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To switch or not to switch? That is the question.

By KidsCallMeHOJU
Jun 28, 2005
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  1. Hello. I currently have a home network as follows.

    3 PC's connected to router.
    router connected to cable modem.

    I would like to increase the througput on my LAN (amongst the 3 pc's) so I'm thinking about adding a switch such that it would be [3pc's->switch->router-cable modem]. I was wondering whether adding the switch would actually improve the LAN thoroughput or is this just adding unnecessarily repetetive. I am aware of the "7 layers of the osi model" of networking but am wondering whether switches and routers work on the same layers. Im assuming NO because router bases routing based on IP address while switch will deal with the MAC addresses (am i correct???). Since a switch will perform less inspections on the packets (IP filtering, SPI, etc..) am I going to get better results when adding the switch??

    BTW, my router: SMC2804WBR
    Switch i might add: Gigafast Mini Switch EZ500-S
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    Your router has a 100Mbit switch in it so unless you are getting a gigabit switch and your PCs have gigabit interfaces you will get no significant boost in network speed.

    You may get a small speed inrease if you buy a good 100Mbit switch - the ones integrated in home routers tend to be the bottom of the barrel type - this will give you some extra under very high loads.

    What is a "good" switch? You would want something with crossbar fabric and/or cut-through packet forwarding (those are expensive).
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