Router vs. switch speed

By GerbilGrenade22
Dec 12, 2010
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  1. Hey. I just got some new cat6A STP cables, and tested out my connection speed by directly connecting to my computer. I got somewhere around 100Mbs (I live at a university, so the internet is fast). When I connect my computer through my 10 year old linksys router, it maxes out right at 10Mbs. I am assuming that it is too old to support 100Mbs speeds, so I was wondering if I get a new router or switch, would one of those be able to support the 100Mbs, and which would be faster?

    Edit: I guess I should add that I have tried looking for the answer to this question but most answers that I saw were for 5Mbs connections, thus people said it did not matter. But I could not find anything about higher speeds.
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,177

    If your connection requires a router, get a new router. Otherwise a switch or direct connection would be fine.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 14,797   +508

    Multiple issues here.
    1. The NIC bandwidth
    2. Router implementation
    (1)Every device on your LAN has a NIC (wired or wifi) and a bandwidth associated.
    Ignoring WiFi for the moment, you should have at least a router with a 10/100mb NIC as the lowest bandwidth NIC will limit the entire LAN. Eg: if you have router-->switch-->system
    then if two are 100/mb and one is 10mb, then 10mb will be your limit.
    (btw: you can now get 10/100/1000mb nics ).

    (2) Sadly, some routers use a HUB internally instead of a switch implementation.
    A switch is a better design add allows all devices attach to run at the full rating of the NIC
    (that's right, 4 connections running a say 100mb, while a router allows proportional bandwidth)

    In every LAN, there needs to be a DHCP service to hand out IP addresses. This allows the NAT feature to map all devices into your WAN side, ISP address. Without NAT+DHCP, you can only attach ONE device (or system) even if there are several slots.

    You should be able to verify your Modem+Router NIC specs and if ether is 10mb, go get a newer device :)

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