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Network Hub Switch

How to connect multiple computers in a network using a hub or switch

Hubs and switches are inexpensive and effective devices that allow you to have multiple computers in your home connected to the internet without having to pay for multiple internet connections. Adding a hub or a switch to your network is very simple and can be done by even a complete computer novice. Better yet, it won’t require adding wireless cards to every computer in your home.

Hubs and Switches: Which to Choose

The difference between a hub and a switch is mainly one of intelligence.

Hubs are the simpler and cheaper of the two devices. A hub’s job is to take information coming from the network and pass it to all other computers. It pays no attention to what computers on the network the information is intended for; it simply passes everything it sees to everyone.

Switches are more intelligent. They can learn which information is destined for which computers and pass information only to those computers rather than every machine on a network. They tend to be slightly more expensive than hubs.

So, which one is right for your network? A hub is fine for most small home networks consisting of five or less computers. If you have more than five computers, or there are heavy internet users (online gaming or streaming video, for example), a switch will reduce the network load and significantly improve network response.

Whichever you choose, just make sure you pick one that has enough ports for every computer you plan to connect to it.

How to Install a Hub or Switch

Installing a hub or switch is easy. Because these devices are so simple, they do not need any configuration on your part. All you have to do is plug them in to the wall socket and other computers.

To connect the hub or switch to your network, first take the ethernet cord going from your modem to your computer, and plug the end that was formerly into your computer into the port located by itself, usually labeled “up”, “in”, or “internet”. Then, attach a new ethernet cord to one of the ports in the group of ports (it doesn’t matter which) and the other end to your computer. Repeat for each computer you plan to attach to your network.

That’s it! Enjoy having multiple computers connected on your brand new home network.

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