michelel72: (DW-GeekPride)
michelel72 ([personal profile] michelel72) wrote2010-08-02 04:55 pm
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Ethernet ports/switch question

(Yes, I know, I deserve to have even my apprentice-geek credentials revoked for this.)

I could flail about, or I could just ask the knowledgeable folks on my flist: My Cat5e/wireless home network currently runs off a Linksys BEFW11S4 4-port wireless router. I need to add more ports, which this model supports via its "uplink port". I could spend about $23 or $130 (or even more). I'd prefer more than 5 extra ports, but I want something that's simple to implement and likely to work with my existing router. I don't see a need to buy a second router to daisy-chain or anything like that; all I need is more ports.

Do I just go cheap (and ... make sure to connect it to my router with a crossover cable, I think??), or do I need to look for anything particular? What do I need to know here?

ETA: Or I could just borrow a lonely 8-port router from the fantastic [livejournal.com profile] ninjamonkey73 and use that as the extended switch. Problem solved! \o/

[For extra credit: [livejournal.com profile] violetcheetah can use her Mac laptop on my wireless network at any time with no problems. I consistently find that, in the summer, either of my Dell Windows-based laptops using IE and/or Firefox and MacAfee-or-Norton can't maintain a stable-enough-for-VPN wireless connection. Changing the wireless channel doesn't help or makes the wireless unusable; the current channel was fantastically stable over the winter. The router is in the basement, as I was assured that the signal is likely to be weaker below the device than beside or above it. Is there an explanation/solution beyond "Windows/IE/Norton sucks"?]

[personal profile] abbasegal 2010-08-02 09:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Usually the "uplink" port is used when you connect this router "underneath" another router.

Most routers/switches these days automatically detect if you are using a regular or crossover cable, so you may not even need a special crossover cable at all (the $130 one you listed mentioned that).

In general, you just need to plug the "uplink" port of a new switch/router into one of the ports on your existing router. (If the new switch is not autosensing and doesn't have an "uplink" port, this is when you need a crossover cable, between any port on the new switch and any port on the router). On a good day that's all you need to do :-).

Whether to go for the $30 or the $130 switch really depends on how many extra ports you want.

(Note -- if the new switch doesn't have an uplink port and you don't have a crossover cable and you aren't using the "uplink" port of your router, you should be able to plug the regular cable in to the uplink port, but beware that on some routers the "uplink" port and the regular port next to it are really shared, and you can't use both at the same time).