Please be patent with me, as I am fairly new to this networking thing.
My question. What, exactly, is the difference between a hub, switch and a router. I believe that a hub is my best bet (thats what I had), but do I need a switch? router? Then, what is the best way to set up all three comps so they can swap files?
Here is a little about the comps.
Thanks in advance, and let me know if you need more info.
I have 3 comps (1) W2K and the other 2 are Win 98SE, all with seperate IP's.
I have had them all networked together for over a year and now my hub seems to have died. All 3 comps work fine when connected to the cable modem seperatly, but when I plug in the hub it don't work.
I have never quite had them all seeing each other on the network, but they all were always able to connect to the net.
a hub is the simplest way to connect a few pc's together, a switch is like an intelligent hub that knows to route information using the mac address on your nic. a router is used to connect different networks. like your network to the internet. now you will want to use tcp/ip for all of your machines, there are a bunch of low cost cable/dsl routers that will do a lot for your situation. hope that answered your question
More info: Using a hub, each system shares the available bandwidth, e.g. 10Mbit divided by the demands of the combined systems trying to access at any given moment. A switch distributes bandwidth, e.g. 10Mbit to EACH system accessing the network. The router acts as a virtual server to your network, distributing network resources (in your case, internet access) to each system on the network. In your case, a switching router will give you the best of all you're asking to accomplish.
I regret, that I have no knowledge about cablemodems (perhaps someone explains to me how they are to be connected) but what I understand from your problem is, that you use the NIC of yout PC to connect to the cable-modem and it works fine... when you now introduce a HUB and you use the same cabletype for PC<->HUB<->MODEM like before PC<->MODEM that couldn't work in any case...
- PC<->HUB is the standard connection type... you need a "straight cable" - that is the "normal" one. A SWITCH behaves like a HUB for this matter.
- PC<->PC is a direct connection between two end-devices... you need a "crossover cable" to connect them, that means transmit(Tx) and receive(Rx) is changed at the connectors. A ROUTER behaves like a PC.
- HUB<->HUB is the so called uplink. If you want to connect those devices you can do it through the normal ports via a "crossover cable" or you use the UPLINK port of only ONE(!) HUB - the UPLINK function just crosses Tx-Rx so double-crossed would equal straight!
Now you must check, if the MODEM acts like a HUB or a PC and place the correct cable inbetween HUB and MODEM... check it out!
Ok...I seem to be completely lost on this. I think I am going to need to take networking 101.
TO get a few things straight. this network I have was working (somewhat) for the last year. It just all of the sudden stopped working. I currently had a 10mb hub hooked up (a friend set it up originally). All three comps were always able to surf the internet, but just could not see each other to swap files. I think that this was because I have W2K installed on my comp, but W98SE on the other two. Someone (on here) once told me how to set up users to get the newtwork working, but I lost that battle.
Also. I dont think I need to find out how many IP's my ISP allows. Only because I have 1 seperate one for each computer, and I get them right from @Home.
I am thinking that I could just go out and get another 10mb hub, since it has worked with one in the past.
Is it better to get 10mb/100mb?
Would a router be better? Or unecessary?
What could cause the uplink on the hub to just go bad? Is that possible?
If @home is issuing 4 IP's without additional chargees (here it's $5 per month for each additional) then just try the new hub--better yet a switch (5-port Switch should be around $65). If they are charging that extra fee, in the long run you'll save money by cancelling the extra IP's and going with a router or ICS (Internet Connection Sharing). After known good hardware is in place, someone here should be able to help you get the networking straightened out.
Ok...I'll do some price searching tonight and hopefully get out to pick up a hub tomorrow. Any recomendations would be appreciated.
Yes. @Home does charge extra for the other 2 IP's, but I'm keeping them now, cause I just pass that to the other two people here.
Well lets say I do go with the router. Besides the fact that it doesn't seem like I need one (If I keep the IP's) would the be a conflict?
Having the router with the 3 IP's?
I'd rather not say here, but let's just say that there is really no reasone to ditch the extra IP's.
Another thing that is confusing me is this cross-over talk.
With the hub, I just used the cat5 cables...All I had to worry about was being sure that the modem plugged into the uplink.
will there be a difference if I go to a switch?
A switch has the the same connection rules as a HUB - you can instantly replace it
... the difference is, that a HUB spreads all signals to all its ports and a switch only sends the signal to the destination port (slightly more intelligent)