Network Components Advice - Please

  The Paul 21:42 31 Dec 03

I presently have my laptop and desktop networked using Xover cable. I want to add 2 more desktops to the network. I know that I cannot use the Xover method and must get a router and extra NIC's. I use an ISDN system for Internet access, although this will probably change to BB in the near future. All PC's run XP and will share printers, files and Internet access.

I'm conscious of budget and will use cable rather than WIFI. What do you folks suggest I buy. Are there GOOD and BAD routers. If you have any experiences or suggestions I'd be grateful for your thoughts.

Cheers - Paul

  The Paul 23:00 31 Dec 03


  howard60 09:16 01 Jan 04

the best is 3com but netgear is also very good

  Terrahawk 09:23 01 Jan 04


  The Paul 10:21 01 Jan 04

Thanks howard60. Do all routers automatically allow for the sharing of broadband connections or are these two different things altogether or do I need to get two pieces of equipment to allow this, a router and something else. Sorry for being thick.

  howard60 10:49 01 Jan 04

not 100% sure but most routers have 1 input port and several output ports. I assume that the internet connection goes to the input and your pcs go to the output. I should know I have installed quite a few but do not really use them if you know what I mean. I have my main pc connected directly to the broadband and use internet connection sharing for other pcs that I am working on. The only disaddvantage of this is that the main pc must be on for the others to connect. In my case this is not a problem but it might be for you. Happy new year.

  The Paul 11:00 01 Jan 04

Cheers. HNY to you also.

What I'm aiming for is to allow all PC's to access the Internet, though as I'm on ISDN (HomeHighway) the Host will have to be on as HH is not on 24/7 unlike BBand.

I'll check out the 3Com and Netgear routers that you mentioned above.

Thanks again.

  LeadingMNMs 12:44 01 Jan 04

You could get a router with a built in modem, though I'm not sure how this will work with ISDN as most are designed for BB. If you do it this way then you could have simultaneous internet access on all PCs. Alternativly you could buy a 4 port hub or switch, connect each PC to the hub or switch and use one computer to share its ISDN connection with the rest, though only one computer could have internet at any one time.

  The Paul 12:52 01 Jan 04

Thanks LeadingMNMs.

Stupid question I know - but what is the difference between a HUB and a ROUTER?

  Forum Editor 13:18 01 Jan 04

a hub is less sophisticated than a router. Hubs are simply distribution devices, and they send all data traffic to all devices that are connected to them.

Routers handle things differently, and to distribute an Internet connection you should ude a router - far easier to set up and more efficient. My advice is to get the broadband connection first, then buy an ADSL router with modem combined. There are lots of these devices on the market now, in fact there's been a veritable explosion in the sales of wireless networking routers. With a router (on a broadband connection) you don't need to have a 'server' PC running, any computer can access the Internet without any of the others being on - the router automatically establishes the connection when you switch it on. All computers can access the Internet at any one time.

You say that you are going to use a cable network, but a wireless version will give you far greater versatility - you would be able to access the Internet on your laptop anywhere in the house.

  The Paul 13:37 01 Jan 04

Thanks FE. Cant do Broadband until the move to France in the Spring. I'm not totally sure how the French system works yet so I'm working on the basis that I will continue to conect by some sort of dial up - ISDN or old modem style.

Cable is down to both cost (I have already set up the Xover with cable from one end of the house to the other) and also my understanding that cable is (and will be for some time) quicker. £ of the PC's will be used for business and speed will be a major plus.

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