbps data stream (in full-duplex transmissions) travel faster through a 10BT switch than a 100BT hub? Doh! As I type, I find my error. 50Mbps max theoretical full duplex traffic, while a 10BT switch only has 20Mbps max full duplex traffic....but it is not shared across the ports, like in a hub....but...a cable internet connection less than 5Mbps anyway. I guess, either way, you shouldn't tax the hardware to it's limits until you started transferring lots of files internally, and even then, working on 4 computers with massive file transfers going at once is just plain crazy.

Switches are cheap.
Routers are falling in price.

The Sarge, hates to make errors, but heck, he's human two...too
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Old 06-20-2001, 02:30 AM   #5
PELarson
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I would add a switch between the router and the three PC group.
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Old 06-20-2001, 09:30 AM   #6
ScottMac
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Sarge: a wide-open 100Mbps hub will do just shy of 90 Mbps (in half duplex), and under normal traffic loads will do an aggregate of 70-80Mbps. A switch with one pair talking will perform about the same, maybe a tad more throughput, with a little more latency (full duplex). The aggregate throughput of the switch, properly used, should be greater than 100Mbps. If two or more ports are trying to talk to the same resource, then the aggregate will be less than 100Mbps, but still in the 80%+ range (normal traffic loads).

FWIW

Scott


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Old 06-20-2001, 12:48 PM   #7
Garion
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I think that a blanket statement that 90Mb/s from a half duplex 100BaseT hub is a bit misleading. The only way you would ever see anything close to this is when you have only a couple of computers and you're doing large one-way transfers with full-sized Ethernet frames to a single source - Something like FTP is a good example.

The collision-based nature of half duplex Ethernet means that, for normal computing, you'll rarely see more than 60Mb/s - Anything over 60% (and realy 50%) load you start to see performance degrade due the sheer amount of collisions on the network. With a 50% network load each computer is going to collide half the time it tries to transmit. Then it (and the computer it collided with) is going to have to stop transmitting, back off, wait for a certain period of time then try to re-transmit. It produces a bell-shaped curve as you try and pump more and more typical data through the network with peaks around 50%.

In the real world, where there's a bunch of computers on the network fighting over bandwidth, Ethernet just isn't very efficient. It does a good job and is plenty fast but doesn't handle peak traffic very well.

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