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Switches, Hubs, and Modems
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Im trying to set up a client based network at for my small busines and I could use a hand

mark_484
Occasional Visitor

Im trying to set up a client based network at for my small busines and I could use a hand

What are the relative merits of routers versus switches in a client server based network, and which topology do you recommend for a generic network?
4 REPLIES
Ron Kinner
Honored Contributor

Re: Im trying to set up a client based network at for my small busines and I could use a hand


You will probably need both tho the router need not be expensive if you are just connecting to the outside world via DSL or Cable Modem. The router will help protect you from the nasty people in the outside world and will also appear as only one IP address so it will save you money on a monthly basis. These range from $20 up with a good name brand one at about $80. The switch will connect to a port on the router and distribute the network to the other computers in the building. Switches come in many sizes from 4 ports up to monsters with hundreds of ports. Again $20 and way up. If you are really a small business, they make routers with built in 4 or 8 port switches fro less than $100 (some with Wireless so you can save on wiring), which may handle all of your PCs without the need for a separate switch until you grow some. If you need more ports you can add a separate switch with a crossover cable.

Tell me more about what you want to do (How many computers, what external connections you plan on, what sort of data you want to pass, how critical the network is (can you live without it for a day or two or will your business go belly up if you lose the network for 10 minutes), will you be doing backups to a central system, how many buildings/floors in the business, distances, remote locations, etc and I can tell you what you will need.

Ron
Ernest Ford
Trusted Contributor

Re: Im trying to set up a client based network at for my small busines and I could use a hand

Routers and switches do too different jobs.

A switch is essentially a concentrator - where all the network cables from the server and the clients plug in to form the network.

A router is used to interconnect multiple networks so that they can talk to one another.

The most common place to find a router in a small business network is to provide a connection to the internet - many of these low end routers also include a 4 port switch that will let you connect 4 devices directly or you can add a switch if you need more than 4 devices.

Orrin
Valued Contributor

Re: Im trying to set up a client based network at for my small busines and I could use a hand

Hi,

Go with a star topology for the server client ( Internal network )

Advantages:
1. Easy to set up
2. No additional software required.
3. Plug and Play, if IP Naming strategy is sound.

Disadvantages:
1. If connected to the internet or any other external points of entry available, it leaves the entire network exposed.

On the other hand if you have a router with a built in firewall, the advantages security wise are obvious.

My recommendation would be to go with the switch for the internal network and onwards to a router with firewall to the external network.

Hope this helps...

Regards,
Orrin.
STEVEN LEE_12
Frequent Advisor

Re: Im trying to set up a client based network at for my small busines and I could use a hand

Given that routers are relatively inexpensive nowadays, it is always a good idea to use a router. The main advantage of using a router is security, as most routers provide NAT which hides the IP addresses of each workstation. And because most routers come with 4 to 5 ports, a switch may not be needed if the network is small.

|
+---------+
| Modem |
+---------+
|
+---------+
| Router |
+---------+
| | | | |
| | | | | +-----------+
| | | | +--| Switch |
| | | | +-----------+
| | | | | | | | |
-------------------------
Workstations